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Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann has filed an appeal against a historic defamation ruling that had rejected his multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Network Ten and presenter Lisa Wilkinson, and concluded that he most likely raped Brittany Higgins at Parliament House.

Despite not being included in a criminal conviction since the trial was canceled, Lehrmann's said his image had suffered greatly as a result of this finding, The Guardian reported.

It's yet unknown how Lehrmann will pay for the appeal or find legal counsel, especially in light of the high fees that were assessed against him in the first instance.

Lehrmann continues to maintain his innocence in an Australian-wide lawsuit. The accusation is based on an event that happened at Parliament House in 2019 when Lehrmann and Higgins were both staff members.

Higgins said that following a night of drinking, Lehrmann sexually assaulted her on a minister's couch. Lehrmann refuted the charge and entered a not-guilty plea during a criminal trial that was eventually halted by juror misbehavior.

In February 2021, Ten and Wilkinson broadcasted the programme "The Project," which comprised an interview with Higgins, in which she claimed she was raped by a staffer, without saying Lehrmann's name.

Lehrmann had said their description identified him, following which he filed the defamation proceedings.

However, in April, Justice Michael Lee found that Lehrmann was not defamed by Ten and Wilkinson.

"In summary, I consider it more likely than not that in those early hours, after a long night of conviviality and drinking and having successfully brought Ms. Higgins back to a secluded place, Mr Lehrmann was hellbent on having sex with a woman he found attractive" and knew was intoxicated, Lee wrote in his April ruling, ABC News reported.