Brittany Higgins Schools Linda Reynolds over Defamation Payment

Brittany Higgins has sought to set the record straight on Twitter about her defamation payment from Linda Reynolds. The former defence minister was interviewed for a wide-ranging and supportive feature in The Weekend Australian published on Friday night. 

The piece said that Higgins “planned” to donate the money to a charity for survivors of sexual assault. The same day, The Australian published a photo from Higgins’ Instagram showing her on holiday with her partner in The Maldives.

At the time, Higgins made clear the money would be donated to charity. On Sunday, she posted a receipt of her payment to the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre.

The donation was made on 15 March 2021. On 12 March, Reynolds had publicly apologised to Higgins for calling her “a lying cow” and presumably made the payment to Higgins shortly after.

“Let me get this straight,” Higgins posted. “I am publicly defamated by my former employer…I donate the money to charity…And yet somehow Linda Reynolds is the victim in this scenario?”

The Weekend Australian piece claims Higgins was “weaponised” and her story turned into “a hit job” by Labor and fame-hungry journalists, naming Penny Wong, Katy Gallagher and Lisa Wilkinson. Its focus is the emotional toll of Higgins’ allegations on Reynolds, who claims Higgins’ story was never covered up by her office. 

Wong immediately rejected the claims. “These new claims from Senator Reynolds are completely rejected and reveal a deep lack of respect for the autonomy of her former staff member who made these allegations,” she said in a statement.

According to Higgins, the piece in The Australian also made use of leaked material from her diary. Higgins provided photos of her diary to police to assist in their investigation into her alleged rapist, Bruce Lehrmann.

Just last month, Reynolds launched a defamation action against Higgins’ partner, David Sharaz. She claims his tweets amount to persistently “trolling” her.

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