A curiouser and curiouser tale – Mrs Veitch speaks up

What a fascinating account of the Tony Veitch affair in the Herald on Sunday this week. Tony’s partner, Zoe has given an amazing interview to the paper in which the curious issue of Kristin Dunne-Powell’s motive bubbles close to the surface of the text, but without ever being made explicit.

There’s a similar story in the Sunday Star Times by Donna Chisholm, but with none of the real impact. ["We'll fight to  bitter end"]

Jane Phare’s story in the HoS stops short of suggesting anything really sinister, but a picture emerges of a young woman obsessed with a failed relationship and driven by something unhealthy:

Zoe Veitch, 27, said her husband’s former partner, Dunne-Powell, had had a “hold over us for the majority of our relationship”.

Speaking publicly for the first time, Veitch told the Herald on Sunday yesterday that Dunne-Powell appeared to react each time she saw Tony Veitch or the couple together, or if they were photographed socially.

“There was always something from her within a couple of days. It was always very reactionary.”

Veitch said that she had hoped once Dunne-Powell was married “she wouldn’t be bothering us so much”. “I’ve always said to Tony that if she is happy in her own marriage she will leave us alone.” [Veitch's wife strikes back]

Another curious twist in this story and the word on everyone’s lips this afternoon…

Blackmail. It’s ugly, it’s wild, it’s totally speculation, but the idea is now out there. I wrote about this angle about a month ago [Was Tony Veitch being blackmailed?], and today’s story in the HoS does little to dispel this line of thinking:

It was last October, on the day when the broadcaster, 34, was due to fly out to France of the Rugby World Cup, that a letter arrived from Dunne-Powell’s lawyer asking him for a payment of $127,000 in compensation and to cover lost earnings.

By early December 2007 the amount had “ballooned” to $150,000 and was non-negotiable, said Veitch. The new demand arrived within days of photographs of Tony Veitch and his St Heliers home featuring in the Herald Homes liftout and a photo of the couple, taken at the Qantas Media Awards, being published in social pages. The tone of the final letter was “this is it or else”, she said.

She and Veitch, their lawyer and her family “sat round the table” to discuss what to do.

“It was within weeks of our wedding, and we had friends and family coming from all over the world. We did what we thought was the right thing at the time. In hindsight, maybe if we hadn’t given in at that stage, you know, we may be in a different situation now, I don’t know.”

Veitch is unsure why Dunne-Powell laid a complaint two-and-a-half years after the incident but assumes her husband’s former partner has not let go of the relationship.

[Veitch's wife strikes back]

The other interesting issue is the ‘trial by media’ aspect. Ms Veitch told Jane Phare that John Campbell and a TV3 crew had arrived at their Herne Bay home on Friday within minutes of the police turning up with a search warrant. The Sunday News is also reporting that broadcaster and columnist Paul Holmes has also had a visit from the police seeking information about anything that Tony Veitch may have told him in that now infamous ‘mate-to-mate’ interview.

There is a great deal of media interest in this case; of course fueled by the celebrity aspect, but also because of the nature of the allegations that have been widely (if not wildly) reported.

I would think that both sides have some high-power legal and PR bods in their corners and that weekly strategy meetings are now part of everyone’s routines. If he is charged, can Tony Veitch ever get a ‘fair’ trial with all this media attention? Is the weekend interview an attempt to put the Veitch case out there, ‘just in case’?

We might know soon enough. There’s speculation that Tony Veitch might be charged as early as Monday, but no indication yet from the police if that’s going to happen, or what the likely charges might be.

One thing I am pretty certain about though; I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Zoe Veitch has chosen this weekend to go public with her version of the last two years’ events. Both Sunday stories paint a reasonably sympathetic picture and in the absence of any statement by the complainant; it puts a very Veitch-friendly spin on the case.

Despite this, I don’t think that ugly, startling word will go away anytime soon.

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10 Responses to A curiouser and curiouser tale – Mrs Veitch speaks up

  1. [...] Ethical Martini points out, today’s HoS story is the darker of the two, with: “… the curious issue of [...]

  2. jafapete says:

    Martin, the only thing I’d dispute in your post is the statement about “Both Sunday stories paint a reasonably sympathetic picture and in the absence of any statement by the complainant; it puts a very Veitch-friendly spin on the case.”

    Were you aiming for understatement of the year? I couldn’t have written more one-sided, cloying, attempts to rehabilitate Veitch’s reputation, and suspect that a pro like yourself would have been pushed. My favourite line is from one of last week’s efforts:

    “What I want to say,” she told the Sunday Star-Times yesterday, “is enough is enough. I believe Tony was a victim of her behaviour.”

    Wow. HE was the victim? What more can one say?

  3. Pete, I am trying to be careful. I don’t want to be misinterpretated here. I have come to the conclusion that the ‘blackmail’ angle is in the mix if you read between the lines.

    BUT: I do not want to give the impression that I think Tony Veitch was definitey being blackmailed. I also don’t want to downplay the seriousness of the allegations and potential charges against Tony.
    The ‘troubled girlfriend’; ‘Tony was the victim’ spin is classic ‘defence by media’ and we haven’t heard from Ms Dunne-Powell.

    So yeah, understatement, in the absence of all the evidence.

  4. Medusa says:

    The current Mrs Veitch says: ““It was within weeks of our wedding, and we had friends and family coming from all over the world. We did what we thought was the right thing at the time. In hindsight, maybe if we hadn’t given in at that stage, you know, we may be in a different situation now, I don’t know.”

    The Veitch group appear to have chosen to hide the event to protect his “image” before their family & friends from all over the world, for goodness sake! Tony Veitch should have been in jail or punished by the courts for serious assault if they had “given in”! A suitable outcome for the alleged assualt which should have happened at the time. simple really. He was saving face & hoping the nasty incident would just disappear, regardless of how you look at it.

    Whatever the reason, whatever the ongoing grief to the Veitch group, Dunne-Powell appears to have been bashed senseless & Veitch seems to be the culprit. We could all bash our partners then claim they drove us to do it; very lame!

    Take the punishment & move on the same as any other joe average without media presence would have to, although as you say EM, a fair trial may be another thing.

  5. Lita says:

    UGH! That was a giant UGH as opposed to a little ugh. I agree with Medusa. And so far, only the Veitch’s side of the story has been published. How can Zoe complain about media attention when both her, her angry little man husband and their has-been journo mates are the ones that are providing the fodder? Blimmin cheek.

    I recall many apologists making comments in le blogosphere that Dunne-Powell would be selling her story to the women’s mags within weeks. ALOHA!! The Veitch’s are using the media to send out their message that poor Tony is the victim. After reading Zoe’s article I had to wonder if she was a bit simple. Her and Tony both want the truth to come out, I know this may be a radical concept, but why don’t they tell it then!? They have all mediums of media available to use, as they have proven, why not dispel any untruths themselves? Its a blimmin joke.

    And … he has just been arrested – bout bloody time.

  6. [...] Martin Hirst at Ethical Martini blogged on the growing PR war between the affected parties. I am not surprised Veitch’s wife and family have started to hit back through the media, as they almost had no choice considering the campaign against Veitch that had dominated for weeks and months. [...]

  7. Medusa says:

    Hang on a minute…”Tony Veitch has been arrested on six charges of assault between 2002 and 2006 and one count of injuring with reckless disregard…”

    and here I, and presumably many others, were thinking there was only one nasty “event” however it now comes out there was a trend of seriously bad behaviour for six charges over 4 years to be bought against Veitch!

    Suffer the consequences of one’s own actions, or does he want to blame his wacky ex for the alleged other assaults over 4 years too?

    I don’t care if Veitch or anyone else feels he was blackmailed, the man put himself in that position in the first f***ing place!

  8. Medusa says:

    sorry, ALLEDGEDLY put himself in that position

  9. [...] know that Mr Veitch is not really like that and we know that Kristin Dunne-Powell is, at least, accused of stalking by Veitch’s [...]

  10. Kizmiazz says:

    I believe this is an example of a serious problem involving DV. Clearly there is a historical behaviour pattern which was evidenced by the body language and tone when interviewed outside the court

    No amount of money is going to remove the permanent scars the lady has been left with and I don’t believe there could have been anything in her behaviour that could justify the alleged actions.

    I’d be happy to see the current Mrs Veitch stay neutral and quiet on a subject that she does not have first hand knowledge of.

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