Karl du Fresne on the Aaron Smith saga

Another sensible bit of commentary from Karl du Fresne.

The tut-tutters who clucked their tongues over All Black Aaron Smith’s tryst in an airport toilet must have been startled by the number of voices raised in his defence.

The Mother Grundys were almost outgunned by Smith’s defenders, who recognised that this affair was different in vital respects from other recent furores involving delinquent rugby players.

Public outrage should be reserved for incidents that justify it, such as the vicious assaults perpetrated by the rising rugby star Losi Filipo.

Smith’s airport encounter involved no violence or coercion. As far as we know, the woman was a willing partner.

The incident also differed crucially from the Waikato Chiefs’ end-of-season revelry involving a stripper. Although the stripper appears to have been a consenting party, at least initially, she was a lone woman surrounded by men – big, intimidating men. It was hardly what you would call a level playing field.

So: Smith’s liaison involved no nastiness. And it was one-on-one – a case of two adults indulging in consensual behaviour behind a closed door. A victimless crime, in other words.

Yep, and still people tut-tutted.

There was no public display and the only people entitled to feel offended were the disabled people queuing to use the dunny – except there weren’t any.

What made it unusual was the unconventional venue and the fact that one of the participants was an All Black wearing his touring uniform. This latter aspect might have made it an issue for New Zealand Rugby, but I fail to see how it was the business of anyone else, other than Smith’s unfortunate partner.

If anyone’s behaviour was questionable it was the tell-tale sneaks who, for goodness knows what reason, decided to dob Smith in.

That triggered what has now become a wearisomely familiar ritual in which New Zealand Rugby hit the apology button. Cue “role model” blah blah …. “made a bad decision” blah blah … “let himself down” blah blah.

Give us a break. Is there anyone apart from NZR and its risk-averse spin doctors who take these grovel-fests seriously?

Badly behaved sportsmen are an issue, certainly. The irony is that despite the hullabaloo over his supposed indiscretion, people like Smith are not the problem. He engaged with a female partner on equal terms. For that, you could almost call him a role model.

I want to know who the prurient idiots were who thought to record it and shop it to the media. So far the complicit Media party have protected these peeping toms. It is them who should be ashamed.

All Aaron Smith did was shag a chick in the bogs…like that has never happened before.


– Karl du Fresne


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  • Sailor Sam

    The deadwood media will probably show the alleged video the day before the Wallaby game, when Aaron Smith will no doubt be playing, to try and maximise publicity for their “weekend” papers.
    Then there is their desire to identify the woman invlved which is is unquenched as yet.
    And yet they will continue to protect the perverts who made the recordings.

    • Malcolm

      According to a recent WO comment, a women did the recording and the partner?/husband sent it to the MSM at her encouragement, he says he now regrets doing this, has received various threats and it has had an effect on his relationship.

      It was a pity she didn’t use a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 as it may well have caught fire, especially recording “risque'” material, now that would have made a much better “clickbait” headline for the MSM. “Women receives serious burns whilst recording couple bonking in toilet”.

      • biscuit barrel

        The video wasnt taken inside the toilet, just the general area of the lounge- so they couldnt later deny it

        As for sending it to media : thats a lie too
        “Dalziel said the husband and wife were unlikely to be in breach of the act because they had not shared the video with the media or posted it online.”

        • Sally

          Correct, I believe the video is not in the hands of the media yet but I wonder how much was offered to buy it and whether that is still in negotiation. However, as it is only sound it is probably not worth much.

          • biscuit barrel

            They are ordinary decent people, a bit taken back by the fuss. Not at all like the Queenstown security guard who shopped Princess Annes son -in-law video with England Rugby trip.

          • jcpry

            Ordinary decent people would put a bit more thought into what they were doing. They wouldn’t have taken the film or whatever the heck it was in the first place.

          • Sailor Sam

            Ordinary, decent people do not loiter outside the closed door of a public restroom and recording what is going on inside.
            There is a word to desribe such people and it ain’t ordinary or decent.

          • WBC

            If you know them to be ordinary decent people it would probably help them in the long term if you advise them to think about the harm they have caused others and recommend they apologise for it. They may have made an error in judgement when getting carried away by the thrill they experienced in recording somebody else having sex and then not just telling there mates but the entire public, but the are not portraying themselves as decent humans right now. If you want them to be in any way vindicated, advise them to apologise.

          • Kiwi As

            Your knowledge of the ordinary decent people seems rather intimate. Do tell ?

        • WBC

          They made the recording. They told the media. They are deviant perverts who should be charged for making secret personal sexual recordings of others.

          • biscuit barrel

            Does that look like a sexual recording to you- looks like a AB walking through airport lounge.

          • WBC

            Yet you know they made the whole long recording of it, they said so. Deviant Perverts.

    • Vutekno

      When the media have rung the last drop of poison from Aaron and the women then they will drop the two Perves in it. After all it sells papers doesn’t it ?

  • Bartman

    The narrative on this whole ‘afair’ has finally reached my position. About time the media got their noses out of it and let the gut get on with his excellent career. Too many tall poppy choppers still in NZ!

  • Slightly flawed.

    I agree the idiots who dobbed him in to the media were foolish, but I dont believe ‘naming and shaming them’ will achieve anything, apart from giving the MSM more oxygen. 2 wrongs don’t make a right, so I think its best if we just all let it die a natural death, and let Smith and his immediate nearest and dearest get on with their lives.

  • Dumrse

    Where are the tut-tutters now that a rugby player down south was seen playing with his todger in public?

  • Wheninrome

    People seem to put everything on social media today, it is or seems an automatic response to things. “I am at such and such cafe, the airport wherever, who cares. This is the age and people should get used to it. Nothing seems sacred and anyone who is “famous” is a idiot if they think they are able to do anything they want and not get photographed, recorded etc., Get up to date, this is what happens and conduct your life with the thought that there could well be someone out there with a mobile recording device otherwise known as a smart phone.
    Don’t “celebrities”take advantage of this new fangled device or have they not heard of them, in which case get up to date.

  • biscuit barrel

    Absurd. These things politicians, singers sports stars are what the readers want and they wouldnt hold it back.

  • kayaker

    The higher you fly, the further you’ve got to fall. Couple that with people’s nosiness and social media/MSM and you have a ticking timebomb. Aaron Smith didn’t even think, he had a brain fart, he let his below the belt region rule his head. Poor decision making. What a dumbo.

  • GerardB

    The episode was not “victimless”. What about the public humiliation of Mrs Aaron Smith? That is where all our sympathies should lie and it is a surprise that this concern has not been considered by the media or anyone else in authority.
    Don’t unfaithful All Blacks have wives to humiliate?

    • KGB

      That is for them to address, not us. In fact it may have been easier for her to do so without the publicity. Can she forgive him now the whole county is watching?
      Many relationships survive infidelity, I suggest the publicity makes working it out harder.

    • Brian_Smaller

      Why is that any business of yours or mine? This moral outrage on behalf of other people is what is really annoying me.

      • biscuit barrel

        Thats why the old story about ‘get a room’ still holds true. Expect privacy when you do your stuff in private.

    • OneTrack

      Have the puerile media interviewed Mrs Aaron Smith yet, to ask her, with a zoom in by the camera, “How she feels”?

      She is the only victim in this case and the media did their best to make it ten times worse for her. They are really great guys. Who would be better employed by the Womans Weekly.

  • Graeme

    Want to see Smith start next week.

  • Bling Bling

    Karl du Fresene is a breath of fresh air. If the recording was a video one it would have fallen foul of the unable to be defended provisions of the Crimes Act 1961, sections 216H to 216J. (intimate visual recordings). Listening Toms are no better than Peeping Toms. Some rugby mates have said to me that Smith was damaging the brand and this was employment misconduct. Who would have thought that such people would be supporting the moral strictures of 3rd wave feminism as the puritanical media has, and who no doubt would favour the introduction of sharia law too..

    • biscuit barrel

      Why are you making up facts?. They never recorded what happened inside the cubicle, as of course they couldnt. The crimes act has provisions about sex in public places too.

      • Bling Bling

        I am sorry I have misunderstood the facts. I stand rebuked and corrected: thank you.

      • Kiwi As

        It was a private room (door shut and bolted) in a public place. All legal utterances so far reinforce the fact, and emphasise Smith may have a case for breach of privacy. However, to Smith himself the negative, is breach of pridecy !!!

  • JC

    A Smith would have signed a contract which included words about bringing the game/All Blacks into disrespute. Thats all that is needed to deal with the situation, management can bench Smith, fine him, deselect him or whatever seems appropriate and there’s an end to it.. no need for all the cringe thats going on.

    Thats why we have contracts.. to have procedures in place to cover all parties.


  • T Mardell

    What annoyed me most was that the filmers did not identify themselves – cowards. They were obviously making their point, but to do so anonymously is wrong. Hopefully someone will out them.

  • oldmanNZ

    i done it, in a disable loo too, actualy, it was more of a family loo.

    I guess families would be outrage (for making a family in a family loo, rather than taking a dump)

    what the big deal about sports star, they play sports, there are thousands of them.
    Kids look up to them? because they like heroes or because they got the bad boy image?

    if Lynda ko did something similar, wonder if they would tut tut her?

    • David Moore

      I think Lynda Ko is bright enough to realise that having a shag in a public toilet is likely to attract a degree of attention and been somewhat more circumspect about it.

      Smith made one mistake only, his grovelling apology was just cringeworthy, he should simply have stood up and said, ‘yeah I shagged her, and so what?’. that would have been the end of it.

      • biscuit barrel

        Smith made one mistake…… just like he lost a previous girlfriend by being promiscuous.

        • David Moore

          Don’t you mean gained a girlfriend?

          • biscuit barrel

            See above:
            “Dunedin cheerleader Hannah Whitefield, confirmed to Spy she ditched the All Black halfback and Highlanders player” (2014)

            Can there be any woman in Dunedin who still think they arent being ‘played’ by Smith and it all wont end in tears for them.

          • Kiwi As

            That will be their choice.

        • Kiwi As

          It wasn’t a mistake. It was a stirred loin action and the man should be commended for it. Partnerships/marriages don’t represent ownership of one another. As a human you are given choices. Mr Smith made a choice, and he had every right to do so. I trust he enjoyed it ???

          • LesleyNZ

            Choices yes – but was it right or wrong or is there no such concept aswhat is right or wrong anymore. Why would you commend a person to act unfaithfully just because the person had “a stirred loin action”? What does a partnership/marriage mean to you?

          • Kiwi As

            I believe a partnership/marriage between a couple is a chosen relationship between the latter, and there is no such thing as ownership in that relationship, thus either/or may make their own choices as to how they live their lives. Common sense and love ? seems to prevail in most cases, where there’s children involved etc however the reality in life is that none of us own anyone or anything, and the “anyone” particularly seems quite obscene to me.

          • LesleyNZ

            To have a relationship/marriage/partnership there has to be love and respect for one another, unselfishness, commitment and honesty and faithfulness. Ownership is nothing more than slavery.

          • Kiwi As

            Gotcha. Thank you.

  • WBC

    Prurient idiots is a bit generous I would say. Deviant perverts and cruel, callous people lacking any empathy or worth would be closer to the mark. If they want to tell themselves they are better then that then they should be fronting their own conference to apologise for their unacceptable behaviour.

  • Eiselmann

    Ironically I have faith in our media…they do tend to turn on their sources when the first story runs out of puff….I expect once Smith does his penance the pair who decided going to the media was a good idea, will find themselves really regretting that decision.

    • biscuit barrel

      Well Du Fresne is sure milking it for all its worth, its 2 weeks ago now and we all thought it died down, but no this guy thought to stir it all up .. its called concern trolling

      • jcpry

        BB. With eight posts on this thread you are also contributing to the frenzy don’t you think? Or is this only restricted to the media?

        Edit. Correction nine.

        • biscuit barrel

          Im not making money out of it like Du Fesne is. Did he have any new angle, he just reran existing stuff.

          • jcpry

            Irrelevant. You are keeping the discussion alive and adding your opinions. That is the wonderful thing about social media it gives you to be part of the news cycle. Like it or not you are now part of those giving oxygen to this story. The fact that you are getting paid is of no consequence.

  • The Mentalist

    Being a country lad I’ve never really thought much about filming/taping my neighbours having a bonk. I wonder if it’s about a deep seated fear of being caught? Now with thoughts like that and I was a Jafa I guess I would probably be racing off to therapy. But I’m not and as I look out the window, in the distance, I can see a disorientated (and I think salivating) heifer on heat trying to hump her sister. But I won’t be racing out to the paddock to film this episode – mainly because the cow doesn’t have an all black jersey on.

    The media have certainly created a frenzy about Aaron’s lustfulness, but nowhere have they seemed to question that hanging around toilets (be they public or private) with filming equipment at the ready, should be frowned upon. Especially with children in tow.

    And I think it quite sad that the willing hostess (giving a new meaning to “customer service”) has not been able to claim her 8.3 minutes of fame. She can’t tell anyone of her conquest in case the parasites at the media find out. Tho’ rumour has it she might be auditioning for the next series of Desperate Housewives. Let’s hope she does not get pregnant. I well expect the media will be watching the birth column in 9 months time.

    Unfortunately the toilet humour has already hit the cubicles. I noticed at the disabled toilet at the local council offices last week someone has placed a sticker on the disabled toilet informing all that “this space is reserved for All Blacks only”.

    But on this wonderful Sunday afternoon I’m left wondering what is the difference between eager Aaron and Lusty Len Brown. Both in private, both betraying their partners, both lacking ethics and integrity, both being very self centered, and both in uniform. Maybe someone can help me out here?

    • biscuit barrel

      You should really check out the reasons why they were there. A couple with a child in a pram waiting for the toilet to be come free when a mutt on heat pushes past.
      And no its not filming equipment, its called a phone, you may have heard of them.

  • XCIA

    For gods sake, at the end of the day he was only performing an act which comes naturally for most of us. The disconcerting thing is the faux outrage whipped up by the MSM because of two idiots and a pram.

    • biscuit barrel

      The two idiots are Smith and his Tindr date. You are confusing what normal people do when they find a motel for the hour and what wild animals do.

      • XCIA

        Get a life will you. Where is the excitement in that? Live for the day!

        • biscuit barrel

          This was Karl Du Fresne on the Len Brown revelations back in 2013- or what you would call ‘doing what comes natural’

          Scandal, smear and spin – the new normal
          Not at all worried that Browns private behaviour was exposed to to public condemnation. No concern about a ‘victimless crime’ and all that pap.
          Of course as a former Dominion editor he would had plenty of scandal and smear in his time their.

    • LesleyNZ

      So are you also saying being unfaithful in the disabled toilet cubicle is Ok – because it is natural and you assume “most of us” do this act. Not sure there would be too many who would be unfaithful and use a disabled toilet cubicle. Would you?

      • XCIA

        What I am saying is that sex is natural. I think you may be surprised at the volume of “unfaithfulness” there is in the world.

        • biscuit barrel

          While I dont imagine how much unfaithfulness there is, but I used to have to use public toilets when out working and the things that people do there are gross. Yes it was loud noises from ‘whats natural’ , its not, its vile behaviour.
          You should get out more.

          • XCIA

            I hope you washed your hands……..

        • LesleyNZ

          I am not surprised. Of course there is unfaithfulness. Sex being natural does not justify unfaithfulness.

  • LesleyNZ

    Not alarmed in fact to be expected these days seeing that so many these days have flushed good wholesome moral and values down the toilet. Bizarre really that so many condone unfaithfulness to one’s partner as if it is an acceptable normal thing to do – yet there is no compassion or thought for the one who has been wronged. It is any wonder that there are so many problems in today’s world and that commitment is a word that is no longer relevant. I will always speak out for that which is good and truthful and if that makes me a “Mother Grundy” – so be it.

  • pisces8284

    Came across him at Toast Martinborough and can only say that the guy is a sleaze. However having said that, what he did is no ones business but his and his presumably ex partner

  • Keyser Soze

    How do we know Aaron and his partner didn’t have…. an arrangement? If I don’t hear about it then it’s ok? Don’t bring ANYTHING home with you. What goes on tour, stays on tour? That’s not unfaithful, distasteful for some but bully for them. The WAGS of these guys know what goes on because that’s usually how they met them in the first place! She’s perhaps more annoyed and embarrassed at being dragged into the media frenzy, and justifiably so.