Palino met with Chuang on election night

It's been revealed Len Brown's rival in the Auckland mayoralty race had late-night discussions with the woman Mr Brown had an affair with, just days before the scandal broke.

The Weekend Herald says John Palino met Bevan Chuang, contradicting his claim he knew nothing about the relationship.

The newspaper has published text messages between Mr Palino and Ms Chuang arranging to meet the night after Mr Palino's defeat in the local body elections.

It seems a contradiction of Mr Palino's claims two days later that he knew nothing about the extra-marital affair.

Mr Palino says in a statement today he did meet with Ms Chuang, at her request, "in relation to threatening texts we had both received from the same phone number".

"Bevan has never disclosed to me the full nature of her relationship with the Mayor and only ever indicated she received persistant and unwanted propositions from the Mayor," says Mr Palino.

"On the basis of this understanding, I advised her not to go public and, as reported in the Herald, told her it would not be published anyway.

"Suggestions now that I, an entrepreneur, TV personality and political novice, am somehow orchestrating some grand right-wing conspiracy to unseat Len after the election are so wrong and so absurd they do not stand up to even the remotest test of common sense," says Mr Palino.

Blogger Cameron Slater says at the time of the meeting, there were few details to go on. Mr Palino claims the first time he became aware of Mr Brown and Ms Chuang's sexual relationship was last Tuesday, following the release of Ms Chuang's affidavit.

Mr Slater says given that Mr Palino's fiance is a friend of Ms Chuang, it isn't out of order that Mr Palino would contact her.

Mr Slater is denying suggestions the Auckland mayor's political rival hatched the plan to force Mr Brown to resign.

Mr Slater says there's no way Mr Palino knew the details of the affair because Ms Chuang hadn't yet signed an affidavit.

He's pointing the finger in another direction.

"All of this comment about Mr Palino and when he had coffee or when he met after the election is a side issue that's being fed by the mayor's office to distract from his appalling behaviour," says Mr Slater.

He says despite protecting Ms Chuang from the media, she's now cut ties with him.

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source: newshub archive