New revelations apparently in the Michelle Leslie case, with a model friend who was with her on the night of her ecstasy possession arrest – Nameera Azmaan – allegedly denying putting the pills into her handbag.
In fact, a close look at today’s story in The Australian shows that she didn’t even speak to the newspaper. It’s not until the ninth paragraph that you even get to the guts of where the front page lead story comes from.
“She has told friends she cannot understand how her name became associated with the drugs, or why she had been accused of placing them in Leslie’s handbag,” the report says in what sounds more like the handiwork of a British glossy than a national broadsheet.
That didn’t stop the story going everywhere with the help of AAP.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
“The Australian did not speak to Nameera,” Leslie’s spokesman Sean Mulcahy told Crikey. “If they want to get Nameera’s side of the story they should speak to Nameera.”
But he went on to reaffirm that Leslie was innocent and supported Azmaan’s claims she did not put any pills in Leslie’s bag and the discrepancy in their version of events would be addressed. “The bigger issue will be addressed in due course,” he said.
“Nameera will support Michelle Leslie’s version of events when Michelle Leslie chooses to put that out.” Meanwhile, touting of Leslie’s story appears to have come to a grinding halt with the last outlet thought to be interested in buying the story – New Idea magazine – declaring itself out of the running.
New Idea, whose relatively new editor Robyn Foyster, had publicly declared interest in doing a story during the week, issued a short and sweet statement.
“New Idea does not plan to negotiate a financial deal to secure the Michelle Leslie story. Although, like the rest of the media in Australia, we appreciate the interest in this story, New Idea does not pay convicted criminals,” it said.