Yesterday evening, addressing the fallout from the release of a taped conversation between himself and Jami-Lee Ross, National leader Simon Bridges said Ross was a “terrible” person, against whom it was “hardly worth the time and effort” of pursuing legal action.
If the evidence presented so far doesn't prove that Bridges—as Ross has repeatedly claimed—committed electoral fraud, proof of Bridges' assessment of his rival is steadily mounting. This morning Newsroom released a story, a year in the making, that features the experiences of four women who say they suffered during close relationships with Jami-Lee Ross. Two of them had affairs with the married MP.
One woman described her affair with Ross as her “biggest mistake”. “He would fly into jealous rages, arguing endlessly. That’s when the abusive part of the relationship started to outweigh the love-bombing. I would think, ‘Why can’t I get this right? Why can’t I communicate in a way that pleases him?’”
She said the sex became “brutal and misogynistic”.
Another woman said that while the sex was consensual, Ross had “100 percent groomed her”. “It’s a mind fuck... and it was easy to be swept away. I was sucked in and swept sideways despite my better judgment.”
A third woman, a National Party member, was “completely floored” that Ross had told the country, in an earlier press conference, that to the best of his knowledge he had never harassed a woman. “I can assure the public that my dealings with Jami-Lee Ross have never left me more harassed and disrespected as a woman in my whole life,” she said.
Yet another woman said her stress and anxiety became so bad during her affair with Ross that she had sought medical help. “He destroyed me as a person… It makes me shake, just thinking of him.”
Ross didn’t respond to these specific allegations but, at an earlier press conference, said the following: “I’m comfortable with what I have with my wife… if they want to start lifting the bedsheets on everyone that works in that building, you guys and MPs, then I think there’ll be a lot of people concerned —even those that are throwing allegations now.”