Lisa Wilkinson has been spotted at Brisbane Airport on her way home after giving a keynote speech at an International Women’s Day event.
The former Project co-host looked classy in a button-up black dress and white sneakers as she strolled solo through the airport on Friday afternoon.
She wheeled her suitcase through the terminal with her boarding pass in hand as she chatted on her phone with a serious expression on her face.
She stayed on her phone while she checked in and went through the security gates for her flight home back to Sydney.
Wilkinson is said to have sauntered past copies of her biography – which were on sale at 30 percent at the airport newsagent.
Previously, her biggest fans braved the rain in designer outfits to watch the former TV presenter rave about her career and a year-old book – in a remote pub below the slot machines.
Lisa Wilkinson was spotted at Brisbane airport preparing to fly home to Sydney on Friday
Wilkinson, 63, has been notably absent from the limelight since she stepped down as host of The Project last year, following a tumultuous 2022 that saw her flipping her Logie acceptance speech for her interview with Brittany Higgins.
She is now being sued for defamation by Ms Higgins’ alleged rapist, Bruce Lehrmann, over that same interview. He strenuously denies sexually assaulting Ms Higgins in Parliament House in 2019.
The veteran journalist has hired her own legal team to challenge the lawsuit and convince a judge that Ms Higgins’ allegations are true and that her TV interview was therefore not defamatory.
In the meantime the former television host is slowly getting closer to her slowly started to get back into the spotlight – namely as a keynote speaker at a ‘low-key’ business lunch on Friday afternoon, to celebrate International Women’s Day.
The venue for her triumphant return was the Eatons Hill Hotel – a lesser-known pub and events venue about 25 minutes north of Brisbane that has a reputation for NRL brawls and raucous crowds.
Wilkinson was in Brisbane to deliver a keynote speech at an International Women’s Day event
Her biography was discounted 30 percent in the Brisbane airport newspaper
Nevertheless, the sold-out event set customers back $140 each. Tickets included a two-course lunch, drinks, and a lengthy networking event following Wilkinson’s two-hour speech.
A security guard stood at the front of the banquet hall ahead of the ticket collectors and questioned anyone who looked even slightly out of place.
A fan held a copy of Wilkinson’s 2021 memoir, It wasn’t meant to be, as she told the organizers, she did not have a ticket for the event. She asked for an autograph instead, but was turned down.
In the room directly above the function room where Wilkinson’s fans talked excitedly about what to expect at the exclusive event, middle-aged and older men in shorts and T-shirts sat by the slots holding cold schooners.
An ad before lunch said Wilkinson would spend the two-hour session enlightening her fans on ‘how a young girl from Sydney’s Western Suburbs became such a force in Australian media and our cultural life’.
The blurb of the event was eerily similar to a speech Wilkinson gave last year at another International Women’s Day function, which was hosted by Marie Claire at a posh hotel in Sydney’s CBD, and featured Ms Higgins as a guest speaker.
At that event, Wilkinson hailed how she was a girl from Campbelltown in Sydney’s western suburbs who applied for a job as an editorial assistant at Dolly’s and became the magazine’s editor at the age of 19 with no qualifications.
Wilkinson has had a 40-year career in media and now earns an eye-watering seven-figure salary. Despite her impressive resume, she claimed she “didn’t know” how it all happened.
During her interview with Ms Higgins about The Project in 2021, the former parliamentary aide claimed she had been raped by ‘a male colleague’ in Parliament House two years earlier.
Lisa Wilkinson looked serious as she spoke on her phone while waiting for the flight home
The former Project star stayed on her phone for much of the time at the airport
Mr Lehrmann was not mentioned during the TV programme, nor was he publicly identified as Ms Higgins’ alleged rapist until August 2021, when he was formally charged with assault.
He pleaded not guilty and continues to maintain his innocence.
According to a claim filed in Federal Court on Feb. 7, Lehrmann will allege that Channel 10 and Wilkinson were “recklessly indifferent to truth or falsehood” when the allegations against him were made.
In particular, it will be alleged that Wilkinson “tried to exploit Higgins’ false sexual assault allegations for her own personal and professional gain.”
Lehrmann, a former political staffer, vehemently denies any sexual contact with Ms. Higgins.
Channel 10’s lawyers at Thomson Geer filed papers saying they would represent Wilkinson; however, new papers filed less than a day later said the scheme had ended.
Federal court documents revealed that Wilkinson would instead be represented by Gillis Delaney Lawyers and his partner Anthony Jefferies.
She also hired Sue Chrysanthou, defamation attorney. It is clear that Wilkinson will fund the legal team himself.
Lisa Wilkinson wore a black button-up dress that was paired with white sneakers
Wilkinson was a guest speaker at an event at the Eatons Hill Hotel on Friday before later flying home