Media attention around Lisa Wilkinson Logical acceptance speech delaying a trial was behind his decision to resign The project, it was revealed yesterday in a public inquiry.
The independent inquiry into the Bruce Lehrmann allegation was set up by the ACT government following “a series of complaints and allegations” about the trial.
Lehrmann has consistently denied allegations that he raped colleague and political staffer Brittany Higgins in the office of then Defense Industry Minister Linda Reynolds in March 2019. He pleaded not guilty to one charge of sexual intercourse without consent, denying that any sexual activity had occurred.
Yesterday, ACT’s director of public prosecutors, Shane Drumgold, admitted that he “misread the situation” in a meeting with Lisa Wilkinson discussing her acceptance speech for a logie prize.
Guardian Australia reports Lisa Wilkinson had an online meeting with the prosecution in Lehrmann’s case on June 15, 2022 to prepare her for the possibility of being a witness in the trial.
Drumgold was told that Wilkinson had been nominated for a logie for his interview with Higgins, but didn’t expect to win because they were “operated by a rival network,” according to an email cited in the investigation.
“I had no idea there was going to be a speech,” Drumgold said.
“I accept that I completely misread the situation…I thought it was someone telling me they were up for an award.”
When asked if ‘you thought she was bragging about being nominated’, Drumgold replied: ‘It’s probably a little high, but in that flavour, yeah’.
Wilkinson’s attorney later sent an email, noting that Wilkinson felt she was being treated unfairly by Drumgold’s office as she had not “corrected the record”.
Drumgold said he decided not to make a public statement about Wilkinson because he didn’t want to fuel the “media storm”.
When asked why he never publicly cleared Wilkinson’s name, he told the inquest, “I’m not a publicist, I’m the director of public prosecutors.”
The investigation continues.