Bevan Hurley

Bevan Hurley is the Herald on Sunday chief reporter.

Car crash reveals marriage spilt

John Pingram surveys the damage to his garage caused by property developer Jonathan King's car crashing into it. Photo / Michael Craig
John Pingram surveys the damage to his garage caused by property developer Jonathan King's car crashing into it. Photo / Michael Craig

She normally writes the gossip, but Herald on Sunday Spy co-editor Sophia Nash is the focus of the news this weekend after she and her property developer boyfriend crashed across two Auckland properties and into a garage in a $170,000 sports car.

Nash has spoken about the accident that witnesses say she was lucky to survive - and also revealed the breakdown of her recent marriage to George FM radio DJ Thane Kirby.

New partner Jonathan King, once engaged to Penelope Richwhite, and Nash had been out on Tuesday evening before King got behind the wheel of his white Audi RS5.

Residents say the car was driven up one of Auckland's steepest streets, the Bullock Track, before careering across Old Mill Rd. It left a path of destruction across two properties and was badly damaged.

Nash and King were rushed to hospital as a precaution. She spent two days under watch for concussion. A police spokeswoman said that investigations were continuing.

Recovering at home, she said: "I'm feeling a lot better today, quite a bit better than the last couple of days."

She suffered bruising from the seatbelt and was struggling to remember what happened.

Nash said she was aware of social media rumours around the accident, including one that she and the driver had tried to swap seats but said that was not true.

"The right-hand driver door wouldn't open. The doors jammed. We were both pulled out the passenger side."

She also admitted that her marriage to DJ, TV One's Good Morning music reviewer and co-editor of this paper's Spy pages, Thane Kirby, was over.

The couple, who have two young children, were married in April in a ceremony covered by a women's magazine and had been together for more than four years.

"This wasn't a Kim Kardashian 72-day marriage. We worked very hard at it," said Nash.

"We're handling it as best we can. We love each other very much."

They had sought counselling as the relationship deteriorated.

Kirby said he was not aware of the circumstances around the accident.

"I hope she recovers well," he said.

He did acknowledge that the marriage was over. "We tried hard to save the relationship, but it was too little too late."

He said he had two "beautiful children" with her and "she's still very special in my heart".

Nash said she felt compelled to talk about the crash at a difficult time because she recognised she owed it to readers.

"My job is to get the most factual report of what is happening in other people's lives. How could people have any respect for me if I'm not open about what's happening in mine?"

Residents along Old Mill Rd had been left shaken up by the crash.

John Pingram, 66, was lying in bed when he felt his whole house shake from the impact of the Audi into his garage.

He walked outside to find the "ass end of an Audi" sticking out of his garage.

"It's terrifying. If they had hit the big tree they would have been dead. If they had gone straight ahead they would have killed whoever was sleeping in the neighbour's house."

The crash wrecked their Toyota RAV4 which they had owned for just 10 days.

It took two tow trucks and a fire engine to pull the Audi out of the garage.

Nash and Kirby still edit today's Spy, in View magazine.

- Herald on Sunday

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