EXCLUSIVE 

Brittany Higgins and her fiancé David Sharaz have arrived at their new French chateau after leaving Australia behind with a multi-million dollar payout.

The couple stepped out of a dark-coloured Volvo at their sprawling five-bedroom chateau on the outskirts of Lunas on Thursday – a sleepy village in the south of France with a population of just 600 people. 

They were wearing matching beige trench coats for the gloomy winter weather after travelling from the 4.5 star Sheraton Bordeaux Airport hotel.

The couple were later spotted walking hand-in-hand as they headed to WFS Bordeaux where they reunited with their beloved cavoodle, Kingston.

They then headed to their chateau to start their new life.

Around 17,047km away back home in Australia, Bruce Lerhmann is living a less idyllic life, spotted on his Sydney apartment balcony cleaning up his dog’s poo.

Brittany Higgins and her fiancé David Sharaz have arrived at their new French home after leaving Australia behind with a multi-million dollar payout

The couple stepped out of a dark-coloured Volvo at their sprawling five-bedroom chateau on the outskirts of Lunas on Thursday

The couple stepped out of a dark-coloured Volvo at their sprawling five-bedroom chateau on the outskirts of Lunas on Thursday

The property, which has a massive pool and a gazebo for entertaining, is surrounded by protective hedges and a large iron gate, and is estimated to be worth about AU$600,000.

Lunas is home to a city hall, bakery, one pizza place, a horse center and a church, along with an automatic baguette machine.

Ms Higgins received about $2.4million from the taxpayer in 2022 based on claims her political career was in ruins after she alleged she was raped by former colleague Bruce Lehrmann in Parliament House in 2019.

Mr Lehrmann has continually denied the allegations and is currently suing Channel 10 and Lisa Wilkinson – who broke the story on The Project in 2021 – for defamation.

It’s been a tumultuous few years for Ms Higgins after Bruce Lehrmann’s criminal trial in 2022 was abandoned because of jury misconduct and a subsequent retrial also called off due to concerns for her mental health.

She and Mr Sharaz are now hoping to start afresh at their peaceful, lush green property overlooking the quiet village – following the arrival of their dog in Bordeaux. 

The couple walked hand-in-hand as they headed to WFS Bordeaux to pick their beloved pooch

The couple walked hand-in-hand as they headed to WFS Bordeaux to pick their beloved pooch 

Brittany Higgins was all smiles as she was reunited with pet cavoodle Kingston

Brittany Higgins was all smiles as she was reunited with pet cavoodle Kingston

As Brittany Higgins and David Sharaz started a new life in France, Bruce Lehrmann was spotted picking up his dog's poo on his balcony back in Sydney

As Brittany Higgins and David Sharaz started a new life in France, Bruce Lehrmann was spotted picking up his dog’s poo on his balcony back in Sydney

Bruce Lehrmann was pictured on Thursday cleaning up after his dog (both pictured)

Bruce Lehrmann was pictured on Thursday cleaning up after his dog (both pictured)

The couple left Brisbane International Airport on Monday night dressed head-to-toe in white – to show solidarity to the women’s suffragette movement – and landed at the Charles de Gaulle airport on Wednesday evening (AEDT) wearing all black.

During a stopover in Singapore, Ms Higgins posted to social media: ‘No matter how far or how wide I roam, I still call Australia home’. 

But after extraordinary revelations earlier this week, Ms Higgins’ new dream life could be in jeopardy.

Former defence minister Linda Reynolds is suing Ms Higgins and Mr Sharaz for defamation in the Supreme Court of Western Australia, and will apply for and order to freeze Ms Higgins’ assets.

If successful, the freezing order would stop Ms Higgins from selling or moving assets amid the ongoing legal action.

It comes as closing submissions began on Thursday at Mr Lehrmann’s defamation trial where he is suing Channel 10 and Lisa Wilkinson.

Wilkinson’s barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC told the court the TV star had limited responsibilities when it came to The Project broadcast featuring Ms Higgins.

Wilkinson accepted a Logie award for that interview, but Ms Chrysanthou said: ‘Her role in the publication, as for the actual content that was published, was actually very limited.’

Brittany Higgins and her fiancé David Sharaz have settled into their new chateau in the sleepy village pf Lunas

Brittany Higgins and her fiancé David Sharaz have settled into their new chateau in the sleepy village pf Lunas 

The couple were pictured leaving the Sheraton Hotel as they headed to WFS Bordeaux to pick their dog from quarantine

The couple were pictured leaving the Sheraton Hotel as they headed to WFS Bordeaux to pick their dog from quarantine

Brittany Higgins and her fiancé headed home after picking up their cavoodle from quarantine

Brittany Higgins and her fiancé headed home after picking up their cavoodle from quarantine

The chateau is surrounded by protective hedges and a large iron gate

The chateau is surrounded by protective hedges and a large iron gate

The sleepy village of Lunas in the south of France with a population of just 600 people

The sleepy village of Lunas in the south of France with a population of just 600 people

The property has a massive pool and a gazebo for entertaining

The property has a massive pool and a gazebo for entertaining

The chateau is estimated to be worth about AU$600,000

The chateau is estimated to be worth about AU$600,000

Ms Higgins and Mr Sharaz are now hoping to start fresh at their peaceful, lush green prairie overlooking the village

Ms Higgins and Mr Sharaz are now hoping to start fresh at their peaceful, lush green prairie overlooking the village

David Sharaz is pictured strolling outside the Sheraton Bordeaux

David Sharaz is pictured strolling outside the Sheraton Bordeaux 

Brittany Higgins pictured at the Sheraton Bordeaux

Brittany Higgins pictured at the Sheraton Bordeaux

She told the court Ms Higgins and Mr Sharaz did contact Wilkinson about the story in the first instance, but she wasn’t copied into ’80 or 90 per cent’ of messages and emails between her producers.

‘To the extent she is included in emails and makes suggestions, for the most part [they] were not taken up,’ Ms Chrysanthou said.

‘She has no decision-making power.’

Ms Chrysanthou also told the court there was no doubt Ms Higgins and Mr Lehrmann went back to Parliament House on March 23, 2019, to have sex – arguing that he lied about missing calls from his girlfriend for that very reason.

‘There’s no other rational reason for them to go there,’ she said.

‘It’s also possible, given the evidence one has heard from an objective perspective as to Ms Higgins’ conduct and the fact that she clearly was very intoxicated, that could have been her intent as well at that point.

‘She doesn’t remember and arguably is too intoxicated … in her intoxicated state, that could have been her intent.’

Ms Chrysanthou told the court there was no second phone in the CCTV footage from the pub and Parliament House that night, and Mr Lehrmann was continually seen checking one phone.

The couple departed Brisbane International Airport on Monday night dressed head-to-toe in white - to show solidarity to the women's suffragette movement - landed at the Charles de Gaulle airport on Wednesday evening (AEDT) wearing all black.

The couple departed Brisbane International Airport on Monday night dressed head-to-toe in white – to show solidarity to the women’s suffragette movement – landed at the Charles de Gaulle airport on Wednesday evening (AEDT) wearing all black.

Ms Higgins received about $2.4million from the taxpayer in 2022 based on claims her political career was in ruins after she alleged she was raped by former colleague Bruce Lehrmann in Parliament House in 2019

Ms Higgins received about $2.4million from the taxpayer in 2022 based on claims her political career was in ruins after she alleged she was raped by former colleague Bruce Lehrmann in Parliament House in 2019

‘He loves his phone, he’s always looking at his phone,’ she said.

‘The notion that his phone was upside-down and on silent and he missed his girlfriend’s calls for 20 minutes is a lie.

‘He was ignoring phone calls from his girlfriend because he was having sex with Ms Higgins.’

She said they went into Parliament House at the same time, he came down 40 minutes later alone and ‘in a hurry’, and there was no one else with them.

Justice Michael Lee also told the court that parts of both Ms Higgins and Mr Lehrmann’s evidence in the trial can’t be relied upon.

‘The two principal witnesses have real credit issues and various parts of each witness’ evidence simply can’t be accepted,’ Justice Lee said.

‘And various parts of each witness’s evidence simply can’t be accepted, it seems to me,’ he continued.

Ten’s barrister Matthew Collins KC agreed with those statements.

He added: ‘In respect of both key protagonists, we will seek to persuade Your Honour that there was a qualitative difference between the dishonesty of Mr Lehrmann and the successful credit attacks that were levelled at Ms Higgins.’

Mr Lehrmann is currently suing Channel 10 and Lisa Wilkinson (pictured right) - who broke the story on The Project in 2021 - for defamation

Mr Lehrmann is currently suing Channel 10 and Lisa Wilkinson (pictured right) – who broke the story on The Project in 2021 – for defamation

Bruce Lehrmann has continually denied the allegations of rape

Bruce Lehrmann has continually denied the allegations of rape 

Dr Collins said their separate accounts of what happened on the evening of March 23, 2019, are ‘utterly irreconcilable’.

‘Successful attacks were made in cross-examination on the credit of both Mr Lehrmann and Ms Higgins, but we would submit that the success of those attacks was qualitatively different.

‘Mr Lehrmann was revealed to be a fundamentally dishonest man who was prepared to say and do anything that he perceived to advance his interests.

‘He was wholly unconcerned with giving the court an honest account of the events of the 22nd and 23rd March 2019.’

Ms Higgins alleged Mr Lehrmann, her former colleague, raped her in Parliament House in March 2019.

He has continually denied the allegation and is now suing Lisa Wilkinson and The Project over an interview with Ms Higgins about her allegations in February 2021.

Mr Lehrmann was not named in that broadcast but claims former colleagues were able to identify him as the alleged rapist. 

Fuente