So Paula Bennett isn't corrupt after all. But the other woman in the picture has done a snow-job on TV3 - read on:
More light has been shed on the meeting between Social Development Minister Paula Bennett and the solo parent who has taken a privacy complaint against her.
Tonight 3 News can reveal some of the emails our first story was based on, which indicated that monetary compensation was under discussion.
Now the solo parent who wrote them says money wasn't talked about, and admits she made those details up.
Ms Bennett and her press secretary met with Natasha Fuller and Ms Fuller's grandmother in Cambridge on Wednesday.
The meeting was arranged by the Privacy Commissioner and tonight 3 News can reveal the Facebook messages Ms Fuller sent to a friend about the meeting.
Before it, Ms Fuller’s emails show she was talking about money:
“Don’t no about millions but few thousands:-)... She needs me to drop my case and tell everyone how lovely she is ha ha.
“I don’t want to drop [my case] but they cut my payments right back...So be hard not to take a payout at this point as I also don't like media they mean.”
The Minister has forcefully denied that any financial settlement was ever discussed before or at the meeting with fuller.
After the meeting Ms Fuller claimed:
“Things went really well she wasn't that scary... I dropped the tears a few times and she felt sorry for me - wont put me back in the media and get me hurt again and willing to talk settlement.
“I’ve got a tough choice to make have two days to come up with what I want as a payment I don’t want to sound greedy but its hard to put price on what iv been through.”
3 News spoke to Ms Fuller today and asked her to explain the contents of the emails.
She said she was “lying and joking” and that even thought the discussions were quite detailed - this was just “part of her personality”.
So, 3News got taken in by a beneficiary with a history of grandstanding, and in the process defamed the Social Development Minister. We wonder what a jury in a defamation case would make of that. This is incredibly bad journalism from 3News, and heads should roll.
Heads should roll at The Standard too. "Eddie" blogged about this earlier in the day saying
But her attempt to bribe Natasha Fuller into silence overrides those issues, for now.
Eddie reckons it's all 3News' fault, and isn't going to apologise to anyone; quelle surprise! The only person to emerge from this sordid saga with any credit or dignity is - Paula Bennett; which is exactly as it should be!!