Star athlete alleges Zac harassed her

By STAFF REPORTERS AND APNZ


Fresh allegations have been made against Zac Guildford, this time from Cook Islands triathlete Kelly Pick, who claims the Hawke's Bay All Black shouted "inappropriate sexual and defamatory comments" at her.

In a letter published in the Cook Islands News, Ms Pick said she was out for a run last Friday when a drunk Guildford drove back and forth past her on his rental scooter. She told him to go away but he persisted following and "harassing" her.

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"His behaviour was totally inappropriate to the point where I felt unsafe," she wrote.

"He was obviously highly intoxicated and driving his rental scooter very dangerously and speeding like an idiot.

"I got back from my run totally shaken and angry that someone (whoever they are) feels they have the right to harass and leer at other people."

Guildford last night broke his silence to apologise for his drunken rampage in Rarotonga.

In a statement released by the NZRU, he wrote: "I have no clear recollection of the events of that night, but there is no doubt that my behaviour was unacceptable and I am hugely embarrassed by what happened." He apologised to those he offended on Friday night (NZT), the patrons and staff who witnessed his behaviour, and the Cook Islands people.

"I also want to apologise to my family for the embarrassment my actions have caused. I don't want any sympathy for the situation I have ended up in, but I am thankful for the support I have received so far from so many people.

"It's obvious that I need help and I want to get home and to get that help as soon as I can. I need to sort myself out."

Today it was revealed Guildford was handcuffed and spent a night in police cells after the incident at Trader Jacks bar.

Acting Police Commissioner Aka Matapo said police received calls on Friday about two people arguing on the side of the road.

"Apparently they had lost the key to their motorcycle so both of them were brought to the station for questioning," Mr Matapo said.

"While the driver was being questioned, the passenger wandered off from police."

The passenger was Guildford - and a member of the public later called police to say a naked man was walking along the road.

"It was at Trader Jacks [bar] he was found, fully naked, with a cut on his face," Mr Matapo said.

Acting Police Commissioner Aka Matapo said officers tried to take Guildford to hospital, but had to handcuff him after he became unruly and escaped, swimming through a lagoon before being caught again.

"On the way [to the hospital] there was a bit of a struggle with the two police officers and we eventually had to detain him."

After being treated in hospital, Guildford was taken in handcuffs to the police station. When he was released the next morning, he apologised.

Mr Matapo said no charges were laid because police felt it wouldn't have been in the public interest or Guildford's for that to happen. But he said at the time they were unaware of any assault.

The owner of Trader Jacks bar, Jack Cooper, said there was little more to say on the issue.

"Everything has been said that can be said. I think it was an unfortunate situation, the guy obviously needs a lot of help."

The editor of the Cook Islands News, John Woods, told Radio New Zealand this morning that All Blacks management had asked him to facilitate a meeting between Guildford and the people he "disrespected".

He also confirmed his paper had published a letter to the editor from Ms Pick, who alleged Guildford had followed her for about a kilometre on his scooter.

Mr Woods confirmed Ms Pick would be one of the parties to attend the meeting that would exclude media. Corey Charlton, NZ Herald, APNZ

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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