“Are you sitting down?” – these are the words spoken by Ben Roberts-Smith’s wife the moment she came face-to-face with her husband’s alleged “mistress”, according to a trove of revealing court documents.
The Federal Court, on Friday, released intimate texts between Emma Roberts, the soldier’s ex wife, and her lifelong best friend Danielle Scott.
Ms Scott held a privileged position inside the intensely private Roberts-Smith clan when newspapers began publishing allegations Mr Roberts-Smith committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
The decorated soldier always rejected the claims of war crimes and has since launched a defamation lawsuit against the newspapers which are now owned by Nine.
Mr Roberts-Smith also denied claims by Nine he punched a woman he was having an affair with after she drunkenly embarrassed him at a Canberra black-tie event.
The soldier told the court the woman, known only as Person 17, had fallen down the stairs as they left Parliament House and he stayed up all night caring for her in March 2018.
Ms Scott, according to a document released on Friday, picked up the phone from Emma Roberts weeks later in April.
“Is everything okay?” Ms Scott asked Ms Roberts, according to the court documents.
“Are you sitting down?… I’m standing on my veranda and I’m looking at Ben’s girlfriend,” Ms Roberts responded.
“She has a big black eye… she said she (fell) down the stairs at Parliament House,” Ms Roberts told Ms Scott, the court documents state.
Ms Roberts had called her friend after Person 17 arrived at the family home unannounced, the documents indicated.
Mr Roberts-Smith has told the court he began dating Person 17 after he had separated from Ms Roberts in late 2017.
Ms Scott’s documents dispute that – claiming the couple did not separate until January 2020 and “Ms Roberts would have told her” if it had happened earlier.
“Between October 2017 and April 2018, Ms Roberts regularly expressed concern to Ms Scott that (Mr Roberts-Smith) was having an affair,” the court documents state.
Mr Roberts-Smith told the court Person 17 had waved him off at Brisbane airport before secretly driving up to his matrimonial home where she confronted his family.
It was not the last time Person 17 interacted with the Roberts-Smiths, according to Ms Scott.
Later in April 2018, the documents say, the soldier and his wife called Ms Scott on speakerphone from the car.
Person 17 had left a message with Mr Roberts-Smith’s assistant asking the soldier to log in to check an email she’d sent to a covert account the pair used to speak.
The couple asked Ms Scott to log in and read Person 17’s email – it suggested Person 17 was in trouble and needed help, the documents state.
Ms Scott, according to the documents, was asked to contact Person 17 but could not get onto her.
Camera IconMr Roberts-Smith and Ms Roberts in 2011. He insists his relationship with another woman occurred while separated from his wife. Lauren Black Credit: News Limited
In an email, also released by the court, Ms Scott offers to get the woman help, but clearly wards her off contacting the Roberts-Smiths.
“As Mr Roberts-Smith has made clear to you now on several occasions he does not wish to personally communicate with you through any means,” Ms Scott wrote.
“Given the disturbing nature of your last message to Mr Roberts-Smith’s office he has requested I assist you where and if required.”
Ms Roberts, according to the court documents, also texted Ms Scott discussing whether she should “lie” about being separated from her husband when he began dating Person 17.
“BRS thinks if it hits the press I say we were separated,” Ms Roberts wrote in a message along with an emoji.
Ms Scott asked her friend if she was okay with doing that adding Mr Roberts-Smith may think it’s “the only way both of you survive this”.
“He thinks the press will go oh so what no story and the girls won’t actually know when they’re older,” Ms Roberts responded, according to the court documents.
Nine claims Mr Roberts-Smith pressured his ex-wife to lie to the court and say he did not have an affair. He denies that, insisting he dated Person 17 while separated from Ms Roberts.
The court has heard the relationship with Person 17 and Mr Roberts-Smith broke down in mid-2018 after she revealed she was pregnant with his child.
Mr Roberts-Smith told the court he organised for Person 17 to come up to Brisbane for an abortion.
The soldier told the court he sent private investigator John McLeod to follow Person 17 to the hospital and record her leaving after the abortion because he feared she was tricking him.
He said the video showed Person 17 looking well dressed and physically fine as she left Greenslopes Hospital.
Mr Roberts-Smith said he confronted Person 17 with the video shortly afterwards and she changed her story multiple times.
The court has also heard Greenslopes Hospital had no medical records related to Person 17 it could provide to the court.
The court documents, released on Friday, include texts where Ms Scott asks Mr McLeod for a copy of the video.
Mr McLeod appears to send Ms Scott the video in October 2018.
“Thanks John looking a bit polished for someone who’s supposed to have undertaking (sic) that procedure,” Ms Scott responds with a tongue-out winking emoji, the documents show.
Mr McLeod, Ms Scott and Ms Roberts are expected to give evidence against Mr Roberts-Smith when Nine’s case resumes in November.Internet Explorer Channel Network