Woman in Worth case accused me too, says man

By Patrick Gower

A prominent member of the Korean community says he was once wrongly accused of inappropriate behaviour by the Korean complainant in the Richard Worth police investigation.

The man told the Weekend Herald the woman's accusations, made in a Korean newspaper several years ago, were unfounded.

The man, who cannot be named because it would identify the complainant, said he was accused of having an inappropriate or dishonest relationship with the woman.

He said the article distressed his wife and children and he considered legal action but it was too expensive. "If it [the accusation] was true, why did she not go to police and court - why a newspaper?"

The complainant, a Korean businesswoman in her 40s, could not be contacted yesterday.

The friend who encouraged her to go to the police and took her to National MP Tau Henare's office so John Key could be informed did not return the Herald's calls. But he later sent a text message comparing her situation with Dr Worth to "David and Goliath".

Police are investigating the woman's complaint about a sexual encounter with Dr Worth in Wellington in March.

Dr Worth resigned as a minister on Tuesday night because of her allegation. He has said he was not guilty of any crime and the public should suspend judgment until the allegation was resolved.

The prominent member of the Korean community said he met the woman complainant in 2003 when she came to him for assistance. He felt sorry for her after she told him of troubles that included involvement with an immigration consultant who had fled the country leaving angry clients behind.

She was also concerned about her immigration status and wanted help to get a job.

Her children were at an expensive Auckland private school that she owed fees to. He said she was a "shopaholic" who was always "always going to the department store and buying very famous brands".

A relationship had just broken up and she was divorced from her husband in Korea.

They had a friendship of several months that included going to restaurants in downtown Auckland. "She was crying. Every night she was crying," the man said. He added that the woman started asking him to introduce her to political leaders and major businessmen like the "owner of The Warehouse".

He introduced her to Richard Prebble, then the Act leader. He said that the woman changed to the point where he did not want to help her any more. After losing contact with her, an article appeared in one of the 10 Korean newspapers published in Auckland.

The journalist involved confirmed he had written about the accusation.

The prominent member of the Korean community said he had put the accusation behind him until hearing the woman was the complainant in the Richard Worth case.

- NZ Herald

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