Slater claims $16m defamation against Craig

The tit for tat defamation cases between Cameron Slater (and his Social Media Consultants company) and Colin Craig started today. It is expected to run for three weeks.

Slater is claiming $16 million, which is a big call in more ways than one, given that Jordan Williams’ $1.27 million was ruled excessive by the judge in that case who ruled a miscarriage of justice.

RNZ:  Colin Craig likens alleged defamation to medieval punishment

Colin Craig opened his defamation case at the High Court in Auckland against Cameron Slater and the company that owns Mr Slater’s blog, saying his reputation was dragged through the mud.

ODT: Slater ‘inaccurate, irresponsible’ – Colin Craig

Former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig says allegations that he was a ”sexual deviant” and paid his former press secretary ‘hush money” are untrue.

Craig is suing Cameron Slater and his social media business for defamation at a trial started at the Auckland High Court before Justice Kit Toogood.

Craig says the allegations written on Whale Oil Beef Hooked were irresponsible, inaccurate and very damaging.

ODT: Blogger to sue Craig for $16m

The blogger counter-suing former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig is seeking more than $16 million in damages.

But Craig will have to leave how much he is potentially awarded up to the courts because he’s suing a media outlet.

Craig’s defamation case against right-wing blogger Cameron Slater began today at the Auckland High Court before Justice Kit Toogood.

He claims 18 publications between April 29 and July 19, 2015, were “seriously defamatory”.

The allegations culminated in his stepping down from the Conservative Party, which he founded, because his political aspirations were ruined and his reputation had been destroyed.

Craig said his resignation wasn’t because the claims were true but because they’d taken on a “life of their own” during a “media firestorm”.

The defamation case will mean a return to Craig’s relationship with his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor which were central to another suit late last year.

I doubt she will be happy about that, given that she told Williams not to do anything because she didn’t want to cause harm.

Mr Slater repeated the allegations in statements made to mainstream media and reiterated they were correct. Craig referenced a Whale Oil post in which he said:

“Look these allegations are true, I wouldn’t have published them if they weren’t”.

Because Craig is suing a media outlet, if the court rules in his favour it will decide what damages he is awarded.

However, Mr Slater is suing an individual so is able to sue for a specific amount and is seeking $16,234,020 from Craig.

I guess that amount is related to the number of booklets delivered to households. It looks like a huge risk going so high on damages.

Talking of risks, Slater’s wife posted on Whale Oil today saying she was bored with court, and solicited subscriptions: I feel a headache coming on

Being part of a court case isn’t as much fun as you would imagine.

But really it is like this…Boring!

To get through the next few weeks I am going to need someone to sign up to Whaleoil every day just so I can keep myself awake.

She then uses some lame graphics to promote subscriptions. Trying to profit off a defamation base against their website seems like an odd and potentially risk thing to do. Juana Atkins is co-director with Slater and 99% majority shareholder with Social Media Consultants Ltd so has a financial interest in the case.

Trying to make the case into both a joke and a money making venture is at risk of backfiring.

Leave a comment

34 Comments

  1. Tipene

     /  May 8, 2017

    There will be hundreds, and possibly thousands of people who have been brutally and unfairly trashed by Slater over the years, who will be silently cheering Craig to win this one.

    Reply
  2. Bill Brown

     /  May 8, 2017

    This is going to interesting – quick napkin numbers must be 10 bucks a home to get that figure plus a few hundred grand for Brian

    Should be 3 weeks of fun again showing Craig to be the laughing stock of a modern male

    Reply
  3. John Schmidt

     /  May 8, 2017

    Its not fair for Slater to be awarded $16mil if all I can win in lotto Wednesday night is $15mil, really not fair.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 8, 2017

      Time to pick a fight with CC, John?

      Reply
    • Bill Brown

       /  May 8, 2017

      That’s a double edged sword – as taking it off Craig seems fair for being an embarrassment to the NZ male race

      Reply
  4. Pete Kane

     /  May 8, 2017

    Gosh – wonder who is paying Mr Slater’s ‘tab’, Poor Chap(s).

    Reply
  5. duperez

     /  May 8, 2017

    Will Slater have to have proof that the booklets, while delivered to households, were actually read?

    Reply
    • Revel

       /  May 8, 2017

      I think it is more than that, and then caused $16 million in damage to his reputation!!! Say it with a straight face “Cameron Slater is worth $16 million”.

      Reply
  6. Revel

     /  May 8, 2017

    I think you will find Pete that the shareholding in SMC possibly represents Mrs Whale Oil holding the shares on a trust as trustee and Whale hiding behind that so there is nothing to actually sue. Good luck Craig in getting a cent out of them anyway.

    Reply
    • Tipene

       /  May 8, 2017

      And at the end of it all, Craig goes back to a successful property management business, with management contract holdings reportedly worth north of a billion dollars, and Slater et al go back to……….a rental.

      Reply
      • Bill Brown

         /  May 9, 2017

        I think you’ll find he might manage a billion bucks worth of property …. cough cough …. but he does not own it – just a tiny % of the weekly rent

        He could of course become a poet as he’s certainly getting some exposure

        Reply
  7. Loki

     /  May 9, 2017

    A couple of cheeky questions;
    1. Which party arguably benefitted the most from the spiteful destruction of Colin Craig.
    2. Which party has a leader whose best mate and long time bag carrier is now Slaters lawyer.
    Colin Craig got destroyed . It sickens me to feel sorry for him but I do.

    Reply
  8. Pete Kane

     /  May 9, 2017

    I thought you said Kim not Cam?

    Reply
    • Pete Kane

       /  May 9, 2017

      I might have been going through a personal ‘cultural renaissance’ = now had you considered that Mr G/?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  May 9, 2017

        No – tbh honest I hadn’t considered that Pete. Unlike Cam, in my opinion, Kim’s bot’s got a lot going for it, don’t you agree? It’s certainly not something to be sniffed at.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  May 9, 2017

          And I’m not the only one who thinks that. From what I see from google stats, it’s huge on the internet.

          Reply
  9. Pete Kane

     /  May 9, 2017

    Well, in fairness you maybe correct in this instance – but that’s not to say I shan’t choose a personal ‘ cultural renaissance’ in the future, thank you very much, Young Mr G (who doesn’t get about much any more)! PS Is Pere (pere] a Maori word by the way?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  May 9, 2017

      Oh yes. It means bell, also to ring, peal, toll, to flick, jerk, yank, a dart or arrow – or to propel one, a riddle, a vector, an adze-shaped wooden hoe, an endemic bushy slender shrub up to 1 m tall of the Northland forests from Kaitaia to about Kaiwaka, and the personal name Perry.

      In French it means father or dad.

      Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  May 9, 2017

        Just received (yesterday) a pair of Froggy made brogues. I’ll stick to Dad.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  May 9, 2017

          Unless you mean Kermit made them, that one might be lucky to survive a deletion ? 😳

          Reply
  10. Pythagoras

     /  May 9, 2017

    While I find both of their actions distasteful, at least Cam is acting as a journalist and has that as a rationale for what he does. With Colin, it seems to be just all about him. May they burn each others money in legal fees.

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  May 9, 2017

      “Cam is acting as a journalist.”

      I too then am a journalist since I am writing words commenting on community affairs?

      I remember getting a pamphlet, junk mail, where Craig gave his side of the story. I didn’t think of it in terms of it being defamatory or particularly remember it maligning Slater. It was insignificant. I didn’t keep it as I had some Conservative election pamphlets which I kept because I thought there was something amateurish about them which might make them keepsakes for later amusement.

      I definitely remember a torrent of stuff from Slater, seemingly set on destroying Craig it seemed to me. A crusade.

      I haven’t followed the affair, the relationship, closely enough to know what went on but have a perspective from my awareness of the sort of stuff Slater presented.

      A person walks up the street whistling a tune a dog owner behind their fence and gate doesn’t like. The owner lets the dog out and it bites the passer-by whistler. The dog owner then sues the bitten one because the dog chomped hard and broke its teeth.

      My perspective is that Slater claiming $16m defamation from Craig is like that.

      Reply
      • Revel

         /  May 9, 2017

        I find it hard that even in their scummiest moments that NZ journalists have actively pursued the destruction of their pray as viciously as Slater has. I hope Craig puts some up as witnesses to show just how a journalist acting with some integrity would have handled material in Slater’s possession.

        Reply
  11. Blazer

     /  May 9, 2017

    [derogatory reference deleted] claiming $16mil….too funny….he must mean….$16 billion….living in the past.BOL.

    Reply
  1. Slater claims $16m defamation against Craig – NZ Conservative Coalition

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