Jaime Ridge has never spoken publicly about her relationship with Sonny Bill Williams, but this week she spoke exclusively to Spy.
Over a long dinner at The Grove, Sally and Jaime Ridge called out some of their critics, explained exactly why they are doing a reality TV show - and Jaime told what it was like to kiss Sonny Bill Williams. The Ridges were articulate, witty, outspoken and good humoured.
Spy: Jaime, it's a week since your successful boxing debut. How are you feeling?
Jaime: It was hard. I was on a very strict diet and I had my exams right in the middle of it. It was intense. I trained every day for seven weeks with one day off every two weeks.
Sally: The strain of the diet and the stress changed Jaime and put a stress on our relationship.
Spy: Did the media speculation on your weight bother you?
Jaime: I was actually heavier than what people thought I was to begin with. But I did lose the weight I was supposed to, I lost around 5kg in one week. The weight thing is not the issue, what pissed me off is when Rosanna (Arkle) and others criticised my weight without knowing anything about it, implying that I wasn't doing the work, when the whole time I was working my butt off. Monty kept telling me the work would pay off on the night and that's what happened.
Spy: Sally, what do you say to people who call you a "momager'', or criticise you for pushing Jaime to do the fight?
Sally: Oh, my gosh. I would never push Jaime! Jaime will do exactly what she wants to do, when she wants and how she wants. She asks me for my advice and we discuss things, but she is a young adult who makes her own decisions. I didn't want her to do the fight. Sara (Sara Tetro is the Ridge's agent) didn't want her to do the fight. But Jaime is her own woman.
At this point, as the first course of dinner was served, Ricardo, Sally and Jaime remembered that the three of them had appeared together (with 10 other celebrities) on a Metro celebrity cover shoot in 2011.
Sally: Drama! There were some nasty people on that shoot. Rachel Glucina and Denise L'Estrange-Corbet. I shouldn't say Denise is nasty, because I don't know her, but .....
Spy: Denise is lovely once you do get to know her. Though she isn't afraid to speak her mind, it's true. Do you know Denise's daughter Pebbles?
Jaime: I haven't met her, but she has tweeted some horrible things about me. She won't tweet me directly but makes jokes about me. If you're going to say that stuff, why not include me in the tweet?
Spy: Pebbles has a potty mouth on Twitter, yes. She talks shit to get attention. But like her mother Denise, Pebbles is a cool chick and great fun in person.
Jaime: See, I don't get that, why talk shit about someone you don't know? I would never say something bad about someone I don't know, especially not on Twitter.
Spy: If you have a high public profile, social media can be a double-edged sword. Do you get a lot of haters on Twitter?
Sally: We get a lot of support, but people can be so mean as well. They just go to town on you. I didn't even know what trending was until #ridgeepisodedescriptions started trending.
Spy: Being in the position you're in though, you must realise that people are going to make fun of you. It comes with the territory. Dom Harvey at The Edge did a skit about you, and since then you won't do any interviews for The Edge. Why?
Sally: Because he was nasty. It wasn't funny. He crossed a line.
Jaime: It might be funny to other people, but it's not funny when it's about your private relationships.
Sally: Dom pushed it too far. He was talking about my daughter and her boyfriend, and saying that I wanted to date him. That's just gross. I actually genuinely liked Dom before he did that. We know each other. But if I care about someone I will back them 700 per cent. When he did that, I was like, mate, I would never say that about you, so do you know what? Stuff your show, we aren't coming on it.
Jaime: My philosophy is if someone backs me and supports me, I will support them. Mai FM, Radio Live and Marcus Lush, they are professional broadcasters, so we go on their shows. But if you're going to say nasty things about me and then expect me to come on your show and be your friend, it's like, why would I do that?
Curiously, when we first arrived at the Grove, the producer of the Ridge's reality show joked that we needed to help Sally find a nice man. We thought this was interesting because while her film crew think Sally is single, Spy understands that a week ago Sally went on a date with Auckland businessman Warren Fenning.
Spy: Sally, would you consider yourself single at the moment?
Sally: Hahaha, I don't know, maybe?
Spy: Come on Sally, it's a yes or no question! Put it this way, are you dating anyone?
Sally: (Laughing and blushing) I did go on a date a week ago.
Spy: Does his name begin with W?
Sally: Oh my god, how do you know that?!
Spy: A good journalist never reveals their source. How about you Jaime, are you currently dating anyone?
Spy: There's a persistent rumour involving you and a certain rapper?
Jaime: It's just a rumour. People are such gossips. PNC is a good friend of mine, but that's all.
Spy: Jaime, early this year you dated Sonny Bill Williams. How long were you guys together?
Jaime: Longer than people thought.
Spy: Is that because you managed to keep it secret, how did you do that?
Sally: By locking him in our house.
Spy: Jaime, can you understand that to the public, there was a fascination about the relationship between you and Sonny? When you have one of the country's most beautiful young women, going out with a physical specimen like Sonny, people are going to talk.
Jaime: I do understand that people are interested. But you need to understand what it's like from my point of view, and what kind of pressure that puts on a relationship in its early stages.
Spy: Lets cut to the chase, was Sonny a good lover?
Jaime: (blushing, hard) I'm not answering that!
Spy: Sally, was your bedroom next door, could you hear the athletic love-making?
Sally: (also blushing, mildly outraged) No! I was downstairs!
Spy: Okay, and this is fair, Jaime, was Sonny a good kisser?
Jaime: Yes, he was a good kisser.
Sally: Do you know what, I have to say, Sonny spent a lot of time in our home and he was a beautiful person to have in the house. Not just visually, but in terms of his aura, and personality.
Jaime: Mum! Not just visually?
Sally: Hehehee. No, but seriously, he was amazing with my kids Astin, McLane and Boston. Chicky (McLane) used to call him Sunny Bunny and Boston just thought he was the coolest guy ever. He is just lovely. Such a nice guy. The one thing that fascinated me about Jaime and Sonny was the age difference. When you spent time with them together, there was no age difference. Jaime was 18 and Sonny was 26. I mean come on.
Spy: And Jaime, what happened with you and Sonny, why did you break up?
Jaime: Different things. Partly the media attention, partly different priorities.
Spy: Finally, can you tell us why you agreed to be part of a reality show?
Sally: It's simply an amazing opportunity. We thought about it for a long, long time, but life is short and you have to take the opportunities that come your way. We look at it as a job. It's hard work. I'm a single mother with four kids and I work hard to support them.
Jaime: We're good people. We're proud of who we are, we love spending time together, we have fun and we're not afraid to show it.
TV3 tell Spy the reality show will not screen until later this year. We think it will be worth the wait.By Ricardo Simich, Andy Pickering