The former TV presenter who was allegedly assaulted by her All Black boyfriend has claimed the rugby player didn't touch her - that they just had a heated verbal argument.
"He's a sweetheart who'd never hurt a fly," she told a friend.
All Black loose forward Adam Thomson, 26, is accused of hitting girlfriend Joanna Holley twice in the early hours of last Sunday in Havelock North. It was 1.30am, and the two had been at a wedding reception. Police were called to the motel.
Thomson entered no plea to two assault charges at the Hastings District Court last Tuesday.
Holley is believed to have told police that the incident was a storm in a teacup, but police are understood to have a statement from one eyewitness that says otherwise.
Holley, also 26, was a presenter on TV2 children's show Squirt until the end of 2006. She will MC at Gisborne's Rhythm and Vines festival starting tomorrow.
Holley also starred in an Ingham chicken breast fillets television advertisement, which screened in both New Zealand and Britain.
In the advert, her character is doing yoga in front of the television and twists her head round so far that it snaps back-to-front.
"She wasn't prepared for that, but she is prepared for dinner," says the voiceover.
The advertisement is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Hollywood comedy Death Becomes Her, in which Meryl Streep's character is pushed down the stairs and breaks her neck.
The friend, who did not wish to be named, told the Herald on Sunday that Holley would never tolerate domestic violence. She had described the charges as "insane" and was sticking with Thomson.
"She said to me, 'I can't believe it, it seems like such a stitch-up - that just because he's an All Black an argument could suddenly turn into something crazy'."
Holley told the friend the argument was only verbal: "She just said, listen, this is crazy, he's a sweetheart who'd never hurt a fly."
Holley was standing by Thomson "100 per cent", the friend said.
The friend claimed that other wedding guests spoken to by police said they had not seen a physical assault.
Thomson's father, Ashburton man Bevis Thomson, has said the alleged assault would be out of character. "I know him well, the nature of him."
Holley yesterday declined to comment while the matter is before the court.
Thomson was bailed to his Dunedin address until his next appearance on January 29, on the condition that he not "offer violence" to his partner.
The 112kg flanker represented New Zealand at secondary schools, under-19, under-21 and Sevens. He has played five seasons for Otago and played his first game for the Highlanders Super 14 team in 2006. In June this year, he made his All Blacks debut against Ireland.
Neil Sorensen, general manager of professional rugby for the New Zealand Rugby Union, said the union would await the outcome of the legal proceedings, before discussing the matter with Thomson under the misconduct provisions of his contract.