HomeAustraliaBrittany Higgins admits deleting messages, photos

Brittany Higgins admits deleting messages, photos

Brittany Higgins has confirmed she deleted messages and photos from her phone before handing it over to police.

A jury has heard it was not her intent to keep things from the officers investigating her alleged rape.

The former Liberal Party staffer is being cross-examined as the first witness in the criminal trial of Bruce Lehrmann, who has been accused of raping her.

Brittany Higgins has admitted to deleting texts and photos from her phone. (Alex Ellinghausen)

He has pleaded not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent.

Asked under cross-examination by defence barrister Steven Whybrow if she remembered deleting the messages, Higgins said “potentially”.

She cleared off her phone photographs showing her holding alcohol or with politicians.

“I wanted to scrub all the horrible parts of my life out of my day-to-day existence,” she told the ACT Supreme Court on Friday.

Higgins described her phone as her “life” and said she didn’t want to see photos of former minister Linda Reynolds, for whom she worked when the alleged assault happened.

“I didn’t want to see her face… Sorry, she’s not a bad person. But it is what it is,” she said.

Parliament House Canberra
The alleged assault is said to have taken place at Parliament House in Canberra. (Andrew Meares)

The court earlier heard Higgins secretly recorded a phone conversation with her former boss Michaelia Cash in 2021, days after she resigned from her staffer position.

Cash called to offer Higgins alternatives to resigning from her ministerial office.

Higgins said the phone call was strange because the senator was pretending as though she didn’t know about her alleged rape even though the pair had spoken about it before.

“It was ridiculous. It was the weirdest phone call I have ever had in my life,” she said.

Higgins also recorded a conversation with Cash’s former chief of staff Daniel Try without his knowledge.

Whybrow put to Higgins she had sent the recordings to multiple people, including journalists, to begin backgrounding for the story.

Bruce Lehrmann has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting Higgins.
Bruce Lehrmann has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting Higgins. (AAP)

But Higgins said it was for her legal protection and so she could corroborate her story.

“I was trying to give them (the recordings) to as many people as possible to have them just so that they existed,” she said.

“It’s my word against a cabinet minister’s and the disparity between those two powers is ridiculous.”

Whybrow also put to Higgins other inconsistencies in her story.

He referred to her earlier story that she put the unwashed dress under her bed for six months before she laundered and wore it to a Liberal Party event.

He then showed the jury a photo of Higgins wearing the dress to an event – a birthday dinner for Reynolds – in May 2019, about two months after the alleged assault in the Liberal senator’s office.

Whybrow put to Higgins she had not given true and correct evidence.

“I made a mistake, I wasn’t trying to do anything, I was just wrong,” Higgins told the court.

Cash and Reynolds have been listed as witnesses and could be called to give evidence.

The trial is expected to last for between four and six weeks.

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