She had nothing to gain and a lot to lose, so why did Bevan Chuang go public with her illicit affair with married with children Auckland mayor Len Brown? The 32-year-old woman at the centre of the incumbent mayor's sex scandal has revealed that she was pressured to expose the affair by his rival John Palino's election campaign team.
Ms Chuang, who failed to win a seat on the Albert-Eden Local Board on Saturday's local body elections, told the New Zealand Herald that a member of Mr Palino's campaign team pressured her to go public with her two-year affair with the mayor.
As she revealed to the paper, she entered into an intimate relationship with Luigi Wewege, a member of the right-wing politician's failed campaign staff, who found out about Mr Brown's extramarital affair with her, and wanted her to reveal to the public the same.
Ms Chuang alleged that Mr Wewege wanted her to record her phone calls with the mayor because that when he "would say all the dirty stuff." The campaign staff member also pressured her to publish the story on the Whale Oil blog Web site before the election to ruin the mayor's reputation.
She refused to do so, but when she lost the local board seat and Mr Palino lost to the incumbent mayor, that's when the pressure for her to reveal the affair increased.
"I was under immense pressure... I have tried to reach out to Len for help, but I have not heard anything. The pressure... [was] simply too much to handle."
The 28-year-old Mr Wewege, on the other hand, denied Ms Chuang's allegations, saying he has never been in a relationship with her.
She has supplied text messages proving her conversations with Mr Wewege to the Herald, though.
In the end, she has given Whale Oil blog permission to publish her story with her name withheld, and the man behind the Web site, Cameron Slater, ran the exposé on Tuesday.
The blogger is the son of John Slater, former National Party president and Mr Palino's campaign manager.
The younger Slater, meanwhile, denied that there's "vast right wing conspiracy" behind the exposure. Ms Chuang approached him with her sex claims, but he was not aware of her relationship with Mr Wewege. He also did not tell his father about the story or even Mr Palino.
Mr Slater wanted to publish the story during the election, but the self-confessed mistress was reluctant to provide it. He was only able to publish after Ms Chuang submitted a sworn affidavit and her text message proofs.
Mr Palino released a statement, saying that he will "not be commenting" about the mayor's sex scandal as it's a personal matter for Mr Brown and his family to deal with.
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