Producers of the TV miniseries Jonah, the life story of the rugby legend, have hit back at Phil Kingsley Jones' claims he wasn't consulted over the miniseries.
Jonah, directed by Danny Mulheron, aired over two nights on Three and has won praise for the performance of Mosese Veaila as the rugby great.
Kingsley Jones is widely credited as the man who discovered Lomu when he was playing at Auckland's Wesley College.
But following the airing of Jonah, Kingsley Jones today criticised the miniseries, saying "it was all over the place and [had] a lot of truths left out", claiming the show had "so much wrong" with it.
Last year Kingsley Jones told the Herald that he hadn't been consulted about the series.
"I offered to consult for them for free but they never came to me. I am alive, Jonah's not. They can write what they like. I mean they better get it right."
Now the producers have hit back at Kingsley Jones' claims.
A spokesperson for Great Southern Television told the Herald that Kingsley Jones was heavily involved in the making of the drama - including lengthy discussions with both researchers and producers.
"The producers conducted over 200 hours of interviews ahead of the scripting process," the spokesperson said.
"Of that, Phil's interview was around four hours long. He sat down with the writing and research team and then subsequently had a couple of meetings with producers and the production team.
"He met with the actor portraying him on screen for a couple of hours and he visited the set of the production for three hours."
Images of Kingsley Jones meeting with the actor who portrayed him on screen, Kelson Henderson, have also been posted to social media.
The spokesperson for Great Southern Television also confirmed researchers and producers conducted numerous interviews with Lomu's mother Hepi, brother John, former coaches Laurie Mains and John Hart, doctor John Mayhew, and Phil Kingsley Jones himself as well as many others who played an influential part in the rugby legend's life.
When approached by the Herald regarding his involvement and social media criticism of the miniseries, Kingsley Jones refused to comment or elaborate.
Kingsley Jones went on to manage Lomu throughout his career, before Lomu's marriage to Fiona Taylor saw their partnership end. The drama last night showed Taylor questioning Kingsley Jones about money she believed had been withheld from Lomu.
The Welshman recently spoke to the New Zealand Woman's Weekly and shared his frustrations over the bitter end to his relationship with Jonah.
"It was the worst time of my life not going to the funeral," he told the magazine.
"A young prop from Tonga who did security rang me up and said, 'Phil, I've been told you're not allowed at that funeral – Jonah wouldn't want you there'.
"On the day of the funeral, I sat at the Counties Manukau clubrooms and watched it on the telly with tears streaming down my face."
The 71-year-old told Women's Weekly he hadn't been involved in the making of the two-part movie but hoped he was portrayed fairly.
The two-part special has been criticised by Herald reviewer Anna Murray for its "disjointed script" and its reliance on viewers' knowledge of the intimate details of Lomu's love life.