New Zealand PM apologizes to waitress after ‘hair pulling’ row


Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key has apologized early Wednesday following claims by an Auckland waitress that he repeatedly tugged on her ponytail.

In an anonymous post at the Daily Blog site, the waitress accused her country’s premier John Key of acting “like the schoolyard bully tugging on the little girls’ hair trying to get a reaction.”

She said Key had pulled at her ponytail during visits to a cafe he frequented with his wife over the course of about six months.
Through a spokesperson, Key apologized for the hair-pulling, saying it “was never his intention to make her feel uncomfortable.”

Key himself repeated the apology at Los Angeles airport while en route to Turkey when he said there were “a lot of fun and games” at the cafe and “lots of practical jokes”.

The ensuring row has generated international headlines and sparked heated debate in New Zealand about Key’s behavior.

His parliamentary opponents have described the 53-year-old’s actions as “weird”, “childish” and “totally unbecoming of the prime minister.”

The controversy has become an unwelcome distraction for Key as he travels to Turkey for a somber ceremony to mark 100 years since the Gallipoli landings involving Australian and New Zealand troops.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47