Jami-Lee Ross says abusive text triggered his mental breakdown

Police are investigating a text message Jami-Lee Ross says he received from a female MP saying he deserved to die.

In New Zealand it is illegal to incite or encourage another person to take their own life, punishable by up to three years in prison.

In his first television interview since being sectioned to a mental health facility at Middlemore Hospital in October, Mr Ross says the text led to his nervous breakdown.

While driving around his Botany electorate with Newshub's Political Editor Tova O'Brien, Mr Ross revisited the worst moment of his life.

"It was my children that stopped me from actually going through with hurting myself."

This is the most emotional he says he's been since he was sectioned in October 2018.

"I'm just lucky that there were people looking for me, and lucky I thought of my little girl's happy face and not wanting to crush that."

Police deployed a helicopter and police dogs searched for him.

"They told me they were detaining me under the Mental Health Act."

Police have now confirmed they're investigating an abusive text message, sent to Mr Ross by an MP he had an affair with, telling him he deserved to die.

"They told me that they had received a complaint in relation to that text," he says. "I didn't initiate that complaint, but agreed to co-operate."

Last week his doctor sent a note to Parliament's speaker, saying Mr Ross is fit to return.

"People can expect I'm not going to be there to throw bombs, I'm not going to be there to conduct any vendetta."

There's arguably been more than enough of that. On October 16 Mr Ross held an hour-long press conference that left New Zealand collectively gobsmacked, in which he lobbied serious accusations at Simon Bridges.

"I was in a hate-fuelled daze by the time I spoke to the media," he now says.

After that, half a dozen women anonymously spoke out about him, outlining horrendous behaviour - bullying, manipulation, narcissism.

"I asked my doctor if I have narcissistic personality disorder," Mr Ross says. "He told me I did not."

Some of those women still work at Parliament, but he says he's not there to start more trouble.

"I'll be there doing my job, positive reasons. I'm not there to cause anyone any harm."

Mr Ross says one of the women has since approached him, and he claims it was the National Party leadership which urged her to publicly smear him.

"She was asked by Paula Bennett to speak to the media and she did so. She was also asked by the chief of staff, her employer, to hand over her personal text messages."

National's leader and deputy leader both utterly reject the accusation.

"I haven't been involved in relation to those matters," Mr Bridges told Newshub.

"People made up their own minds about what they did," says Ms Bennett.

Mr Ross was elected by voters in Botany as a National MP, but has elected himself to remain there as an independent.

"I think I owe it to them to keep working for them," he says. "To trigger a by election put to the people - that's a costly expense that I don't think they deserve. The people of Botany have been through enough."

They're not the only ones.

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