Sydney, Australia, Dec 14 (EFE).- Brittany Higgins, who claimed that she experienced sexual abuse in Australia’s parliament in 2019, reached a confidential settlement with the Commonwealth, her lawyer said.
“At a mediation held today, the Commonwealth and Ms Higgins settled her claims,” Nora Blumer said late Tuesday.
“At the request of Ms Higgins, the parties have agreed that the terms of the settlement are confidential,” she added.
Earlier this month, Higgins filed a civil action suit against former Defense Industry Minister Linda Reynolds – her boss at the time she was allegedly raped -, Michaelia Cash, at whose office she went to work after the incident, and the Commonwealth.
At the time, local media reported that Higgins was seeking compensation worth some AU$3 million ($2 million).
However, the amount that was finally agreed upon is unknown, due to the confidentiality clause.
The settlement comes after the retrial of Higgin’s alleged rapist came to an abrupt end on Dec. 2 due to concerns it would pose a risk to Higgins’ wellbeing.
In February 2021, Higgins alleged that she was raped by former colleague Bruce Lehrmann – who has denied the allegations – in Reynolds’ office on Mar. 22, 2019.
The first trial against Lehrmann was cut short in October due to juror misconduct.
His retrial was scheduled to be held in February 2023.
Higgins’ case prompted other women to come forward with complaints of sexual harassment and assault in the Australian parliament and led to a series of investigations into the alleged crimes and handling of these cases.
In February, then Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other officials issued formal apologies in parliament to those who had experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault and bullying and acknowledged that many complaints were silenced due to “fear about electoral consequence.” EFE