Brittany Higgins has denied she fabricated being "10 out of 10" drunk on the night she claims being raped inside a federal ministerial office. On Tuesday, the woman also denied purposefully deleting text messages she had sent to a number of people crucial to the Parliament House sexual assault case. In February 2021, Ms Higgins publicly aired her allegation of being raped to Lisa Wilkinson on a broadcast of The Project. An aborted criminal trial, a dropped charge, an inquiry into the case and legal action would all follow, amid a continuing media circus. Bruce Lehrmann is suing the high-profile journalist and Network Ten over the television interview, which he claims identified and defamed him as the unnamed perpetrator. The Federal Court defamation trial has now entered its ninth day and could run for a month. Ms Higgins returned to the witness box for what was set to be almost her third full day of cross-examination led by Steven Whybrow SC, representing Mr Lehrmann. "We've seen you walk though the metal detector twice in high heels in a straight line," Mr Whybrow said after the court watched footage of Ms Higgins and Mr Lehrmann arriving at Parliament House in the early hours of March 23, 2019. "You agree there doesn't appear to be any staggering or swerving in your gait?" Unable to control the emotion in her voice, Ms Higgins responded: "Couldn't put on my shoes straight after this, you going to show that?" The court has previously heard on multiple occasions from Ms Higgins that she was extremely intoxicated on the night and she considered herself perhaps the most drunk she had ever been. Mr Lehrmann denies observing his then-colleague to be overly drunk. "Are you kidding? Sorry, no I was very drunk," the woman responded through tears after the barrister put to her she had lied in exaggerating her level of intoxication. CCTV shows Ms Higgins skipping away from the security entrance holding her shoes. "You don't look 10 out of 10 drunk or in distress at that point," Mr Whybrow put to the witness. She responded: "I hadn't been raped yet but I was skipping in parliament with no shoes on. So, it indicates someone is pretty drunk." Earlier, Mr Whybrow accused Ms Higgins of deleting text message exchanges with a number of people whose names have become familiar throughout the trial. "I'm suggesting you systematically went through and deleted communications you had with people who are witnesses and whose communications might have undone what you were saying to police and The Project," Mr Whybrow said. The court heard Ms Higgins had deleted messages with her housemate, a Parliament House security guard she messaged on the morning of the alleged rape to cancel a date, and her Bumble date from the night in question. The woman denied any malice, said she preferred to keep her inboxes clean and that she had no intention of keeping contact with the two men. Ms Higgins did admit purposefully deleting one photo she was "really ashamed of" before handing her phone to police. The photo, she told the court, was of her wearing a "make America great again" hat someone had placed on her head. Ms Higgins said she "would have loved" to have retained messages sent to former staffer colleagues Lauren Gain and Nicky Hamer. "If anything, they would have helped me. So, I wish they were in existence," Ms Higgins said. The court also heard communications with senators Michaelia Cash and Linda Reynolds, Ms Higgins' former parliamentary bosses, were deleted "much later down the track". However, the woman again said this had not been "malicious". She attributed much of the lost communication to having five phones in five years and different iCloud accounts. "Things just got lost," Ms Higgins said. MORE TRIAL COVERAGE: "I wasn't very good with maintaining my data over this time." Ms Higgins defended having "accidentally" deleted a 2019 message to former partner Ben Dillaway, telling him she was not planning to pursue a criminal charge and "it's all beyond strange". While Mr Whybrow said the text was intentionally deleted because it contradicting her account to The Project, Ms Higgins said she was glad it existed because "it actually corroborates my stuff". Mr Whybrow was previously warned Tuesday would be his last chance to press and make attempts to discredit Ms Higgins under questioning after concerns were expressed by counsel for Ten and Ms Wilkinson. That time constraint appeared to change at the new day's start. "Although it is fair to say [the cross-examination] has not moved along at the speed of summer lightning, this is not entirely due to the mode of questioning adopted by the cross-examiner, and I do not consider the cross-examination has strayed beyond proper limits," Justice Michael Lee said. The judge would later tell Ms Higgins she could shorten her time in the witness box if she listened to counsel questions, answered them carefully and didn't "make speeches". But as the day continued, Justice Lee also made clear Mr Whybrow's leash was not endless. At one stage, he hurried along the barrister because a line of questioning "really does seem at the margin of things". And the judge's patience only appeared to wear thinner as the day progressed, asking Mr Whybrow if it was necessary to go through a series of texts "seriatim", or point by point. "I'm wondering if we can shortcut this?," Justice Lee asked. READ MORE ABOUT THE TRIAL: Later again, the live stream camera, which should have been pointed at the witness box, inadvertently recorded Justice Lee strenuously rubbing his forehead with his eyes closed. "I think we've been through this a number of times," the judge said on this occasion. No findings have been made against Mr Lehrmann, who has always denied raping Ms Higgins in March 2019 when the pair worked for the then-defence industry minister. The charge of engaging in sexual intercourse without consent levelled at him was dropped. The trial continues.