A former federal government staffer has described having a bad feeling about then-colleague Bruce Lehrmann, whom she did not like spending time with. "When I started at that office, I had bad vibes on Bruce ... he's not the sort of person I would have socialised with," Major Nikita Irvine told the Federal Court on Thursday. Barrister Matthew Collins KC asked her to explain. "It's women's intuition, Dr Collins. I'm sorry, I just didn't really want to spend time with him," she responded Major Irvine, a former aide-de-camp for Senator Linda Reynolds, offered up her view of Mr Lehrmann as he sat on the opposite side of the room. She is giving evidence as part of ongoing defamation proceedings he has brought against journalist Lisa Wilkinson and Network Ten. Mr Lehrmann is suing the parties over a 2021 interview with Brittany Higgins which did not name him but aired her allegation of being raped inside Parliament House two years earlier. He claims the broadcast identified him as the alleged perpetrator, damaging his reputation and publicly maligning him as "probably one of the more revolting predators of the recent history of this country". The trial, expected to last a month, has already seen heated and conflicting multi-day testimonies from Ms Higgins and Mr Lehrmann. Ten is making its way through a list of 20 witnesses, including security guards, police officers and expert witnesses, as part of its attempt to prove the allegation is substantially true and reporting it was in the public interest. Major Irvine was one of many staffers present at The Dock on March 22, 2019, hours before Ms Higgins claims she was raped inside a ministerial office. While Ms Higgins and Mr Lehrmann continued their night by going to Civic nightclub 88mph, Major Irvine decided to instead go home. "I didn't want to go to clubs with colleagues I wasn't friends with," Major Irvine said. The court previously heard she received a message the following morning from fellow staffer Lauren Gain, who had attended 88mph, that said: "Brittany Hooked up with Bruce." But Major Irvine wouldn't find out about the rape allegation until a few days later at work, where she was told about a "serious" incident that "involved Bruce". She later invited Ms Higgins on a walk because she said her colleague, whom she described as not being close with, "was very down". MORE TRIAL COVERAGE: After Ms Higgins disclosed the alleged assault, Major Irvine told chief of staff Fiona Brown she knew what had allegedly occurred. The court heard Ms Brown told Major Irvine: "[Mr Lehrmann] wasn't hard to get rid of because of a security incident." However, Major Irvine said she was left with the impression her chief of staff was not "entirely sure it was an assault". Ms Higgins has given evidence she had disclosed her allegation to Ms Brown by this time. Upon a similar conversation between Major Irvine and Senator Reynolds, the court heard the-then defence industry minister said: "Yes, this makes me feel sick. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before." Mr Lehrmann has always denied raping Ms Higgins in 2019 and no findings have been made against him. His criminal trial was aborted last year due to juror misconduct and the charge levelled at him was later dropped. On Thursday, the Federal Court is also hearing from security guards present at Parliament House on the night in question and the first friend Ms Higgins' disclosed her allegation to. More to come.