Brittany Higgins Case: The Final Score. By Bettina Arndt. Now that the Higgins rape case has been abandoned to protect her mental health (her allegations would have sent someone to jail for years, but she cannot give testimony twice?), let’s see how the parties involved did.
Bruce Lehrmann [has been] denied a right to a fair trial and any chance of an acquittal which would clear his name. …
Prominent members of our media who have repeatedly defamed him over the last few years would do well to ponder whether he will use the civil courts to seek compensation for the damage they have caused him.
Virtually all our major media companies have promoted Higgins as a celebrity victim, giving her a constant platform to present her story … Already today there has been an outcry about the impact of this horrendous trial on poor Brittany.
Never a word, of course about the impact on Bruce Lehrmann, and his bravery and dignity in dealing with the assaults on his reputation over the last few years and during the trial. Never one word from our media about the impact on his mental health.
It’s very telling to look at the consequences Higgins’ accusations have had for both these young people.
For Higgins they brought fame, fortune, and immense public sympathy:
- A $320,000 book contract.
- An undisclosed settlement from the Defence Minister for calling her a ‘lying cow’.
- A position as a visiting fellow at the ANU’s Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, appointed by Julia Gillard.
- Heroic ‘rape victim’ status in mainstream media, featured on the cover of women’s magazines, given a standing ovation by the National Press Club.
- Journalists fighting over her story and winning awards for promoting her version of events.
- Current and previous prime ministers apologising for her ‘terrible experiences’.
- The immense power of the state brought to bear on the resulting court case, with top prosecutors and the ACT victim’s support officer supporting the celebrity witness.
Meanwhile, Lehrmann has faced an endless ordeal:
- He’s unemployed and unemployable. Lehrmann had moved onto a new job before being publicly named as the accused rapist but lost that job when a journalist informed his employer about the allegation.
- Constant exposure of his name and face ensure he is recognisable across the country.
- He faced a major challenge in finding pro bono legal representation for the ongoing legal battles and significant additional expenses therein.
- There were delays due to ongoing publicity, particularly after Lisa Wilkinson’s intervention.
- The stress of dealing with an ACT jury trial, requiring a unanimous verdict, in one of the most woke parts of Australia. …
Lehrmann, smart, well-educated, once set for a successful career, has spent years in limbo, broke, isolated, with few friends and no prospects. He must feel enormous relief that the trial is at an end, but the ordeal, the public shame this young man must bear, is bound to continue.
Game, set, and match to Higgins.
Reminder from here:
Police recovered a text exchange between Ms Higgins and former boyfriend Ben Dillaway dated February 7, 2019, six weeks before the alleged rape, in which the pair joked about wanting a political sex scandal.
“The bar for what counts as a political sex scandal nowadays is REALLY low,” Ms Higgins wrote.
“I want a sex scandal I can be like whoa. Impressive. Didn’t think he had it in him,” Mr Dillaway wrote.
“Exactly! A sex scandal the party can be proud of. Another Barnaby but without the baby haha,” Ms Higgins responded.
The whole “women are oppressed by the patriarchy” act is getting a bit old, isn’t it? Truth would be nice.