Revealed: Secret celebrity's rowdy tiff

By Anna Leask

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A high-profile household name was arrested after an argument with his wife during which he jumped on the bonnet of their car in central Auckland, the Herald understands.

While details of his arrest can now be revealed, his identity is still protected by a court order, and may remain permanently suppressed.

The 46-year-old man was to have appeared in the Auckland District Court today on a charge of disorderly behaviour.

But his lawyer had the case called a day early after the man was accepted into the police diversion scheme.

Because he has been granted diversion, his case has been excused and he did not have to appear in court.

He will retain name suppression until at least February 7, when arguments for and against keeping his identity a secret, including submissions from media organisations, will be presented to the court.

The man, whose occupation is also suppressed, was arrested on the morning of December 29 on Quay St in downtown Auckland.

The commotion was heard by nearby apartment residents.

The man's wife did not return calls to the Herald last night, and his lawyer Jenni Smith said the man had no comment as the matter was still before the courts.

A colleague of the man said he had returned to work after his arrest made headlines, but he looked stressed.

Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar urged the man to be accountable for his actions and not hide behind name suppression.

"We are against name suppression, and more against it for celebrities," he said.

"Like it or not, they become role models and icons in the community. I believe they should stand up and be accountable for their actions."

TV star Simon Dallow, who is also 46, has gone public to say he is not the arrested man.

A proposed new law may soon make it harder for people to keep their identity secret simply because they are famous.

Justice Minister Simon Power released the Criminal Procedure Bill in October for public consultation.

He said the law would make it clear that "wealth, reputation or public awareness" were not factors in gaining name suppression.

Defendants would have to prove "extreme hardship" would result if their names were made public.

"Being famous is not a good enough reason to be granted name suppression," he said.

"To ensure public confidence in the justice system is maintained, there must be one set of rules for everyone."

The proposal came after a top musician kept his identity secret after admitting to performing an indecent act on a young girl.

He was discharged without conviction and given permanent name suppression.

Despite that case, former Criminal Bar Association president Anthony Rogers said it was difficult for a person to retain name suppression.

"The decision is never made lightly. It's very difficult to get suppression of name because the whole trend of the courts in recent years has been towards open justice."

Mr Rogers said judges took far more into consideration when deciding to grant suppression than merely whether a person was well known and potential damage to their reputation.

"It's not the charge, it's all the circumstances. You can't say this charge should or should not result in the outcome of a suppression order, it doesn't work like that."

He said high-profile cases did not automatically qualify for name suppression.

"It depends on their particular circumstances and why publication would have an impact on that person or other persons.

"It is absolutely dependent on the facts of each individual case. There's no rule that celebrities get suppression."

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n1 at 23 Jul 2014 07:15:05 Processing Time: 587ms