Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday.

X Factor judges Willy Moon and Natalia Kills accuse bakery abuse victim of lying

Moon with wife and fellow X Factor NZ judge Natalia Kills. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
Moon with wife and fellow X Factor NZ judge Natalia Kills. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

X Factor husband and wife judges Willy Moon and Natalia Kills have accused an Auckland mother of lying about an abusive encounter she had with Moon at a bakery.

X Factor producers TV3 issued an apology on Moon's behalf, saying he regretted the incident and his language, but Moon said on social media he regretted no such thing.

Moon delivered his blue-language burst to Tracey Neal-Gailer on Tuesday morning at the Baker's Cottage, in the Auckland suburb of Kingsland, where she was buying a cake to celebrate her 51st birthday.

Moon became riled in the bakery carpark. Ms Neal-Gailer believed he thought she had taken his parking space.

READ TRACEY NEAL-GAILER'S LETTER TO WILLY MOON BELOW

"He was a passenger in a car being driven by a woman and he became very upset when I pulled into a space before him, even though I had the right of way," she said.

"He got out of the car and was waving his finger at me and saying, 'No, no, no." He then snarled, 'That was so rude', as we both went into the bakery."

Worse was to follow in the bakery, Moon calling her a "c***" in front of stunned staff and customers. "This is a man who is supposed to mentor young people on national television and what he said was disgraceful," Ms Neal-Gailer said.

"I couldn't believe it when he twice hissed at me, 'You are such a c***'."

Today Moon took to Twitter to abuse Ms Neal-Gailer and the Herald.

"Not only a **** but a lying **** judging from that 'statement' you [nzherald.co.nz] saw fit to print. Laughable. Bored?," he posted.

He added: "'Woman proves my point by writing long inaccurate sad letter detailing how much of a **** she is'". Better headline."

His wife also came out swinging: "Why did you invent a quote my husband NEVER said?! He never apologized to that c*** lady. Stop defending her bullying," Kills wrote.

She added: "Hilarious that lady is proving not only how much of a c*** she is, but also a lying c***! 'Children present'?! Where?!"

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Moon earlier told the Herald on Sunday that Ms Neal-Gailer deserved what she got.

"I seem to recall someone was behaving like a c*** and getting called a c***," Moon said. "It's as simple as that."

Tracey Neal-Gailer. Photo / Doug Sherring
Tracey Neal-Gailer. Photo / Doug Sherring

He said he had no intention of apologising to the mother of two. "Just tell her I love her and I am thinking about her constantly."

On Friday, TV3 said Moon regretted his actions. "Willy regrets the incident took place and he will also be more thoughtful in his choice of language in future."

It was second forced apology from TV3 involving The X Factor. Last month it was at the centre of a media storm for minimising the role one its contestants, Shae Brider, played in the manslaughter of a teenager in 2004. TV3 has also come under fire for over revelations one of the contestants on its show The Bachelor was sentenced to 18 months' jail for stealing almost $40,000 from her employer.

Ms Neal-Gailer described TV3's apology as "lame" and she was disappointed but "not surprised" that Moon had not been in touch with her directly.

Tracey Neal-Gailer's letter to WIlly Moon

Dear Willy Moon,

You may or may not remember me because I honestly don't know how many people you verbally abuse in any given day. I am the one at the bakery this morning that you called (actually hissing!) the 'C' word in front of a shop full of bakery customers and staff. This was after a small incident where you were delayed by a matter of seconds after I went in front of you into the bakery carpark (turning off a busy main road, having cars behind me and, actually, the legal right of way as I was turning left and you were turning right).

This incident seemed to enrage you to the point of getting out of your car, shaking your finger at me and shouting. I thought at the time that perhaps you were upset that I might be taking the last carpark, but no, there were several empty spaces available. After being 'told off' by you in the carpark, we both proceeded to transact our bakery purchases.
It was upon leaving that you thought it incumbent upon yourself to remind me of my transgression by using that particular word.

Given your current public profile, I am surprised that you thought that you were entitled to use language like that at any time, let alone in front of a shop full of people, at least half of whom recognised you. The two young Asian girls next to you, who had been whispering about you in a look-who-it-is-golly-a-celebrity kind of way, looked shocked and the lady behind the counter asked if I was alright. I was a bit shaken up but thanks for asking.

Can I suggest a short brush-up course on the current road rules and perhaps some anger management therapy? The groups that you are supposedly 'mentoring' are very likely to annoy you at some point and we wouldn't want any embarrassing, misogynist and potentially actionable, outbursts caught on camera, would we?

Kind regards,

The woman you called a C*** this morning at 9.15 at the Bakers Cottage in Kingsland (in case there are any other women you have called this today).

- NZ Herald

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