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The case against Craig: the basics

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/09/2016

Allegations of racy poems, sexts, and sexual harassment were thrown about in a lawsuit Colin Craig just lost. But what's the case actually about?


* Former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig's press secretary, Rachel MacGregor, resigned two days before the 2014 national election

* Mr Craig stepped down in June, 2015, amid allegations of sexual harassment against MacGregor

* He wrote the pamphlet "Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas" in which he said "schemers", including Tax Payers Taxpayers' Union executive director Jordan Williams, had plotted to undermine him - it was sent to 1.6 million homes

* He also said he would sue Williams for $300,000 over some of the allegations

* Williams files a lawsuit, saying the comments and legal threat had harmed his reputation. Craig said he wrote the pamphlet to defend his reputation


* Williams says MacGregor confided in him Craig had sexually harassed her and showed him letters and poems sent to her by Craig

* He said he went to senior party members to warn them and to protect her

* MacGregor said Craig harassed her over a long period and stopped paying her the last few months of work, calling him "dodgy".

* In 2015 she settled a sexual harassment case against him which had a confidentiality order in place

* Craig admitted he breached the agreement 12 times but said he thought MacGregor breached it first

* He said their relationship was consensual - not sexual - and that she quit when he rejected her advances

* Craig said Williams lied to the party by saying he had sexually assaulted MacGregor on election night 2011, arguing it was a consensual kiss


Williams read the court some romantic poems, letters and texts allegedly sent by Craig to MacGregor

One said she looked "unbelievably good in your new dress", another her lips were "amazing to kiss".

MacGregor told the court he told her he "slept well the night before because he had imagined he was lying on my legs" - which he said was a "sleeping technique"

Craig said MacGregor enjoyed his correspondence


* Aside from MacGregor, Williams called senior party officials to talk about Craig

* Party members argued for both sides, some had concerns for years, but disagreed whether there was sexual harassment

* Craig and his wife Helen gave evidence, but he also subpoenaed journalist Nicky Hager


* The jury had to work out whether Mr Williams' reputation had been harmed, whether Mr Craig had told the truth, whether it was his honest opinion or if he was just defending himself in a reasonable way

* The jury of 11 - one was discharged - on Friday found Craig defamed Mr Williams and ordered him to pay $1.27 million - Williams had asked for $1.4m

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