Sunday 20 January 2019

Father backs Irish daughter at centre of texts scandal with Australian minister

Woman in 'Sugar Daddy' storm 'acted like eejit'

SCANDAL: Andrew Broad, a senior minister in the Australian cabinet, resigned after a magazine published allegations that he was involved in a ‘sexting’ scandal with an Irish woman.
SCANDAL: Andrew Broad, a senior minister in the Australian cabinet, resigned after a magazine published allegations that he was involved in a ‘sexting’ scandal with an Irish woman.
Some of the the alleged texts and the coverage in the magazine
Some of the the alleged texts and the coverage in the magazine

Alan O'Keeffe

The father of the Irish woman at the centre of an Australian government resignation scandal has spoken to defend his daughter.

He said his daughter would never contemplate blackmail. She had a good job and could never be considered to be in any way involved in sex for sale.

The 25-year-old Dublin woman told a magazine in Australia that a married government minister behaved inappropriately on a dinner date in Hong Kong arranged through a website which brings together "generous sugar daddies" and "attractive sugar babies".

Andrew Broad (43), assistant minister to the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, resigned his ministerial job after the matter became public and announced he will not be seeking re-election.

He declared he had let down his family, his staff, and his political party.

The Dublin woman went to the magazine after the politician refused her request for the payment of "an allowance" for meeting him. She had walked out on him during their dinner date because she became uncomfortable with his behaviour.

In a message she sent to the politician later that night, she told him to pay her "the allowance" of 8,000 Hong Kong dollars (€890) into her Paypal account or else she would go public, adding: "I'm fully aware of how much more I could get if I went public to the papers with my story."

The Nationals Party MP later referred her message to Australian police who said the matter was outside their jurisdiction.

The woman, who comes from South Dublin, achieved a first class honours master's degree and now works for a reputable company in Hong Kong.

She has done volunteering work in South America and also does charity work in Hong Kong, said her father.

Her 55-year-old Irish father, when approached by the Sunday Independent, invited this newspaper to his office yesterday to speak of the matter.

He said he had spoken to his daughter about what happened and she had acted like a "bloody eejit".

But he was proud that she had walked out of the restaurant when she did.

"There was absolutely no question of blackmail," he said.

He sought to explain her demand for "the allowance" from the politician. She had been introduced to the activities on the SeekingArrangement.com website by new friends she had made after she was transferred to Hong Kong by her company, he said.

"As I understand it, they go out with wealthy men. They have dinner in a restaurant they probably wouldn't eat in themselves and then at the end of the night they get enough for a nice bag or a purse or a scarf or whatever it is.

"Obviously, there's a fee to the agency and herself but why anyone would do it is beyond me," he said.

He referred to the reports that said she became uncomfortable by his behaviour in the restaurant.

"That inappropriate behaviour commenced in a restaurant and she terminated it there and then.

"If that doesn't tell you what her intention was for the night ?" he said.

He said she met up with friends afterwards and they drank a lot of wine after which she sent "a drunken text" seeking the allowance payment.

She said she had been new to Hong Kong and dating websites were how people meet.

"She was new to Hong Kong. Dating websites are how people meet and how people set up meetings."

Her new friends, who were now ''former friends'', said that these dinner dates would just consist of having nice dinners.

The dismayed father said: "She is well educated to master's level. She has made many a mistake. She is 25. I am proud of the way she left the restaurant.

"I am proud of her all the time. I love her to bits, and always will. She is as naive as they come, at times.

"But I am glad that she did what she did at the restaurant. But do I think she covered herself in glory afterwards? Absolutely not. I thought she was a bloody eejit. An absolute idiot.

"Of course, she is not going to go back to that website again or any other for that matter. She now has zero online presence and so it shall remain," he said.

He said he could not definitely say why his daughter decided to expose the activities of the married politician.

"I do know she thought he was a creep and she thought he should never be in power," he said.

He said her actions were "complete and utter stupidity".

"She has a good job as I understand it to be. She is working away. She has the full support of the company who obviously do not wish to be named.

"She's a good person who did something stupid. She made two big mistakes except she's a bloody eejit for making them.

"She is not a lady of the night by any manner or means. Not even remotely," he said.

Reports of the political scandal stated that the Irishwoman used the online alias ''Sweet Sophia Rose''.

It is alleged she told the magazine Mr Broad boasted about being in an important position in the Australian government.

She claimed he then began acting inappropriately which made her feel uncomfortable and she told him she was leaving and left the restaurant.

He had sent her a number of seedy text messages which were published in the Australian media. Mr Broad told journalists he did not pay her any money.

One of the texts to her before their date stated that he knew "how to ride a horse, fly a plane and f*** my woman".

Another message to her allegedly stated he had booked "a flashy room to seduce you back to".

Mr Broad resigned from the front bench after her interview was published.

In a statement, he said that "after recent media stories about my private life" voters in his rural electorate in the state of Victoria would be better served by another Nationals party politician.

On Friday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported the office of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was made aware of the allegations in early December, but it is not clear when Mr Morrison himself was informed.

Mr Broad is then believed to have first approached his party leader Michael McCormack, telling him what had happened.

Mr McCormack has since confirmed he knew of the meetings and allegations made in early November and he said he rejected Mr Broad's offer to resign at the time.

The controversy continues to rock political life in Australia with questions being asked about who knew what and when. Some claimed it was a scandal that threatens to derail the Australian Government.

Sunday Independent

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