Jonah speaks of his hurt when his trusted manager let him down

By James Ihaka

Jonah Lomu in full cry scoring for the All Blacks in his heyday. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Jonah Lomu in full cry scoring for the All Blacks in his heyday. Photo / Paul Estcourt

Rugby superstar Jonah Lomu has criticised his former manager Phil Kingsley Jones in a new book detailing how their relationship crumbled after he took payment for a magazine article about the former All Black without telling him.

In an extract from Jonah: My Story, Lomu reveals how in 2003 Kingsley Jones organised some quotes to run with a New Zealand Woman's Weekly article about the rugby player's new relationship with Fiona Taylor after his break-up with partner Teina Stace.

He said the player/manager relationship was "built on trust" with "no signatures on anything" but Kingsley Jones did not tell him about the payment he received for the story.

"He claims in his book that I did not contribute to the story so he never paid me any money. And he also claims that the cheque was paid to him personally, not Number 11 Management. I'm like, What? This was an exclusive story about Fiona and me getting together, and he knew all the details," says Lomu.

The giant winger says he asked Kingsley Jones on at least two occasions whether he had received payment and "he flat out said no".

When the Welshman finally admitted to getting paid, Lomu said that was the end of their friendship.

"What hurt so much was that we had always worked on the principle of being straight with each other and upfront in all our dealings," he says.

In his 2011 book How Did I Manage That?, Kingsley Jones says he received a cheque made out to himself and not Number 11 Management after the "damage control" article ran.

"Jonah hadn't contributed to the article, so I didn't give it to him.

"If I had brought in a PR man to deal with the s*** that was going down after the Sunday News story, it would have cost me a lot more than what the cheque was worth" says Kingsley Jones.

"Perhaps I was wrong. I was willing to talk to him about it, but we never had the conversation.

- NZ Herald

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