Member for Blain Mark Turner has outed himself as the Labor MLA caught up in an alleged cocaine sex scandal, but told Parliament in a late-night speech that any accusations he engaged in illegal activity are “categorically false”.
Mr Turner, who is a married father of five children and a regular attendee of a local church, was billed as a “hero cop” during last year’s election and a committed family man. He is a former NT Police officer.
He admitted to having a “friendship in the past” with the woman who spoke about the affair on radio and that he had engaged in “intimate conversation” with her but did nothing illegal.
“I do not condone illegal activity, and I do not participate in it,” he said.
“I accept that there were aspects of our friendship in the past that were not appropriate, because they were too intimate. It was not illegal, it was consensual, it was respectful, but not appropriate.
“And that is something that I need to deal with, and am dealing with, privately, with my family.”
He apologised to his family and the people of his electorate, saying he would work hard to earn back their trust.
Mr Turner said he was the victim of “rumour and innuendo” from the “dark corners of the internet”.
“It is my view that online rumours should stay in the dark corners of the internet and not dredged up in the parliament theatre to do otherwise sets a very dangerous precedent for all of us,” he said.
Mr Turner also claimed the woman who openly spoke about their relationship on radio was “traumatised” after her “personal information was allegedly stolen”.
He blamed the CLP for hurting his alleged mistress.
“Leader of the Opposition – I can only hope that this has been worth it for you,” he said.
Mr Turner said he had been consulting with Chief Minister Michael Gunner throughout the week and was “grateful” for his support and the support of his Labor colleagues.
“I am grateful to him and my caucus colleagues for his support, for their view that untrue rumours should not be given public credibility, and for the desire to protect my family from public embarrassment,” he said.
“But the actions of the Leader of the Opposition in recent days, and new media reports tonight – have left me with no other choice.
“I am deeply embarrassed by all of this.
“I ask that my family be given the privacy that we need…
“I trust that in making this personal statement, the matter is resolved, and the untrue allegations can now cease, once and for all.”