D-Day: Colin Craig says he'll reveal his decision on defamation against Russel Norman at 5pm
"Ah, the oxygen of publicity. Breathe deeply, Mr Craig"Featured comment
UPDATE / Feb 21: It's D-Day (as in defamation day), but Colin Craig says he'll reveal his decision on whether to sue Russel Norman until 5pm [LATEST: It's on]
The Green co-leader has steadfastly refused to apologise all week.
If Mr Craig does sue, it might not be for money. A letter from the Conservative Party leader's lawyers to Dr Norman says it is "likely" Mr Craig will ask for a declaration under Section 24 of the Defamation Act - that is, to win a decision from a court that the Green leader's statement was defamatory rather than also seek financial damages.
Colin Craig threatens legal action against Russel Norman
Feb 17: Conservative Party leader Colin Craig is threatening defamation action against Russel Norman unless the Green co-leader apologises and retracts comments made about Mr Craig at Auckland's Big Gay Out last week.
"A vote for John Key is a vote for Colin Craig," Dr Norman told TV crews following him around the event, adding, "Now the thing about Colin Craig is he thinks that a woman's place is in the kitchen and a gay man's place is in the closet."
A letter sent to Dr Norman by law firm Chapman Tripp this afternoon the comments made by the Green co-leader were untrue.
"They were also defamatory, as it harms his [Craig's] reputation to say he holds such sexist, derogatory and offensive views about women and gay men," the letter reads.
Separately, Mr Craig told media that three of the five staff he employs at the Conservative Party are women, and he would have no hesitation in employing a gay person either.
"Obviously the idea that gay men are going to hide in a closet for me is very, very out of touch with the reality," the Conservative leader said.
He wants an apology and retraction from Dr Norman by 5pm Friday.
The letter asks the Green co-leader to publish his retraction "in a manner which is likely to receive similar prominence on national television."
Norman won't back down
Dr Norman told RadioLive that he would not apologise. Instead, he underlined his earlier comments, saying "Colin Craig has said gay relationships aren't normal and NZ women are promiscuous. I think those views are offensive."
Mr Craig has previously threatened legal action against Fairfax over an instalment in Steve Braunias' "The Secret Diary of ..." series, and against Ben Uffindell, the blogster behind the satiric website The Civilian. Both were dropped after explanatory statements were made by the respective publishers.
The Conservative leader's threatened defamation action is the second controversy attached to this year's Big Gay Out. The February 15 event also sparked a claim by John Key that he could defeat David Cunliffe at beer pong, and Mr Cunliffe's counter-punch that he could drink the Prime Minister under the table.