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Sex line grandmother 'Gloria' labels PM Tony Abbott's wink 'sleazy' and 'slimy'

ABC News logo ABC News 22/05/2014
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The 67-year-old telephone sex worker whose conversation with Tony Abbott went viral yesterday has labelled the Prime Minister's reaction "sleazy" and "slimy".

Speaking to Jon Faine on 774 ABC Melbourne on Wednesday, the PM took a heated call from 'Gloria' of Warburton, who told him she was a chronically ill grandmother who had to live on $400 a fortnight and worked on a phone sex line to make ends meet.

Mr Abbott was criticised for winking and smiling at Faine when 'Gloria' revealed her job, and the story has since gone global, making headlines in the British papers.

This morning Mr Abbott said his reaction was a "mistake" and "regrettable".

'Gloria', who now admits that is not her real name, called 774 ABC Melbourne again to speak to presenter Red Symons, and said she was glad the PM's wink had got so much coverage.

After becoming emotional in her denunciation of the PM and his policies yesterday, today Gloria appeared to be seeing the funny side of the media kerfuffle.

"He's pretty silly, because if he hadn't done that I'm sure what I said would have been forgotten by now," she said.

When Symons labelled the incident "a curious thing" 'Gloria' replied: "Curious is not the word ... sleazy, slimy..." before later labelling the PM "a stupid man".

"I've been seething for weeks about Abbott and Hockey and yesterday was a real opportunity to vent - which I didn't think I'd ever get," she said.

"I haven't even got the internet at the moment but my daughter tells me there are a few people suggesting I'm not real. I am real."

But 'Gloria' said her new-found fame had not helped her telephone sex career.

"It didn't improve my call rate last night - I only got one call and it only lasted for four minutes," she said.

"[At] 50 cents a minute I made two bucks last night."

Mr Abbott told his side of the story on Channel Nine this morning, admitting he should not have winked but saying he had been distracted by Faine's own reaction.

"I was looking at Jon Faine, he was smiling at me and I winked back at him. I shouldn't have done it," he said.

"I should have been more focused on the caller and less focused on the interviewer.

"Mistakes are always regrettable. And I will do my best, having made a mistake yesterday, to make none today."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the incident "just shows how out of touch the PM is... I am sure his minders would have thought he is at it again".

Interviewed on ABC News Breakfast this morning, Faine said he did not wink first, but said he had raised his eyebrows.

"I do think it's got way out of all proportion," he said.

"There were some really important things covered during a half-hour interview there were some significant moments, and the wink was a bit of what Lindsay Tanner calls the sideshow of politics."

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