Furious text messages sent between Brittany Higgins and her ex-boyfriend have outlined her fury at being offered “jack s**t” support after she disclosed she was allegedly raped.
Ms Higgins alleges Bruce Lehrmann sexually assaulted her in the ministerial office of Linda Reynolds in Parliament House in 2019.
He has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of sexual intercourse without consent.
A record of the conversation, tendered to the ACT Supreme Court on Friday, show the expletive laden conversation between Ms Higgins and Ben Dillaway.
“It’s beyond sh**ty hearing Linda offering this obviously horrible (Ken) Wyatt staffer all this support in the wake of the story and I’m like ??,” Ms Higgins wrote.
“I was literally assaulted in your office and I collectively maybe took four days off. Was offered jack sh**t in terms of help.”
“That f**king bitch,” Mr Dillaway responded.
It came after the court heard of Ms Higgins’ final email to Mr Lehrmann on the day he was fired from his job for breaching a code of conduct signed by ministerial staff, a court has heard.
In the email, Ms Higgins asked for help for a task she had been assigned by a higher-up as the office of then-defence industry minister Linda Reynolds prepared for the election.
“Hi Bruce, I’m phoning a friend. Need some help with the task Drew set me. I’m hoping to utilise parliamentary network to get portfolio stats. Essentially we are wanting to get state territory one-page breakdown,” the email read.
Ms Higgins said Mr Lehrmann had the contacts she needed to best complete the task but she did not dare to talk to him in person.
“It was too hard; I could do it behind a computer screen, but actual conversation, and having a real human interaction was too weird,” she said.
“I was trying to silo myself and pretend it didn’t happen as much as humanly possible and try and normalise the situation.”
Crown prosecutor Shane Drumgold pressed Ms Higgins to explain to the court by saying “phone a friend” it did not mean she had called him.
“Mr Prosecutor, the expression ‘phone a friend’ is quite well known, I think,” Chief Justice Lucy McCallum quipped back.
“It’s the three kinds of help you can have on Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
“The witness can explain what they mean, but I think they speak for themselves.”
Not longer after, former chief of staff Fiona Brown dismissed Mr Lehrmann for accessing the ministerial office at Parliament House in the early hours of 23 March 2019.
Ms Higgins alleges it was during that time period he sexually assaulted her on the couch in senator Reynolds’ office. Mr Lehrmann denies having sex with her.
The jury also heard that Mr Lehrmann sent her an email on the morning after Ms Higgins said he assaulted her.
“It appears that an email from David Aleander has been forwarded on to you, but with some additional text; ‘Might see about getting you on this list,’” he told the court.
“Yes, it’s standard for every Coalition media adviser to be on the list, so that was a very perfunctory normal message,” Ms Higgins replied.
The court was told that Mr Lehrmann regularly forwarded on these emails, which Ms Higgins said were a compilation of news clippings sent every day.
It came as the court was shown WhatsApp messages between Ms Higgins and Ms Brown.
Ms Higgins said there was a “very clear delineation” between the language used in text messages compared to in-person communication.
“So, when I would speak with them (Ms Brown and Senator Reynolds) we would call it ‘the assault’, but whenever we WhatsApped or messaged it was always ‘the incident’,” she said.
“There was always a very clear delineation when messaging what we said as opposed to when speaking frankly in person.”
Ms Higgins will return to the stand on Friday for her second day of cross-examination by Mr Lehrmann’s lawyer, Steve Whybrow.