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Lehrmann pursued over damage to luxury property

Bruce Lehrmann caused more than $13,000 worth of damage to a multimillion-dollar property he rented as part of an exclusive TV interview deal, a tribunal has been told.

Jun 12, 2024, updated Jun 12, 2024
Lady Gaynor Meakes has  lodged proceedings against Bruce Lehrmann on the grounds of property damage and loss of rent. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)

Lady Gaynor Meakes has lodged proceedings against Bruce Lehrmann on the grounds of property damage and loss of rent. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)

Lady Gaenor Meakes, the owner of the home on Sydney’s northern beaches, rented the property to Lehrmann with the Seven Network picking up the $100,000 bill.

She has since lodged proceedings against Lehrmann on the grounds of property damage and loss of rent.

A conciliation hearing in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Wednesday was told Lehrmann left the Balgowlah property with $13,250 in damage when he moved out.

Lady Meakes also claims she is owed $6000 in lost rent because Lehrmann left the property three weeks early.

The parties were unable to reach an agreement during a brief tribunal session, which Lehrmann did not attend.

Lady Meakes’ daughter Matilda, who appeared at the tribunal on her mother’s behalf, told reporters “it’s been a ride” while leaving the building.

When asked if the family were aware Lehrmann was the tenant of the luxury property, Meakes replied: “I don’t think anyone would willingly rent to him, would they?”

The property is currently on the rental market with an asking price of just under $2000 a week.

Lady Meakes is married to champion yachtsman Mark Richards, known for his long run as skipper of Wild Oats XI, the nine-time line honours winner at the annual Sydney-Hobart yacht race.

The case is due to return to the tribunal for further directions on June 27.

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Lehrmann in late May lodged a last-minute appeal of his Federal Court defamation loss over a TV interview that aired allegations he raped fellow Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins in Parliament House in March 2019.

Following a long and closely watched trial, a judge found the rape allegations were likely true and dismissed the 28-year-old’s case against broadcaster Network Ten and journalist Lisa Wilkinson.

Lehrmann’s appeal came despite the court previously hearing he had no financial backers in his case and his lawyers had worked on a no-win, no-fee basis.

He is expected to be hit with a multimillion-dollar legal bill to cover Ten and Wilkinson’s costs of defending the defamation trial.

Details of Lehrmann’s deal with Seven to pay the rent for the Balgowlah property were revealed during the defamation trial as the court pored over his agreement for a tell-interview on its flagship Spotlight current-affairs program.

His earlier criminal trial in the ACT Supreme Court over the rape allegation was aborted due to juror misconduct and prosecutors decided not to continue pursuing the case due to concerns for Ms Higgins’ mental health.

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