Colin Craig scandal: Rachel MacGregor speaks about 'absolute nightmare'

Rachel MacGregor has spoken for the first time about the stress and turmoil of the Colin Craig scandal that all but destroyed the Conservative Party, saying she is still recovering from it.

Two nights before the 2014 election, Ms MacGregor quit her job as press secretary to Mr Craig, former leader of the Conservative Party. She alleged she had been sexually harassed for some time by him.

In March this year, Mr Craig was ordered to pay Ms MacGregor more than $120,000 for publicly humiliating her, following his repeated breaches of a confidentiality agreement signed as part of the settlement of the sexual harassment and pay claim.

Speaking to Mark Bunting on RadioLIVE on Thursday, Ms MacGregor said that as someone who is usually behind the scenes, becoming the centre of media attention was an "absolute nightmare" and it took an enormous personal toll.

She says it is something she is still recovering from.

"It's actually quite a slow process. I've always seen myself as somebody who's quite strong, and I've got an ability to bounce back from things, but this has had a really big toll on me, and the recovery is certainly taking a lot longer than I'd like," she says.

"As somebody who used to live life at full throttle and get all out of life that I can, I've really had to slow down."

Mr Craig stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations and would go on to face a lawsuit brought by Jordan Williams, executive director of the Taxpayers' Union. Mr Craig was found to have defamed Mr Williams in a press conference and in a leaflet sent to 1.6 million New Zealand households.

Appearing as a witness in the defamation case, Ms MacGregor told the court in September that Mr Craig would call her late at night when he couldn't sleep. She said he would request back massages and would blur the boundaries.

"He was disgusting," she told the court.

Ms MacGregor told RadioLIVE she took the job with the Conservative Party because she was new to the public relations sector and needed the money.

"He offered to pay me well for the work that I was doing. I was just starting out in PR, really, so it was nice to have a regular client," she says.

She says she continues to deal with the fallout and has been focusing on taking care of herself.

"I've got to make sure I go for walks with my dog in the morning, and I've got to make sure I'm eating well, which are the sort of things that get thrown out when you're under a lot of stress."

It's not all finished for Ms MacGregor.

"There are still a few court cases to go. I'm neither the plaintiff nor the defendant, but yet again, I'm the meat in the sandwich," she says.

"I'm hoping to stay away from all of them, but you know how well that went for me last time."