Brittany Higgins’ and Grace Tame’s full press club address removed after defamation claim against ABC | Australian media #Brittany #Higgins #Grace #Tames #full #press #club #address #removed #defamation #claim #ABC #Australian #media

The video of Brittany Higgins’ and Grace Tame’s full National Press Club address on the treatment of women has been removed from YouTube after defamation proceedings were lodged against the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The ABC has for months resisted legal demands for the video to be removed from YouTube, prompting Bruce Lehrmann to sue in the federal court for defamation last week.

But the joint press club address, which lasted for more than an hour, has disappeared from the ABC’s channel on YouTube in recent days.

The link now displays an error message simply stating: “This video isn’t available any more.”

Guardian Australia understands that YouTube did not remove the video.

Lehrmann sent a concerns notice to the ABC in February which gave the broadcaster less than two months to remove the press club address from its YouTube channel. When the deadline passed without the video’s removal, Lehrmann’s legal team lodged proceedings in court.

The ABC did not respond to questions about why the video had now been removed.

Aside from any allegedly defamatory material, last year’s joint address by Tame and Higgins focused on the experience of women and the need for legislative reform and institutional and cultural change.

It also advocated for increased participation of women in politics and included criticism of the former prime minister Scott Morrison and his government’s treatment of women.

Tame, a survivor of child sexual abuse, spoke at length of the effects of abuse on children, the systemic factors that allow it and the failings of the courts, social media and the press.

The ABC’s YouTube channel still has a separate 20-minute video of Tame’s address online, but it does not depict any of Higgins’ speech or either her or Tame’s responses to journalists’ questions.

The YouTube clip remained online and had received about 127,000 views by the time Lehrmann’s defamation claim was filed on 5 April.

Lehrmann alleges the broadcasts defamed him by suggesting he raped Higgins, which he denies.

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His claim alleges he suffered aggravated hurt and harm by the decision to show the address live, rather than using a delay system so that “any potentially defamatory statements of and concerning the applicant could be removed prior to publication”.

He says the publication of the address during his criminal proceedings was an “apparent contemptuous attempt to prejudice the jury before whom the proceedings were being heard as against the applicant”.

Lehrmann was not named in the press club address, but he alleges he was readily identifiable. Lehrmann had been identified in media reports after being charged in August 2021, well before the press club address.

The case is separate to the claim lodged by Lehrmann against Network Ten and a News Corp subsidiary. Those claims relate to the initial reporting of Higgins’ allegations in February 2021.

Lehrmann’s case against Network Ten and News Corp will be brought back to the federal court on 28 April for a key ruling on whether he is able to sue outside the usual 12-month time limit.

He previously argued he delayed bringing the proceedings due to legal advice and the prospect and then reality of criminal proceedings.

Lehrmann pleaded not guilty to an allegation that he raped Higgins in the office of their then boss, former cabinet minister Linda Reynolds. The trial against him was aborted due to juror misconduct and prosecutors declined to proceed with a retrial due to fears for Higgins’ mental health.

#Brittany #Higgins #Grace #Tames #full #press #club #address #removed #defamation #claim #ABC #Australian #media

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