Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03/16/overexposed_oz_politico/

Right-wing Oz politico in nude snaps rumpus

That's not me, protests Pauline Hanson

By Lester Haines

Posted in Bootnotes, 16th March 2009 13:24 GMT

A right-wing Australian politician has protested that nude snaps published (NSFW) in Oz's Sunday Telegraph are not her in a state of advanced undress as captured by a former boyfriend back in the mid-1970s.

Pauline Hanson, a former fish-and-chip shop owner who in the 1990s enjoyed a degree of celebrity as founder of the anti-Asian "One Nation" party, was allegedly photographed by ex-army commando Jack Johnson during a weekend at "a Coffs Harbour resort between 1975 and 1977".

Johnson claimed he met Hanson in a Brisbane grocery shop and, after some persistance, was able to convince the teenager to go for a drink. He elaborated to the Telegraph: "I had the best Harley in town. That's why she was keen on me.

"I was invited to the opening of the Pelican Bay Resort, near Coffs Harbour, through circumstances. I phoned her and said did she want to go? I explained it was a five-star resort, with everything paid for, including drinks.

"She said sure and we took the Harley down there for the four-hour drive."

Having got suitably stoked on alcohol - "Hanson on Passion Pop, Johnson on imported beer", the Telegraph helpfully explains - out came the lingerie and the camera. Johnson continued: "I gave her the stockings and the teddy set, she tried on the sexy gear and started modelling for me, so I got out my camera. It was that innocent. After that we got a little bit more intimate and that sort of thing."

Shortly after the romantic weekend break, Johnson was dispatched to Hawaii with his regiment for air-assault training, and the relationship ended.

Two weeks ago, Johnson and a friend were digitising some of his photographs when his chum recognised Hanson and suggested to Johnson the images were "worth money" - AU$15,000 to be precise, according to reports that this is the sum the Telegraph paid for the images.

Johnson, suffering from bone cancer, claimed he needed the cash to pay for medical treatment. He did, though, admit he couldn't remember exactly where and when the photos were taken, but insisted that "in my heart of hearts" the subject was Hanson.

He continued: "But what if I'm wrong? I was never the smartest cookie in the barrel."

Quite so, says Hanson, who's currently contesting the Gold Coast seat of Beaudesert in next week's Queensland state elections and has expended much effort in insisting to the media she is not the come-hither amateur model.

She lamented: "The photographs are not of me. I am fighting this and I have had enough. This always happens right on election time and it is terribly embarrassing."

She has even offered to present her navel in evidence to prove it does not match that of the woman depicted, and went as far as to suggest she was the victim of a set-up. She said: "I believe a major political party - the whole lot of them - see me as a threat and don't want me there. I'd like to know if they are involved in this."

In a further entertaining twist to the sorry saga, Johnson earlier today retracted his previous doubts over the photos, and said: "I believe it's you [Hanson]. If it's not, I am deadset sorry. But I still believe, in myself, it's you."

The Telegraph's editor, Neil Breen, said the newspaper "was standing by the story and the pictures" and that the publication's "photograph experts had checked the images using computer software before they were published".

He concluded: "You can see changes in the pixels... if they've been doctored, and they weren't doctored."

Various media reports note that Hanson has failed to recapture One Nation's 1990s popularity, although she's certainly regained her celebrity status - albeit as a somewhat overexposed politician. ®