Divorced with three children, all she wanted to do was make a better life for her family, earn some money, make some influential contacts who might be able to help her.

But when the Korean woman arrived in New Zealand in 2000, she never expected to be at the centre of a political firestorm involving one such influential contact - Government minister Richard Worth.

Her complaint about Worth followed another complaint made by a Labour Party member about phone calls and text messages from Worth.

For the 45-year-old Korean businesswoman, the accusation against Worth came six years after an encounter with another influential man - that time a Korean community leader - and again it ended with a complaint about the man's behaviour. Both men have denied wrongdoing.

Yesterday, the woman's estranged sister said she was worried about her predicament - and feared to tell their ailing mother.

"It is a very sad story," she said. "She studied here and tried to be a good mum to her three children ... She has different thinking. She wants to buy nice things and make money."

The sister added: "She wants work here, to do business here, but sometimes that's not so easy."

The woman went into property development, and is part-owner of several companies. But one company was put into liquidation this year, at the request of creditors who were owed money.

A former business associate said the woman "always liked power and wealth".

"I think Richard is naive and stupid, but to me he had not done anything wrong," the associate said.

One of the few people willing to put his name to his words is Dover Samuels, who was stood down as a Labour Cabinet minister amid "swirling" allegations of sex with a woman in his care aged under 18. Police cleared him of any crime, but he was never reappointed to the Cabinet.

Yesterday he left phone messages for Worth, offering support.

"As somebody who has been through a hanging without trial, I'm cautioning Prime Minister John Key against running a Parliamentary kangaroo court against Richard. It shouldn't be trial by Parliament, it shouldn't be trial by media," Samuels said.