The Daily Blog has a story from an anonymous waitress who details interactions with John Key at a cafe where he pulled on her hair as a sort of joke and caused her distress by doing it on a regular basis.
On the assumption that the story is correct, he obviously totally misread the situation, and he caused distress to someone. He eventually realised it, when he apologised with a couple of bottles of wine.
I think he would be stunned to realise how upsetting it was for the person concerned, but regardless you should be able to read a situation better than it appears he did.
This will of course get media attention. If the story is correct, then he should apologise for causing distress to her. I’m sure it was inadvertent and he thought it was a funny game between them. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t real.
If you speak to staff that work for him, they all say he is one of the best bosses they have ever worked for. Generally those who interact with him only have favourable things to say about him. But again in this case (assuming the story is correct) he appears to have seriously misjudged how what he saw as mucking around, was received, and he failed to pick up on the discomfort caused.