The allegations made by Today Tonight this evening detail a number of assertions that are incorrect and/or were never made by A Current Affair.
To be absolutely clear,
· ACA detailed new evidence regarding a $770 transaction incurred on Craig Thomson’s HSU credit card on 7 May 2005. ACA have at no time asserted the woman featured on Today Tonight this evening was the prostitute involved in that transaction. To the contrary, ACA is aware that a prostitute other than the woman interviewed tonight was allegedly involved.
· The woman interviewed by Today Tonight swore a statutory declaration to A Current Affair in the presence of legal counsel that she had sex with Craig Thomson on at least one occasion.
· The woman also provided A Current Affair with an extensive on camera interview.
· Following Craig Thomson’s speech to parliament the woman sent a text message to A Current Affair indicating that she was panicked and was no longer a credible witness. However, when contacted by reporter Justin Armsden she indicated verbally that she stood by her positive identification of Thomson.
· As has been previously reported, the decision was then made to put all claims to Craig Thomson himself. That occurred in his Parliament House office on 23 May 2012.
· After consultation with Victorian Fraud and Extortion Squad detectives it became clear more than one escort associated with Boardroom Escorts was allegedly involved.
· A Current Affair then took the view it had two separate elements to address. The first being the revelation of the previously unidentified transaction of the 7 May 2005 which we broadcast. The second, being the statutory declaration and on camera interview by the former escort indicating she had slept with Craig Thomson, which we chose NOT to broadcast.
· At no time has ACA named, identified or depicted the woman who appeared on Today Tonight this evening.
· At no time has ACA paid any amount of money to any person associated with this investigation. As indicated previously, a fee had been discussed, however no money would have been forthcoming until the allegations had been substantiated, a contract agreed and the interview broadcast.
· As the woman’s credibility is obviously now seriously an issue, something we strongly suspected, ACA now believes more so that it should be left for the Police to investigate given their extensive powers to compel witnesses and to cross examine witnesses under oath.
Accordingly ACA made the proper decision not to air the interview and we’re more fortified of that view having seen the rubbish that was dished up tonight.