Gillette shock at Dallaglio drugs case involvement

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The Independent Online
LAWYERS FOR the toiletries manufacturers Gillette were considering the company's position last night after being implicated in the Lawrence Dallaglio drugs scandal.

In a statement issued after Mr Dallaglio's press conference yesterday at which he claimed News of the World reporters had posed as agents for Gillette, the company said it was shocked. "We wish to deny, unequivocally that Gillette or anyone acting on our behalf has been involved in this matter," it added.

A spokesman for the company said last night that lawyers were still considering its position. A further statement is expected today.

Mr Dallaglio, 26, said yesterday the reporters he had spoken to, unaware of their true identities, had purported to represent an advertising agency working on behalf of Gillette.

Using fake letter heads and business cards, the reporters told Mr Dallaglio they were interested in offering him a two-year sponsorship deal worth pounds 500,000. They also wished to invest money in a scheme to fund inner city rugby projects.

The initial approach to Mr Dallaglio was made via his agent Ashley Woolfe. In a letter to Mr Woolfe the bogus agency was named the CSR Partnership and its letter-head gave an address in Islington, London, along with telephone, fax, e-mail and mobile phone contacts. The letter was signed by the so- called "creative director" Peter Simmons. Last night the owner of the mobile number on the letter-head refused to comment.

Mr Dallaglio had two meetings with the representatives from the bogus company. He was accompanied at the first by Mr Woolfe but at the secondwent alone.

It was at the second meeting that the "publicity shots" of Mr Dallaglio that appeared in the News of the World last Sunday were taken.

On both occasions Mr Dallaglio claims he was plied with a large amount of champagne by the representatives. He has told friends that on the second meeting he drank so much that afterwards his memory of it was only partial. He admitted as much yesterday when he told reporters "he had to accept" that he said everything that the newspaper quoted him as saying. His defence was that the comments were all lies designed to impress the representatives.

But the matter is unlikely to end there. Phil Hall, editor of the News of the World, has said he has further evidence of Mr Dallaglio's involvement with drugs. He is due to meet later today with representatives from the Rugby Football Union - including two of the members of the investigative committee appointed to investigate the allegations.

The Statement In Full

This is the full text of Dallaglio's statement yesterday:

First of all, I'd like to say I'm sorry that we are meeting under these circumstances. I hope today to give you some sort of explanation for what has happened.

I have been foolish and naive and I will always regret the effect this has had on everyone, particularly my family and everyone concerned with the game of rugby football.

I did lie during the course of discussions with reporters and I can give you no sensible justification for doing it.

I feel totally humiliated in having to acknowledge that fact now. However, I've not lied to my family, to the RFU and Wasps and I will not lie to you today.

I bitterly regret that I ever experimented with drugs and although it was a long time ago I most want today's message to be that no one should ever touch drugs.

I hope that out of all the mess I have caused I can try and do something positive to get this message across.

Rugby has given me a tremendous purpose in my life and I desperately want this to continue. I hope that in time, I can rebuild everyone's confidence in me as a player and as a person.

In conclusion, I would like to apologise for the embarrassment and distress this has caused, not only to my family but everyone in the game and everyone who has supported me throughout my career, and I intend to do everything within my powers to rectify the situation.

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