Man tells of feeling 'sick to the stomach' in Colin Craig case

4:08 pm on 6 September 2016

The man who is suing Colin Craig for defamation says he felt shocked and sickened by allegations the former Conservative Party leader had sexually harassed his own press secretary.

Jordan Williams (left) and Colin Craig

Jordan Williams (left) and Colin Craig Photo: Supplied

Taxpayers' Union executive director Jordan Williams has gone to the High Court in Auckland seeking damages from Mr Craig over comments he made at a news conference and in a leaflet, titled Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas, which was distributed to 1.6 million homes around the country in July last year.

The defamation action is the latest chapter in a political saga that began with the sudden resignation of Mr Craig's press secretary, Rachel MacGregor, just before the 2014 election.

Mr Williams' lawyer, Peter McKnight, told the jury that, in the leaflet, Mr Craig had suggested that Mr Williams had been dishonest and had made up allegations about the circumstances surrounding Ms MacGregor's departure.

Mr McKnight said his client had not made anything up and Mr Craig's comments were defamatory.

Giving evidence on Tuesday, Mr Williams told the jury that his friend Ms MacGregor had confided in him about Mr Craig sexually harassing her.

He said that Mr Craig had stopped paying her when she resisted his advances.

Mr Williams said Ms MacGregor showed him love notes and text messages she had been sent by Mr Craig.

At the top of the notes was written "absolutely private and confidential".

"Who on earth marks love notes as absolutely private and confidential unless what you're doing is wrong or highly embarrassing," Mr Williams said.

In one text message Mr Craig allegedly told Ms MacGregor, "I slept well because I dreamed I was between your naked legs".

In another he allegedly said, "if there were two of me, I would marry you".

Ms MacGregor also shared with Mr Williams details about Mr Craig walking into her hotel room while they were travelling, his requests to meet her after hours for what Mr Craig termed "debriefs", and what she said was his habit of getting changed in front of her.

On election night in 2011, Mr Williams said Ms MacGregor told him that Mr Craig had tried to kiss her and touch her inappropriately.

Mr Williams said he was extremely shocked, disgusted and angry about Mr Craig's alleged behaviour.

"I felt sick to the stomach about Mr Craig's actions and my support for him," he said.

Mr Craig and Ms MacGregor reached a confidential settlement over the sexual harassment claim.

But Mr Williams said Mr Craig appeared to breach the agreement in an interview with TV3 late night news show Newsworthy, which was conducted in a sauna.

Mr Williams said he was concerned about Mr Craig breaching the agreement and he was worried about what impact it would have on Ms MacGregor.

He also said he felt he needed to warn others in the Conservative Party leadership about what had gone on.

The trial, before Justice Katz and a jury, could take up to five weeks.

Mr Craig and his wife Helen have been watching the proceedings from the public gallery.

Ms MacGregor is expected to give evidence later this week.