Whaleoil transcript: Larry Williams talks with Colin Craig

Thursday 25 October 2018 on ZB

Williams

A judge has found former Conservative party leader Colin Craig sexually harassed his press secretary, Rachel McGregor. In a decision released today, Justice Toogood has found Craig guilty of moderately serious sexual harassment on multiple occasions from 2012 to 2014.  The judge’s comments come in his ruling on a case heard last year between Craig and blogger Cameron Slater.  Justice Toogood has found Slater defamed Craig in two untrue statements.  However, the court hasn’t awarded damages to Craig with the judge saying the reputational damage he suffered resulted almost entirely from his own actions.

Colin Craig is with me.

How do you view the decision, because it seems to me you’ve been beaten up rather badly here, but going by your press statement, you’re pleased?

Craig

Obviously, it’s a win and that’s the most important thing in terms of the big picture.

Mr Slater sued me for millions, his claim is dismissed.

I sued him for three things: a declaration he defamed me, I got that; I wanted a finding that he had, along with others, attacked me, I got that; but I didn’t succeed on damages.

And that’s something I’ve got to look at in terms of whether I want to appeal or not, because he did say things that were defamatory of me and that normally would qualify you for damages.

Williams

No, you got nothing.  The judge said ‘no damages’ because the big picture is that you caused all this yourself.

Craig

The big picture is I sued Mr Slater and I have won, on some of the claims.  Mr Slater sued me and lost.  The question now is, am I happy with the details?  I am very disappointed with the detail, which is the finding of sexual harassment. Disappointed with that. Disappointed that I haven’t been awarded damages. So, there’s a couple of things to look at in terms of whether or not I should appeal.

Williams

Let’s talk about Mr Slater. He did a couple of things wrong, but the judge finds that he didn’t spread lies, he didn’t make up allegations, he didn’t gather information he knew was fake or untrue, or publish material knowing it was not true. He is neither a compulsive nor a calculated liar. This is a win to Cameron Slater.

Craig

Let’s remember on this very show what he said to you and your listeners.  And I’ve got it in front of me.  He said, “I have copies of sext messages, you know, dirty text messages.”  Now that’s what he said on your show, that’s a verbatim quote.  Now, the ruling is he did not have copies.  There never were any sex messages. So right there, he’s been on your show telling porkies.  And I am happy with the win as far as it goes, but I would have liked it to have gone further and awarded me damages against him.

Williams

Yes, but the judge has alluded to those two things and he said no damages.  You’ve lost, why can’t you see that you’ve lost here?

Craig

Well, Larry I haven’t lost.  I’ve got two of the three things that I looking for.  I’ve got the declaration that he defamed me.  I’ve got a ruling that I was attacked by Mr Slater, and some others, to take me out as the leader of the Conservative Party.  What I haven’t got is damages.  So, if you want to look at it that way, I got two of the three things I wanted.  Now I’ve got to look at whether I can live with that, or whether I choose to challenge that third point because obviously, I haven’t been 100% successful.  And I would have liked to have been.

Williams

Well, I think you’ve ended up with a bloody nose, with respect.

Craig

Look, again, I was going for three things, I got two of them, I haven’t got the third. Yes, I am disappointed in that finding on sexual harassment, it’s not what I believe, certainly, I think the evidence pointed elsewhere.  I accepted that and that’s one of the details in the judgement. But big picture here: Mr Slater wanted six million bucks out of me.  He lost.  He got zero.

Williams

No, the big picture, with due respect, the big picture here is that this judge has found that you sexually harassed Rachel McGregor.  That is the big picture, that’s the takeaway.

Craig

No Larry, it’s not the big picture. In this particular case, I was looking for a clear declaration that Mr Slater defamed me, I got that; I was arguing that I was attacked, deliberately attacked by Mr Slater and some others, I got that.  The third thing I was looking for in this case, was damages, I did not get that. There are details within it, and one of them is that finding.  And I am disappointed in that.

Williams

Yeah, but you didn’t get that Colin because the judge found that the reputational damage that you suffered was caused almost entirely by your own actions.

Craig

Again, I didn’t get damages and it is one of the things that I did want.  But obviously, I am happy to have got what I did get in terms of the other two things I was seeking.

Williams

On the sexual harassment then, you didn’t accept that you sexually harassed Ms McGregor, but you accept now that you did?

Craig

No, I don’t. I accept that’s what the judge has found.  And I have to now think about what parts of this judgement I will potentially challenge.  It is a very long judgement, people need to understand, it is 250 pages long, and working out whether or not I wish to challenge things in it is not a very quick exercise.  So, we are working through that, and a decision will be made.  I am disappointed in that finding, I don’t think that that was what the evidence said. But the judge is in a position…..

Williams

He’s made this call.  Why wouldn’t his call, his decision, impact on your case against Ms McGregor?

Craig

Well the way it works, as I understand it, is that each case has its own evidence and is judged on its own merits even though obviously sometimes there is an overlap.

Each judge has to consider the evidence they have before them.  In this particular case I now have the option, if I wish to, to appeal, as does Mr Slater. I mean, he must be disappointed to have sued me for over six million bucks and got nothing.

Williams

All right, let’s leave aside the sexual harassment decision which I find appalling and would be running for the hills. But that aside, what about the other stuff? You falsified evidence in the case?

Craig

No, I didn’t.

Williams

The judge says you did.

Craig

No, I don’t think that’s a finding, but I stand corrected it’s a 250-page document but I have gone through it twice.

Williams

Mr Craig’s attempt to promote the one page “Things I am doing” document as a precursor to the 7 February 2012 (we don’t need to go into that) letter was patently false.

Craig

Well I disagree, if that is the inference you are taking from it.

Williams

Well no, it is not an inference, it is a fact.  That is what the judge is saying, so basically, he is saying that you lied to the court.

Craig

With respect, I don’t think I did lie to the court.  He is referring to the dating of a document.  I had acknowledged that the dating was wrong, that was an error. So, I don’t think that’s the falsification of evidence at all.  I am lay person, I am a lay litigant. I doubtless got numerous things in terms of paperwork wrong during the process.

Williams

But there were dodgy bits in that letter right, dodgy bits all over the place, it was sliced and diced and cut and pasted and whatever.  So, you think you are going to appeal? You don’t know yet?

Craig

Don’t know yet because it’s a 250-page document. Well you’ve got to look at it, should I quit while I am ahead or would I get more of value by appealing?  And that’s quite a complex decision, it’s a very big case with a lot of detail. So, it’s just not one of those things you can unfortunately you can reach quickly.

Williams

If you think you’re ahead, I think you’re way behind, if you think you’re ahead, I’d be quitting.

Craig

Well, I know you think I’m behind you have to remember what was at stake here. I was being sued for millions of dollars, and that case against me failed.  I have sued someone for a declaration, for a finding that I was attacked, and for damages. I’ve got two out of three of those things. So big picture, now I’m disappointed of the finding around sexual harassment.  And yes, that’s a negative, but big picture if you look at what that case was about between myself and Mr Slater I have had considerable success.

Williams

Well here’s what I see with the big picture.  You’ve still got this Jordan Williams thing and 1.27 million dollars damages and that’s still before the court so we won’t go there. But it seems to me that you’ve been very good at trashing your own reputation.  When is it going to end?  When are you going to lie down?  If it was a boxing match you’ve been beaten up every round, you’re on the canvas, it’s a knock out at every turn.

Craig

As this judgement says, I came under attack, it was coordinated, I am fighting back against that the best way I know how.  Mr Slater had a legal team, he spent a lot of money.  I represented myself, I did my best and I got most of what I wanted, but not all.

Williams

If you had walked away from the get go, none of these cases would have eventuated.

Craig

That’s right.  If I had chosen not to respond, or fight back against the attack that’s correct.  I didn’t choose that. I didn’t want to just lie down and let people attack me and get away with it.  So, if you like, I have chosen to stand and fight and as a result of that, people have chosen to fling a lot of mud.  That’s what defamation is about.

Recording ends.

You can listen to the audio here.

 


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