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Lisa Wilkinson is suing Network 10, claiming her former employer backed out of an agreement to pay her legal costs in their defamation suit brought by Bruce Lehrmann, according to a report on Thursday.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the broadcaster is refusing to pay a $370,000 invoice for legal services after Wilkinson hired star barrister barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC and Gillis Delaney Lawyers partner Anthony Jefferies earlier this year, instead of opting to use Network 10’s retained law firm Thomson Geer.

The star quit Channel 10’s The Project in November 2022 saying she had been subject to “targeted toxicity”.

Wilkinson has now launched legal action in the NSW Supreme Court, alleging that Network 10 twice accepted it was liable to indemnify the TV star even if she was “independently represented”, according to the report.

Mr Lehrmann is suing Network 10, Wilkinson and the ABC for defamation over their reporting of a sexual assault allegation made by Brittany Higgins in 2019.

Mr Lehrmann has alleged that Wilkinson’s interview with Ms Higgins on The Project, which was broadcast on February 15, 2021, conveyed a series of defamatory meanings, including that he raped Ms Higgins in then defence industry minister Linda Reynolds’ office in 2019.

Wilkinson was nominated for two Walkley Awards and won a Logie Award for the interview. She announced she was leaving the current affairs show last November.

Mr Lehrmann stood trial in the ACT Supreme Court last year after pleading not guilty to sexually assaulting Ms Higgins, but the trial was aborted due to juror misconduct.

The charges were subsequently dropped by ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold and Mr Lehrmann has continued to deny the allegation.

An inquiry, headed by retired Queensland judge Walter Sofronoff, was established to examine the conduct of Mr Drumgold and criminal justice agencies in the case against Mr Lehrmann.

The inquiry handed down its final report in August, delivering a scathing rebuke of Mr Drumgold’s conduct and leading to his resignation.

Mr Sofronoff found the decision to charge and prosecute Mr Lehrmann was the correct course of action but made several serious findings of misconduct against Mr Drumgold.

In June, the federal court ruled that the Mr Lehrmann’s defamation lawsuit would be decided by a judge and not a jury, after finding there was a risk of prejudice due to the amount of publicity surrounding the case.

The case is expected to start on November 22, with Ms Higgins and Mr Lehrmann both expected to give evidence.

— with NCA NewsWire

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