A former Shortland St star is at the centre of a police crash-and-run investigation into allegations his car smashed and wove through central Auckland and over the Harbour Bridge before being stopped by police.
Paul Reid, 31, an actor-turned-popstar-turned-businessman, was charged this week with driving at more than double the alcohol limit.
A black BMW convertible registered to Reid's company, with a smashed front bumper and headlight, was parked in Reid's Titirangi driveway when the Herald on Sunday visited.
Reid played Marshall Heywood in Shortland St from 2000 to 2004, before gaining further prominence as lead singer of Los Angeles-based band Rubicon. He now runs apartment real estate company Iconicity.
Reid refused to talk about the dramatic crash in Lorne St in Auckland's CBD, claiming the allegations were a "fabrication". But an eyewitness noted the BMW's distinctive licence plate, APTMNT.
"It was driving pretty fast in a one-way street," the witness said. "It's a narrow street with cars parked on both sides. [The car] was weaving all over the road and then it smashed into a parked car.
"He hit it pretty hard because it was pushed up on to the footpath and the front of his car ended up wedged underneath the parked car."
The BMW was reversed out from under the parked car, and driven away.
The witness called 111 and reported the convertible, but could not see who was driving it. She left her contact details on the damaged car, she said, and was later contacted by police, who told her a man had been stopped by police on the North Shore and processed for drink-driving.
"They told me they had received numerous 111 and *555 calls about the same car driving erratically in the city, on the motorway and over the Harbour Bridge," she said.
The owner of the parked car, student Sam Kronfeld, said his girlfriend returned to his car to find the bumper smashed on the road. He said the damage amounted to $1700.
"I want the driver to pay for the damage," he said. "I'm grateful the eyewitness left her details and reported it to police. Otherwise we'd have no idea what happened. He was pretty gutless to drive off."
Kronfeld and the eyewitness both say they have been interviewed by police, who have confirmed to the Herald on Sunday that the BMW was involved in an incident on December 19.
Reid elected a blood test when he was pulled over, and the results were not available for a month. On their return, Reid was charged with driving with a blood alcohol reading of 214mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, and is due in the North Shore District Court on April 2.
Reid was tight-lipped when contacted by the Herald on Sunday before the charge was laid. "I have no comment to make," he said.
However, he later emailed a statement to the newspaper. "While flattered that you think my profile still newsworthy after nine years since myself being on TV, if you run this fabricated story Iconicity Limited will never advertise again in any NZ Herald or APN publication."
Iconicity has been buying and selling apartments in Auckland since 2009. On its website, it claims to be the largest private buyer and seller of apartments in Auckland City. In the past financial year the company bought and sold more than 122 apartments in Auckland's CBD.
On Shortland St, Reid played the troublesome son of receptionist Barb Heywood. One of his pivotal storylines revolved around starting to use the drug P, becoming a drug addict and accidentally burning down his home with half the medical clinic's cast inside.
Reid married his long time girlfriend, former Shortland St actor Rhiannon Cole, in a helicopter wedding over Las Vegas.
They returned to New Zealand in 2006 when their first child was born.