TV presenter Lisa Wilkinson seemingly has nowhere to hide from the fallout of her infamous Logies speech, even coming under fire from colleagues and former co-workers.
Long-time Channel 10 weather presenter Tim Bailey, who left the station in 2020, was especially scathing, telling The Project host to “Pull ya head in”.
In his tweet, he went on to say: “I know this might be difficult, because it is a very big head. But please try.”
Wilkinson caused the trial of Bruce Lehrmann, the man accused of raping Brittany Higgins, to be delayed indefinitely after overstepping the mark in her speech while accepting the Logie on Sunday for her interview with the former Liberal staffer in January 2021.
ACT Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum said Wilkinson’s speech “completely obliterated” the line between allegation and guilt of the alleged sexual assault in Parliament House in Canberra on March 22, 2019.
Ironically, Wilkinson had herself in August 2021 implored “everyone to respect what’s in play here”.
“Naming the man on social media & passing judgment could have dire consequences for the outcome of any trial,” she tweeted.
Sydney Channel 10 news anchor Sandra Sully also made her feelings felt on the issue, liking a tweet from showbusiness reporter Peter Ford blasting Wilkinson’s speech.
“Such serious consequences from Lisa Wilkinson … if only she’d stuck to silly stories like the paparazzi who stalked her in Chapel St,” he posted.
Channel 7 Sunrise host Natalie Barr also stuck the boot into Wilkinson, saying she should have run her speech past lawyers.
‘You know, we have our own lawyers. We often consult them before we put a story to air,” she said.
“Would this have been the case where Channel 10’s lawyers should have stepped in and lawyered this speech?”
On Sunrise on Wednesday morning, Australian Bar Association president Matthew Collins said there was a real possibility authorities may look into charging Wilkinson with contempt of court.
“It’s certainly possible that the authorities will be looking at the speech that she made to the Logies and assessing that speech against the standard that applies in this branch of the law,” he said.
“That standard is, did anything that she did do have a tendency to interfere with the administration of justice?”
Incredibly, it has emerged that Wilkinson was warned just four days before the Logies not to jeopardize the trial by speaking about Ms Higgins at the event.
The court was told that Wilkinson was given a “clear and appropriate” warning during a pretrial conference on June 15 that the defense could launch a stay application in the event of increased publicity
At the time, she offered to read out her prepared Logies speech (noting she did not think she would win) but was stopped when the prosecution said they were not “speech editors”.
Lawyers for Mr Lehrmann said the case had been prejudiced by Wilkinson’s remarks by endorsing the credibility of Ms Higgins’ allegations and clearly represented a “contempt of court”.
‘Your honour, this speech did not need to be made,’ defense barrister Steve Whybrow said.
The Supreme Court was told Wilkinson would be called as a witness at the trial.
Justice McCallum said Wilkinson’s speech about Ms Higgins amounted to saying: “Not only do I believe her but she’s brave and extraordinary and she’s the most important thing that’s ever happened to me.”
The trial was initially due to begin on June 6 but was delayed until June 27.
A new date has not been set.