Lisa Wilkinson hires a lawyer who pronounced her Logies speech as “reckless” about Sunrise after it delayed Brittany Higgins’ rape case

Lisa Wilkinson has hired a senior Australian lawyer just hours after he blew her up on breakfast TV over her “reckless” Logie Awards speech.

Dr. Matthew Collins told Sunrise on Wednesday, it was a “serious possibility” that the media personality could face legal issues after her speech resulted in the delay of Brittany Higgins’ rape case.

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It is understood that Collins was contacted to represent Wilkinson and Network 10 later that day due to concerns that she might be charged with contempt of court or similar offenses.

During his interview on the Seven Breakfast Show, the president of the Australian Bar Association explained how the TV star’s decision to refer to Higgins when she went on stage after winning an award was the wrong one.

“It is certainly possible that the authorities will look at the speech she gave to the Logies and evaluate that speech against the standard that applies in this branch of the law,” the chief lawyer told David Koch and Natalie Barr .

“This standard is, did anything she does tend to interfere in the administration of justice?”

Collins said Wilkinson’s speech was “unwise” and that a media veteran should have known better.

“You would hope that when the media is considering running a story about a serious criminal trial that is about to begin, they will be set on the potential risks,” he added.

“The mainstream media understands the risk of talking about cases that are being processed, especially serious high-profile cases.

“It was clear it was a bad idea.

“The concern is that potential members of the jury, whose job it is to apply the presumption of innocence and to focus on the evidence in the trial, may be affected by things they have been exposed to in the media and on social media.”

Watch Collins’ full interview on Sunrise in the video player below

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In a statement, a spokesman for Ten confirmed that the network had hired Collins, saying management “fully supports Lisa Wilkinson”.

“Both Network 10 and Lisa Wilkinson take their legal obligations very seriously, including in the preparation and delivery of her speech given at the Logies event,” they said.

“In light of the ongoing case, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

Brittany Higgins’ rape case delayed

It comes after ACT Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum on Tuesday chose to postpone the trial of Bruce Lehrmann, the man accused of sexually assaulting a Liberal colleague Brittany Higgins inside an office in Parliament House in 2019 over Wilkinson’s speech and publicity, it generated. .

Lehrmann was due to stand trial next week for the alleged rape and has pleaded not guilty.

Judge McCallum told the court she had delayed the criminal case indefinitely “with clenched teeth” after Lehrmann’s defense team requested a temporary stay.

“Unfortunately, the recent mention (of the speech) in my opinion changes the landscape,” she said.

“Because of its immediacy, its intensity, and its ability to obliterate the important distinction between an assertion that remains untested by law.

The trial of a man accused of sexually assaulting Brittany Higgins inside the Parliament building has been delayed following a Logie Awards speech by Lisa Wilkinson. Credit: Instagram
Bruce Lehrmann is accused of assaulting a colleague Higgins, a member of the Liberal Party, inside an office in Parliament in 2019. Credit: Instagram

It was also revealed that Wilkinson was warned four days before Sunday’s Logies that she could prevent the trial by talking about Higgins at the awards night.

Despite the caution, the 62-year-old went on stage after winning the award for the most outstanding news coverage or the Public Affairs Report Award for his January 2021 interview with the alleged rape victim.

“Notwithstanding the clear and appropriate warning, Mrs. Wilkinson gave a speech in which she openly referred to and praised the complainant in this trial when she received the award,” Judge McCallum said.

“Not surprisingly, the price and content of the speech have been the subject of further comment.”

Wilkinson gave the speech despite being warned not to do so. Credit: Getty Images

Judge McCallum said the substantial mention had now “obliterated” the distinction between an allegation and a finding of guilt.

“The general public is given to believing that guilt is established. The importance of the rule of law has been set at zero.”

A hearing will be held Thursday to determine if and when a new trial date can be set.

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