Colin Craig appears to have claimed ownership of a poem allegedly written for his former press secretary, Rachel MacGregor, and now wants to be paid for it.
WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater posted the poem, Two of Me, on his site in July - the day Craig stepped down as leader from the Conservative Party.
In an email to the blogger yesterday evening, Craig claimed a "clear breach of copyright" and asked Slater for a retraction, a written apology and $3000 per month for the display of his work to the public.
"Further to the matter of copyright which is in dispute between us. I advise that my previous offer to settle this matter is withdrawn. I also advise that in respect of the publication of my work I require the following..."
Craig then listed the three requirements and attached an invoice which came to $15,000.
"I see that this matter is to go before the disputes tribunal in the New Year. I look forward to their judgement on this matter," Craig finished the email by saying.
It was alleged earlier this year that Craig, who is married, had sexually harassed Ms MacGregor.
He denied it but did say there had been inappropriate behaviour.
Ms MacGregor tweeted at the time that Craig was "trying to frame me as a mistress. There was never a sexual relationship".
Part of Craig's Two of Me poem reads: "There is only one of me it's true, but I wish this were not the case, because I wish that I could have you."
Slater replied to Craig's email this morning and, copying in media, said: "Dear Colin, This has to be the most bizarre email I have ever received."
He said there was never an offer to settle from Craig, "just a list of demands with nothing in return".
"The irony of you now invoicing me for the Two of Me poem (which you originally alleged was a fabrication) from a company called Craig and Craig is comically genius," Slater wrote.
Tonight Craig told the Herald he was happy to leave it as a matter that is before the courts.
"And they will in due course come up with a decision," he said.
"So I'm very happy with that. I realise he likes to litigate things publicly, I'm quite happy to leave it up to the judicial system."
This was something Craig said in his reply email to Slater this morning, who wrote back soon after.
"Without even a hint of irony you moan about publicising things before the courts. Yet that is precisely how you like to run matters," Slater said.