John Key is the focus of media scrutiny after being accused of pulling a young waitress’ ponytail repeatedly in a cafe he was dining at.
Amanda Bailey, a waitress at Rosie cafe in Parnell, is no stranger to the Prime Minister, who is known to frequently dine at the cafe she works in.
In a post on Daily Blog, Bailey says that Key repeatedly pulled her ponytail while visiting the cafe. Bailey says she told Key to stop several times and would try to avoid him. He eventually apologised by giving her two bottles of his own wine.
Bailey says that the hair pulling began during the election campaign, and continued until March 2015.
Key later told media he was “horsing around” with staff at the cafe, but in hindsight his actions were “inappropriate”.
Bailey is now considering legal action and also claims that her identity was revealed when she sought employment advice from Rachel Glucina, who she believed to be a public relations specialist, but was actually the New Zealand Herald‘s gossip columnist.
Former accountant and serial litigant Graham McCready has filed papers in the Auckland District Court against Key, though Bailey has urged McCready to “not proceed with the case” as “she might want to do it some time in the future, but she didn’t want to do it now.” But McCready has refused her request, saying “we don’t take instructions from anybody”.
Key has told reporters that he “wasn’t worried about any legal action” and has only hired a lawyer because he “might be required to answer questions in relation to a private prosecution taken against him”.
He had hired the lawyer in his personal capacity and would be paying for the legal fees out of his own pocket.
Social Media reaction
When news of the ponytail pulling took to the internet, many decided to see the fun side to it.
Others noted that it’s not the first time Key has tugged on a ponytail:
On US TV show Last Week Tonight, John Oliver tore into Key about the hair pulling.
Watch the video here (Warning: Contains strong language).