A jury has heard Brittany Higgins describe rebuffing an attempted kiss from a colleague in the weeks before she woke on a couch at Parliament House to allegedly find him raping her.
The former Liberal staffer told police Bruce Lehrmann did not appear fazed by her becoming alert midway through the alleged attack, saying he treated her like she was "late to the party".
"Trapped, not human," she replied when detectives asked her how she had felt during the alleged sexual assault.
"It didn't feel like it was about me at all."
A video of Ms Higgins telling police this in February 2021 was played for a jury in the ACT Supreme Court on Wednesday, which was the second day of Lehrmann's rape trial.
Lehrmann, who worked with Ms Higgins for then-federal government minister Linda Reynolds at the time in question, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of engaging in sexual intercourse without consent.
He denies having any type of sex with Ms Higgins after what ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold SC has called "a drunken night out" with fellow political staffers in March 2019.
On Wednesday, the jury heard Ms Higgins telling detectives of the "strange, adversarial" relationship she had formed with Lehrmann after joining the office of Senator Reynolds not long before the alleged rape.
She said she had been "the new admin girl for all of three weeks" at the time in question, when she viewed herself as a "lackey" when compared with the more established Lehrmann.
"The disparity between me and him was huge," Ms Higgins told investigators.
Ms Higgins later described the events of the night of in question, saying she was "as drunk as I had ever been in my life" by the time she and Lehrmann went to leave their gathering.
She told detectives Lehrmann wanted to go past Parliament House to collect something, and "it didn't seem unreasonable" to do this despite the late hour because of a culture that made political staffers feel like "work is your home".
In Senator Reynolds' office after the pair arrived, Ms Higgins fell asleep on a couch.
She told detectives that when she came to, "Bruce was having intercourse with me".
"I had the sense that it had been going on for a while," Ms Higgins told police.
The alleged victim described being "pinned" in the corner of the couch and crying "pretty much as soon as I came to because I couldn't get up".
She added that she said "no", but Lehrmann seemed to treat her waking up as "an afterthought" and did not acknowledge her protests.
"It felt like I was coming late to the party," Ms Higgins told police.
After the alleged rape, Ms Higgins said there was "a strange moment of just ... eye contact" before Lehrmann got up and left the office.
She subsequently threw up in a toilet, she said, and ate a box of chocolates while crying to herself.
Several hours after the alleged attack, Ms Higgins "borrowed one of the minister's jackets", put it over the dress she had worn on the night out and left Parliament House.
That was on a Saturday morning and she said she spent the remainder of the weekend crying in her bedroom, emerging only to get food.
Ms Higgins then returned to work on the Monday after the alleged rape, describing herself as being "on autopilot".
"He didn't seem ashamed," she told police of her subsequent observations of Lehrmann at work.
"He didn't seem upset. [The alleged rape] just didn't seem like something he wanted to address."
The jury also watched a second police interview, conducted with Ms Higgins in May 2021, on Wednesday.
In that video, Ms Higgins tearfully explained being "really cognisant of all the party implications" after the alleged rape and feeling "so stupid" about her initial fear of reporting it.
She also discussed her introduction to the "shambolic" office of Senator Reynolds, whose "haphazard" staff conducted her initial job interview of sorts at the Kingston Hotel.
Office staff regularly went for "team-building" dinners at the same Canberra pub, Ms Higgins later said, claiming Lehrmann had attempted to kiss her there after they became colleagues.
She could not recall exactly when this was said to have occurred, but she said she believed that it had taken place on a Wednesday in the three-week period before the alleged rape.
"I rebuffed the kiss," Ms Higgins later told the court from the witness stand, adding that she had been shocked and had not been expecting it.
Wednesday's evidence ended with the jury being shown CCTV footage from The Dock in Kingston, where Ms Higgins and Lehrmann were socialising with others hours before the alleged rape.
The trial, before the jury and Chief Justice Lucy McCallum, continues.