The woman at the centre of a group sex scandal involving Cronulla Sharks rugby league players was a "decent, stable type with her head screwed on", her former boss says.
Keith Burgess, the woman's manager at the Racecourse Hotel in Christchurch, where the incident occurred, said he had sympathy for the woman but also for the sportsmen involved.
"It's all a big bloody mess, if you ask me," Burgess said of fresh revelations that media personality Matthew Johns was involved in the 2002 group sex incident while he was playing for Cronulla.
Several other unidentified players took part in the incident with a 19-year-old female employee of the hotel, who later complained to police.
However, a police investigation at the time found no wrongdoing and police have since said the case will not be reopened.
Mr Burgess said the woman, who had worked for him for some time, was a good, hardworking employee.
"I didn't know anything about her private life, but she's the last person you'd ever expect to be involved in this type of thing," he told AAP.
"She was a decent, stable type with her head screwed on."
But the manager said he also had sympathy for the players involved, especially Johns.
"These things are never straightforward," he said.
"I've got to say I also feel very sorry for Matthew Johns and the other boys, too.
"It must be one hell of a time for them."
Mr Burgess said the incident was a "nightmare that keeps repeating on me".
"We thought it had gone away finally, but it's back and to be honest I've had a bloody gutful of it all."
Interviewed by New Zealand's Sunday News in March 2002, Burgess told how four wives and partners of the Sharks' touring party had phoned him to see if their men had been involved.
"They were obviously upset about the implications and wanted to know names and exactly what was supposed to have happened," he said at the time.
"But I couldn't help them at all because I don't know."
The other participants are under pressure to speak up after former federal sex discrimination commissioner Pru Goward labelled them cowards.
This story was sourced from The New Zealand Herald.Reuse content