The project’s hosts are avoiding the elephant in the room, as Lisa Wilkinson is absent from the panel

Wilkinson did not appear in The Project on Thursday evening and there was no talk about the case or her speech at Logies.

Network Ten has hit back at “unfair” criticism of Lisa Wilkinson in the wake of her speech at Logies, which helped delay the trial of Brittany Higgins’ alleged rapist, Bruce Lehrmann.

Wilkinson did not appear in The Project on Thursday evening and there was no talk about the case or her speech at Logies.

She was said to be on tonight’s show, but her seat was instead occupied by co-host Georgie Tunny, alongside Waleed Aly, Tony Armstrong and Tom Cashman.

The network fired back at stories about Wilkinson Thursday night, saying some were “inaccurate and unfair.”

“This coverage is now causing significant harm and we are asking these organizations to end this harassment so that Lisa has the best opportunity to give her testimony in court and to ensure that the trial is fair and timely.” A spokesperson for the network said. said.

“We are closely monitoring any coverage of this issue and Lisa and Network 10 reserve their rights with respect to future defamation claims.

“Network 10 continues to fully support Lisa in her continued and full commitment to do the right thing as a witness in the process.”

Lehrmann’s lawyer Steve Whybrow filed Thursday morning for the trial to begin early next year because “the wildfires are still burning” after Wilkinson’s speech.

“My request would be, as far as the bushfire is still in effect, that the trial begin early next year because we want there to be no further issues and delays,” he told the ACT Supreme Court.

“We can foresee the possibility that there are additional matters that need to be investigated related to the circumstances that led to the abandonment.”

But ACT chief Lucy McCallum said a three-month extension was more appropriate and the four-week trial will now begin in October.

Lehrmann has pleaded not guilty and passed a police interrogation stating that he did not have sex with Ms Higgins.

In her speech accepting a Silver Logie for her interview with Ms. Higgins on The Project, Wilkinson “fully erased the line between an accusation and a finding of guilt,” Judge McCallum told the court on Tuesday.

Wilkinson was given a “clear and appropriate” warning by prosecutors not to make public statements about the case at a conference on June 15 to discuss the evidence she would be required to give as a witness at trial, Judge McCallum said.

Network 10 could be set to cough up an extraordinary amount of cash to smooth over speech after hiring high-profile attorney Matthew Collins on behalf of the network and Wilkinson.

Hours before being hired by Channel 10, Mr Collins – chairman of the Australian Bar Association – told Seven’s Sunrise on Wednesday morning that The Project’s host may be in serious trouble.

“It is certainly possible that the authorities will look at the speech she gave to the Logies and assess (whether) that speech violated the standard applicable in this branch of the law,” said Dr. collins.

“That norm is, did she do anything that tended to disrupt the administration of justice?”

Ten confirmed that Dr. Collins was summoned to represent the network and Wilkinson, adding that Ten “fully supports Lisa Wilkinson”.

“Both Network 10 and Lisa Wilkinson take their legal obligations very seriously, including in preparing and delivering her speech at the Logies event,” said a spokeswoman.

“In light of the ongoing proceedings, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

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