Rachel MacGregor was devastating in court yesterday and is still under cross-examination today.
Her evidence was damning and we have now found out that despite Colin Craig’s repeated denials of anything untoward and then his back pedal to suggest that it was only inappropriate, that Rachel MacGregor alleged he had actually sexually harassed her repeatedly over a long period of time.
Colin Craig’s former press secretary Rachel MacGregor has labelled the former Conservative Party leader a “dodgy” liar who lacked integrity.
She says she resigned from her job because Craig allegedly sexually harassed her and “repeatedly refused” to discuss her pay rate.
MacGregor was speaking in the High Court at Auckland on Tuesday, where she is the final witness to give evidence in the defamation case Taxpayers Union founder Jordan Williams has taken against Craig.
MacGregor was being cross-examined by Craig’s lawyer Stephen Mills QC, who asked her if she was surprised that Williams felt Craig wasn’t fit to be a leader of the party.
“(Craig) was dodgy.”
Asked what she meant by that, she continued: “Well, I mean, dodgy to be fair. He was sexually harassing me. Do you want me to use another word other than dodgy? Do you know what dodgy means?”
Her evidence prompted laughs from people sitting in the public gallery.
It was quite prolonged laughter.
“He was disgusting towards me,” MacGregor continued.
“He keeps going on about how (the party wasn’t about) moral values (but) it clearly was. He just sort of surreptitiously and sneakily… he was just dodgy, and I see why Jordan thought that.
“He was a liar. He was dodgy in that he wasn’t trustworthy. He lacked integrity. When I say dodgy, I don’t just mean how he sexually harassed me, I just mean how he treated others. It was just becoming clearer, and clearer, and clearer – he’s lying to all sorts of other people and trying to manipulate the truth.
I didn’t want to stand by this man who was not who he purported to be.”
Earlier she rejected suggestions that they had a consensual sexual or romantic relationship and said she “couldn’t stand” Craig.
“The thought (of an affair) disgusts me,” she said.
It was strong evidence. So was the evidence of a recorded phone call between MacGregor and Christine Rankin.
MacGregor said after she resigned Rankin called her to try and convince her to come back to the party.
“She was like, ‘Rachel, you know, don’t resign, come back,’ and I was like, well no I’m not going back, I’ve resigned, (Craig) is dodgy as hell,” MacGregor said.
Afterward, Rankin didn’t realise she hadn’t hung up properly and MacGregor heard her complaining to others, “We’re f—-, we’re f—–.”
The courtroom broke into laughter, as did MacGregor.
She then started crying, after describing Rankin as a “really good lady” who had been “completely stuffed over by this dude (Craig).”
MacGregor also disclosed that she resigned in Craig’s car on the way to a morning interview, the same day that he claimed he had no idea that she had resigned, or what the reasons were.
On Tuesday morning MacGregor told the court that she and Craig had agreed that he would pay her a higher rate during the election period due to the work load and number of hours she was doing.
However the pair failed to agree on what that rate was, or what period it would cover.
As a result she stopped billing Craig and began falling into debt, she said.
He “repeatedly refused” to discuss the pay rate, and instead gave her two advances worth $10,000 each instead of paying her, she said.
“I tried to bring the matter up with Mr Craig on a number of occasions but Mr Craig repeatedly refused to talk about my pay rate,” she told the court.
The matter came to a head on September 18, 2014, two days before the election, when he picked her up to take her to a radio interview.
She had become “increasingly anxious” about the pay issue, aware that the election would be over in two days.
“I feared that if the election result was not as good as Mr Craig had hoped for he may use this as a reason why he should pay me less.”
After he allegedly told her he had slept well because he had dreamed of her, she decided she would bring up the pay rate again.
“He told me, now is not the time to discuss my pay,” she said.
She told him she would resign, and left the car.
That is a direct contradiction of his public statements to media about the resignation.
Craig has an interesting sleep technique as well.
She agreed with Craig that after the alleged 2011 election night incident they had put into place “boundaries” but she said she was the instigator of those boundaries, and she had it written into her contract that while away on business they would sleep in different hotels.
For a while, she said, their relationship improved but prior to the 2014 election she said Craig’s behaviour changed and he began asking her to do “menial tasks”.
“He also would discuss things with me that I thought were inappropriate,” she said.
That included another incident prior to the 2014 election when they were travelling to the airport.
Craig had described to her his new “sleeping technique”, she said.
“He explained to me that his technique was to imagine himself falling asleep while lying on my legs. This greatly annoyed me.
“I said words to the effect of, ‘Colin, what do you think your wife would think if she knew you were saying this to me?'”
Things came to a head before court finished for the day when MacGregor called Colin Craig a “douchebag”.
The case continues tomorrow.