Read Bruce Lehrmann's three-hour interview with the police, where he said he was "at the end of his rope" because of the accusations.
Bruce Lehrmann was "at the end of his rope" when he heard that Brittany Higgins said she was raped at Parliament House but told police it didn't happen.
Court documents show that Bruce Lehrmann was "at the end of his rope" when he heard that Brittany Higgins said she was raped at Parliament House. He told police it didn't happen and that he was afraid "I can't get a job, nothing."
Today, the ACT Supreme Court released for the first time the full transcript of the accused's three-hour interview with police. It shows that he told police that he came at 1:40 a.m. to do work, update question time folders, and get his keys.
In his trial for sexual intercourse without consent, the former Liberal staffer will not testify. He said he wasn't guilty.
The court heard the whole recording of the accused's interview with police earlier in the trial, but a full transcript was not available until now.
Lehrmann said that he had "a lot of thoughts" about how everything was being reported.
In April 2021, he told police, "I heard that a journalist has video of me trying for the first time to get mental health services because I'm at my wit's end."
From a public relations point of view, he said, "I can't get a job, nothing."
He told the police in the interview that he had been drinking a little bit and went back to Parliament House at 1:40 am to work on question time folders. He said that he did not drink or have any alcohol in his office.
Two people at the trial, the chief of staff Fiona Brown and another Liberal staffer named Reg Chamberlain, told the police that he said he went back to work to drink "whisky."
But Lehrmann told the police that wasn't true and that he was just getting his keys and going to work.
Shane Drumgold, the prosecutor, told the court that Lehrmann lied about why he had to go back to Parliament House early on March 23, 2019.
"It was the easiest way to leave the drunk and vulnerable complainant alone at the time. "Maybe he did it so she wouldn't fight back or wouldn't remember," Mr. Drumgold said.
"Ask yourself, after the complainant's long night and obvious drunkenness, why the accused would first take her to Parliament House because she was supposed to have work to do and then leave.
"He left her there and, it seems, turned off the lights before leaving."
Lehrmann said that on the night in question, he told Ms. Higgins, "I have to go get my keys," and then they left.
When asked if it was common for people to just go back to Parliament at all hours of the night, he said "yes, absolutely."
He said that Ms. Higgins told him she needed to go to Parliament House, but he didn't know why.
“No. She, I mean, she was in charge of the media. So, there was a lot going on, and it didn't surprise me. Well, I was surprised by it at the time. "She had to do that at that time," he said.
"I was going to get keys. So, but, you know, that's her business, and I'm not a media consultant, so, you know."
"I've turned left at my desk," he said when he got to the office. Brittany turned right."
"I did think it was strange because that door going to the right leads to the office of a minister or the Chief of Staff," he said.
"Brittany was never in the office again, so."
"Nothing in my mind told me I needed to take care of her, since she signed herself in. We did all of that together."
In the past, the Supreme Court has heard evidence that Lehrmann signed himself and Ms. Higgins into Parliament House.
When he was done with his job, he told the police he left on his own.
"Well, I had finished my job. I had everything I needed, hadn't been drinking, was getting tired, and was going home. I did not see her. He said, "I don't know what she was up to."
When asked if he had intimate contact with Ms. Higgins, he said, "Yes, I can't remember. I know we're close, but I just can't remember. I would not have done anything more than a little flirting because I was already in a relationship."
The next week, his chief of staff called him in and told him that the late-night incident "constituted a security breach." He "took it on the chin," and she told him, "You should probably just pack up your things and leave now."
He said that he went on with his life after that. Since he left, he had been back at Parliament for events. "I've talked to people in the office of the prime minister and officers I know through my network, and I haven't heard anything," he said.
Lehrmann told police that by the time he went out for drinks with Ms. Higgins at the Dock on March 22, 2019, he had "had enough" of working at Parliament House and that working for ministers was "mentally scarring."
When asked if the workplace was "pretty ruthless," Lehrmann said it was.
“Very. This is the reason why I want to leave. I'd had a gut full. After Malcolm Turnbull was kicked out, I started thinking about how to leave.
"At the time, I was with Bridget McKenzie. I don't want to turn this into a therapy session, but I haven't seen ministers treat their staff the same way since I left politics.
"It's very hard on the mind."
"Bridget McKenzie was a minister who was known for being mean to her staff, including me on a personal level.
"I just got an idea of how people there live. I know that there has been a lot of talk about how women were treated, but I think that the culture as a whole was terrible."