Explicit texts allegedly from Colin Craig to staffer read in court

Colin Craig
Colin Craig

Sexually explicit texts allegedly sent by former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig to his ex-press secretary have been read in court.

The Taxpayers' Union's Jordan Williams presented the texts, which he said made him feel "physically ill", in the Auckland High Court on Tuesday as part of his defamation case against Mr Craig.

"You are wonderful, (you know what I mean by that) ;)" is what one of the texts reads, Mr Williams alleges.

"I slept well because I dreamt of being between your naked legs," he says another text read. 

Explicit texts allegedly from Colin Craig to staffer read in court

Colin Craig's former press secretary Rachel MacGregor (Source: Supplied)

In court, Mr Williams told the jury how Mr Craig's former press secretary Rachel MacGregor, who was in her 20s at the time, confided in him about how she felt trapped by her former employer.

He says she told him she was being sexually harassed by her employer, but couldn't leave due to financial pressures.

Mr Williams says she told him he had not paid her for six months. He says Mr Craig had told her arrangements were being made - but no specific dates were put down. 

Explicit texts allegedly from Colin Craig to staffer read in court

Colin Craig (Source: Getty Images)

The jury listened as Mr Williams explained how Ms MacGregor said Mr Craig would sometimes walk into her hotel room while they were travelling for work. She allegedly told him sometimes he wouldn't knock and wouldn't leave.

Mr Williams said she told him the harassment started off as touching on the shoulder, but soon grew to more.

He says Ms MacGregor told him Mr Craig kissed her and touched her inappropriately after the 2011 elections.

Mr Williams says Ms MacGregor told him Mr Craig would often get changed in front of her, and had a curtain installed in her office, and would close it when they were in there together.

She allegedly told Mr Williams that Mr Craig would find excuses for her to stay late after work, and at times he would not let her go home with friends after Conservative Party events.

Mr Williams said she resigned because she felt trapped.

Ms MacGregor took a sexual harassment case against Mr Craig to the Human Rights Commission in 2014 and resigned in September of that year, just before the general election.

Mr Craig's accusations 'meant I could lose everything' - Mr Williams

Mr Craig distributed a leaflet in 2015 to more than 1.6 million letterboxes, which addressed the harassment allegations, as well as claims he had paid Ms MacGregor to keep quiet.

Also contained in that leaflet were the statements about Mr Williams, which Mr William’s lawyer Peter McKnight  says amounted to "very serious defamation".

Members of the jury on Tuesday afternoon sat through a visual recording of the press conference where Mr Craig allegedly made defamatory remarks and handed the allegedly defamatory leaflet, titled 'Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas'.

In the press conference, Mr Craig addressed media with claims Mr Williams was involved in a co-ordinated attack to bring him crashing down from the top of the Conservative Party.

He claimed it was an attack that involved three people: Mr Williams, Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater and Conservative Party board member John Stringer.

Mr Williams told the court he felt like he was hyper-ventilating when he heard the accusations.

"I knew that Mr Craig's accusations meant I could lose everything I'd spent years working for."

During this same press conference, Mr Craig also disputed sending sexually explicit texts or paying Ms MacGregor hush money.

The jury also watched another of Mr Craig's press conferences where he spoke about the allegations of sexual harassment by Ms MacGregor.

He brought up the financial matters between himself and Ms MacGregor, stating they "had been solved."

He said his working relationship with her was "positive and constructive."

He told those at the conference that in hindsight "some of our misconduct was inappropriate", but said he wanted to make clear he had never sexually harassed anyone.

And it was at that same conference he spoke of his decision to step down from his role as party leader, saying he wanted to "take the heat off" the situation.

Both Colin Craig's wife and Ms MacGregor are expected to give evidence at the trial, which could last up to five weeks.

Mr Craig is defending the allegations.