A grandmother publicly slammed as a "moron" by radio and TV presenter Mike Hosking has spoken out about her run-in outside an upmarket cafe.
Pre-school manager Gayle Newby, who was celebrating her 60th birthday, was parking in Newmarket's Teed St when the bumper of her 12-year-old Toyota Estima dinged Hosking's Maserati.
"He bowled out and berated me," Newby said. "He just kept on going on about what a rare and expensive vehicle it was. He had a real tone in his voice. It was really unkind.
"Most people would see that we were both insured, but not him. I mean, it was just a simple little accident."
The damage was not serious, but a new grille for the Italian sports car is estimated to cost $6000.
Newby, who has a clean driving history, provided Hosking with her details but said he refused to do the same - and left without even confirming his name.
"I went away reflecting that some people will have woken up this morning and not have any food and he's more worried about his car," Newby said.
Hosking later recorded his feelings online, posting "first task of the holidays taking my car to be fixed after a Moron [sic] backed into it" on his NewstalkZB Twitter page.
Wife Kate Hawkesby joined in, adding: "@hoskingonzb I note the use of a capital 'M' for moron."
Newby, who spends her days teaching manners and life skills to pre-schoolers, was horrified by Hosking's reaction. She had been a regular listener to his radio show but had no interest in tuning in again.
She had researched rear-vision cameras and products that beep when the car comes close to an object.
"I was very upset. I'm going to remedy the situation so it doesn't happen again."
Newby was reluctant to talk about the incident but was urged to by her friend and employee Avalon Fraser.
"She is one of the loveliest women I know," Fraser said of Newby. "She's a wife, a mother, grandmother, teacher and business-owner who values people above all else in her life; a kind-hearted woman who would do anything to help others. "
Fraser said Hosking should revise his priorities. "If that is the worst thing to happen to you these holidays, perhaps spare a thought for those people who live in the real world and have real problems to contend with."
Hosking did not respond to calls inviting him to discuss the incident.By Celeste Gorrell Anstiss @Cagorrell Email Celeste