Brittany Higgins to marry David Sharaz in June as court to probe trust account

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Lawyers for Brittany Higgins have revealed she is getting married in June, as another matter involving the former political staffer gets underway in the WA Supreme Court.

Legal teams for Ms Higgins and Senator Linda Reynolds returned to the David Malcolm Justice Centre for the second time this week as the senator seeks to find out about the Brittany Higgins Protective Trust.

The trust was set up to protect Ms Higgins’ investment from litigation, Daily Mail has previously reported, referring to a $2.4m compensation payment made to her by the Commonwealth.

Senator Reynolds’ lawyer Martin Bennett said outside of court that they made an application to the WA Supreme Court to get a copy of the trust document.

“We do not know who the trustee is, we do not know what law of Australia, Victoria, NSW or the ACT that governs it, we need to know those facts and we get that by finding a document,” he said.

“It is our affidavit and we have been seeking a copy of the trust deed since March,” Mr Bennett said.

Ms Higgins was given until mid-June to respond to the senator’s application by Chief Justice Peter Quinlan in order to accommodate her wedding date, with the matter returning to the WA Supreme Court on July 17 for a directions hearing.

Ms Reynolds is suing Ms Higgins and her finance David Sharaz for social media posts they made in which the senator claims her reputation was damaged.

The defamation matter is headed for trial on July 24 after peace talks failed to settle during mediation sessions held as recently as Tuesday.

In December 2022, Ms Higgins was awarded a $2.4m compensation payment from the Commonwealth to settle a personal injury claim she had made about her alleged rape at the hands of former colleague Bruce Lehrmann and treatment at work.

A rape trial against Lehrmann was aborted due to juror misconduct and the charge was subsequently dropped.

Lehrmann continues to deny the allegation, but it was found to be true on the civil standard of the balance of probabilities, after launched a defamation case against Lisa Wilkinson and Network Ten in the Federal Court.

Documents released by the Federal Court during Lehrmann’s defamation trial revealed Ms Higgins received $2,445,000 from the government after settling her personal injury claim with the Commonwealth following mediation.

The deed of settlement and release revealed that Ms Higgins received $400,000 for hurt, distress and humiliation, $1.48m for lost earnings, $220,000 for medical expenses, $100,000 for “past and future domestic assistance” and $245,000 for her legal costs.

In her claim, Ms Higgins said she was the victim of sexual assault and associated physical injuries, psychiatric injuries, was subject to bullying and harassment and that the Commonwealth had failed to provide adequate support.

Justice Lee, in his judgment, rubbished claims of a political cover-up made during The Project broadcast, finding that Senator Reynolds had wanted the police called.

He described the allegations as being “without reasonable foundation” which caused “much collateral damage”.

He also found that Fiona Brown, the chief of staff in Senator Reynolds’ office at the time, had gone “out of her way to reassure Ms Higgins and supported and assisted her in contacting the police”.

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