Bruce Lehrmann is pictured when he was younger, before he was accused of sexual assault
Bruce Lehrmann’s family was his saving grace during the former political staffer’s high-profile trial – with his sister supporting him from overseas and his mum cooking him dinner every night in an Airbnb.
Mr Lehrmann was flanked by lawyers when he appeared in the ACT Supreme Court during his month-long sexual assault trial in October – but it can now be revealed his mother was secretly supporting him from the sidelines.
Sources with knowledge of Mr Lehrmann’s situation told Daily Mail Australia she flew to Canberra from her home in southern Queensland to stay with her only son in his temporary accommodation.
The single mum-of-two was intentionally shielded from the media and didn’t go into the courtroom, but was instrumental to his mental health behind the scenes by preparing his meals and giving him a shoulder to lean on.
‘She was probably one of the key reasons he was able to keep his head together during the trial,’ a source said.
Mr Lehrmann was accused of raping Brittany Higgins in Parliament House in March 2019. He pleaded not guilty, but the trial was aborted due to misconduct by a jury member.
On Friday, the ACT’s Director of Public Prosecutions announced he would not go ahead with a second trial amid fears it could be detrimental to Ms Higgins’ mental health. She remains in a Queensland hospital.
Daily Mail Australia also understands Mr Lehrmann has been afraid to go outside for fear strangers will recognise him as an accused rapist – and barely leaves the house to have a beer with mates.
Daily Mail Australia understands Bruce Lehrmann’s sister Bobbie (pictured) is supporting him from overseas
Brittany Higgins is pictured outside the ACT Supreme Court in Canberra. The case was dropped last Friday
During his initial interview with police last year, which was played before the court in October, Mr Lehrmann said he grew up in Queensland in a ‘small family unit’.
His father died when he was two, leaving his mother to raise him and his sister, Bobbie Lehrmann, on welfare.
His sister has since moved to the US, but sources say she supports him from afar.
Mr Lehrmann actively tries to avoid the spotlight, but it is understood keeping silent about his situation for two years due to a police investigation and an active criminal trial put a ‘tremendous strain’ on his mental health.
However, members of the public have been reaching out to him with messages of support and asking how they can contribute to his legal fund.
Mr Lehrmann has five legal teams working on his case, sources say – one of which is respected defamation specialty law firm, Mark O’Brien Legal.
It is understood he may file lawsuits next week.
‘We’re acting in the matter,’ principal solicitor Paul Svilans told Daily Mail Australia earlier on Wednesday.
‘We’re looking to assess whether there’s a matter that’s actionable.’
Bruce Lehrmann was flanked by lawyers when he appeared in the ACT Supreme Court every day during his sexual assault trial in October (pictured)
Brittany Higgins pictured with Lisa Wilkinson. Bruce Lehrmann is considering taking Wilkinson to court over her Project episode when Ms Higgins’ claims were aired on TV for the first time
Daily Mail Australia first reported that Mr Lehrmann’s legal hit list includes Lisa Wilkinson, the production company behind The Project (Rove McManus’s Roving Enterprises), Network Ten and parent company Paramount.
A Channel 10 spokesperson on Tuesday said: ‘As is customary, comment was sought but not provided. Network 10 has received no notice of any claim or proceedings.’
His teams are also considering filing a lawsuit against news.com.au, which is owned by News Corp, over articles written by political journalist Samantha Maiden in February 2021 – when Ms Higgins’ allegations were published for the first time.
It is understood Mr Lehrmann would claim he was not contacted for comment prior to the article being published.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted News Corp for comment.
The ABC is also expected to be in the firing line over comments made during the National Press Club appearance in February 2021 during an address by Ms Higgins and Grace Tame.
The national broadcaster could also appear in court over an article published in March 2021 – five months before Mr Lehrmann was charged with sexual assault and named as Ms Higgins’ alleged rapist
In the article, his former flatmate was named and pictured. Mr Lehrmann would argue that he anyone who knew him or his then-flatmate could have identified him as the alleged rapist.
Bruce Lehrmann is pictured on his way to the ACT Supreme Court during the trial in October
Like Ms Higgins, he is also considering suing the Commonwealth for the way he was treated before and during the trial.
Several other mastheads are also expected to be slapped with lawsuits.
Meanwhile, Ms Higgins marked her 28th birthday on Wednesday with a coffee delivered to her in a hospital ward by her boyfriend David Sharaz.
Daily Mail Australia understands she remains very unwell.
Mr Sharaz uploaded an Instagram story wishing her a happy birthday.
She also posted happy birthday messages to her own Instagram account – including one from her mother, and close friends.
Ms Higgins’ lawyers will launch civil cases against the Commonwealth and her former bosses, MP Linda Reynolds and Senator Michaelia Cash.
Brittany Higgins’ partner David Sharaz (pictured together) had a coffee delivered to her in hospital for her 28th birthday
Documents have been sent to all parties setting out an intention to sue for sexual harassment, sex discrimination, disability discrimination, negligence, and victimisation.
She will claim $2.5million for future economic loss, up to $100,000 for past economic loss, $100,000 for general damages, $20,000 for future assistance with domestic duties and $150,000 for past and future out-of-pocket expenses.
An official claim is yet to be filed as the involved parties prepare to enter into mediation talks on December 13.
It is understood Noor Blumer, a founding partner of Blumers Lawyers has been quietly negotiating the claim since February. She has declined to comment on the matter or any mediation talks.
Ms Higgins’ lawye,r Leon Zwier, who supported her during the criminal case in Canberra, is aware of the claim.