High Court hears Colin Craig's alleged 'sext' messages

Day two of the defamation trial brought by Jordan Williams against the former Conservative Party leader.

"I slept well because I dreamed that I was between your naked legs".

Day two of the Craig-Williams defamation case heard a series of sexually explicit text messages read out in the High Court at Auckland.

The “sexts” were allegedly sent by former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig in 2014 to his then-press secretary Rachel MacGregor.

The messages were read by Taxpayers’ Union director Jordan Williams, who says he was approached by Ms MacGregor last year.

"She confided in me that Mr Craig had been sexually harassing her over a very long period of time," Mr Williams told the court.

As well as sexually explicit texts and letters, Ms MacGregor told Mr Williams that Mr Craig would enter her hotel room without knocking when they travelled on Conservative Party business and not leave.

She also told Mr Williams that Mr Craig tried to kiss her on the night of the 2011 election.

Ms MacGregor quit on the eve of the 2014 election.

Mr Williams took his concerns to the Conservative Party’s board, which subsequently suspended Mr Craig as leader in June 2015 (Mr Craig disputed the board had the power to suspend him, but did not seek re-election as leader).

The following month, Mr Craig released a pamphlet called “Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas,” which contains allegations Mr Williams alleges are defamatory.

The pamphlet contained claims of what Mr Craig saw as the "strategy" to remove him as leader of the Conservative Party.

Beyond his own appearance on the stand today, witnesses for Mr Williams will include Ms MacGregor, former Conservative candidate Christine Rankin, former Conservative chairman John Stringer, lawyer Stephen Franks, PR men Carrick Graham and Matthew Hooton, among others. Mr Craig’s witnesses include his wife, journalist Nicky Hager, lobbyist Garth McVicar, former Conservative chairman Brian Dobbs, among others.

The case involves six pages of "notes or jottings" made by Ms MacGregor and which Justice Kit Toogood considered in a June decision. Specifically, he looked at the notes in terms of their status regarding a claim Ms MacGregor made under the Human Rights Act as "preparatory materials,"

The notes allegedly recorded incidents in which Mr Craig might have been said to have behaved in a manner amounting to sexual harassment. Justice Toogood directed the notes should be disclosed to the parties so they can properly prepare their claims and defences.

When the proceedings were first filed last year, Mr Williams sought general damages of $250,000 and punitive damages of $50,000 in relation to Mr Craig’s statements at the media conference. It also sought general damages of $500,000 and punitive damages of $100,000 in relation to the leaflet.

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