Truth is stranger than fiction

Today’s revelations in the Lengate scandal are so bizarre, that a script based on them would be rejected as unbelievable and implausible. But we have allegations of porn deals, women’s magazine deals, fake CVs and more.

The list of losers from this scandal continues to grow, and multiple reputations are being battered.

Today’s stories are:

  1. The Herald on Sunday editorial which says Brown has questions to answer. The editorial is critical of many, especially Wewege. It concludes that should resign if he did do anything to benefit Chuang while in, or seeking, a relationship with her.
  2. A detailed backgrounder on how the story broke by Bevan Hurley who mainly and , who it is fair to say don’t seem to like each other. Cook says Wewege turned up to their first meeting and tried to get them to run a story, which they initially declined to do. Cooks describes Wewege as a shadowy character.
  3. A story where Palino denies he was part of a plan to force Brown to resign, saying “Suggestions now that I, an entrepreneur, TV personality and political novice, am somehow orchestrating some grand right-wing conspiracy to unseat Len after the election are so wrong and so absurd they do not stand up to even the remotest test of common sense”
  4. An SST story by Tony Wall on claims by Stephen Cook that Bevan Chuang was interested in starring in a $25,000 competition called “New Zealand’s Next Top XXX model” and claims by Chuang that Cook wanted her to star in a porn movie re-enactment of her affair with Len Brown.
  5. Colin Espiner also has a story quoting Palino where he states that Chuang had “never told him the full nature of her relationship with the mayor and only ever indicated she received persistent and unwanted propositions from the mayor”, and he claims on that basis he told her not to go public.
  6. A story on Wewege’s CV, which it seems has more holes in it than the Leader of the Opposition’s! Among his many global achievements is the creation of a KwaMashu Township initiative, which it seems the Township has never heard of. Also revealed that a National Party activist warned the Palino camp off Wewege some time ago.
  7. Kerre Woodham column, who mainly attacks Bevan Chuang, but also says Brown only has himself to blame.
  8. Matt McCarten writes on both John Banks and Len Brown. He says he does not believe John Palino’s denials but says he does believe John Slater when he says he didn’t know. McCarten also focuses on Brown giving Chuang a work reference which would have helped her get  a job at the Auckland Art Gallery.
  9. Renee Liang writes of her annoyance that Asians may be stereotyped by the sex scandal, and points out correctly that they’re all individuals, and humourously that they can’t all do kung fu!
  10. Deborah Coddington notes few women politicians are involved in sex scandals (The New Yorker does list some though). She is critical of Chuang and Brown.

I think this whole affair is so sad. So many people involved have made grievous errors of judgments, especially the three central characters (it seems) of Chuang, Brown and Wewege.

Also worth noting that this scandal has now made CNN.

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