Key Points:

While all eyes were on Owen Glenn this week, his executive assistant attracted some attention of her own.

When Mr Glenn stepped out in public the woman at his side was a North Shore physiotherapist who joined his global empire during the America's Cup in 2002.

Laura Ede, who answered the infamous telephone call from Winston Peters in December 2005, backed up her boss's version of events at a press conference at Auckland's Hilton Hotel on Wednesday.

Contradicting Mr Peters, who has said he only learned of the donation in July this year, Mr Glenn told assembled journalists Ms Ede took calls to and from the New Zealand First leader asking for money and was prepared to sign an affidavit confirming this.

Speaking from Glenn's villa on Malolo Lailai island in Fiji last night, the Australian-born Ede said she started as an "assistant to the assistant" to the global businessman and philanthropist while he was in Auckland on his yacht Ubiquitous.

Asked if she was the Laura Ede who was crowned Miss North Harbour 1999, she replied: "No comment."

She told the Weekend Herald she put on hold a career in physiotherapy to begin a jet-setting career managing the owner of a freight empire with 1800 staff around the world.

She said she was now responsible for Mr Glenn's global finances and the business-related matters of running his Monaco-based yacht with its four crew, and administration of the Glenn Family Foundation.

"I have a wide authority for Mr Glenn to take actions that I know he will require. He has learned that he can trust me and rely on me."

Ms Ede, who had a big smile for her boss at Wednesday's extraordinary press conference, said he was an extremely generous and fair man.

"His friends remain unchanged including mates from his school years in New Zealand, although his own circumstances have changed substantially. He challenges the norm and is a true entrepreneur."

Laura Ede has been based in Sydney and Monaco working for Mr Glenn but these days she works from London where she lives with her Australian boyfriend.

Her parents, who moved to New Zealand when she was 6, and two brothers live in Auckland.