From the land of improbably weird stories, The Daily Telegraph, comes another mind-bender: the alleged Tania Zaetta special forces s-x scandal.

No sooner than you’ve finished asking who? — Zaetta hosted Who Dares Wins in he 90s with Mike Whitney and is now a Bollywood actress — the next question pops up: What? (or, more precisely, wtf?)

The facts of the story — a Garry Linnell exclusive — run thus.

The Daily Tele is in possession of a “high-level” document that shows the Defence Department is investigating unsubstantiated claims that Zaetta had “relations” with Defence Force troops on her 17-day tour of the Middle East.

Entertainers are briefed before duty that they are not allowed to “entertain” in this way while on tour. In the defence force they call it “fraternising”.

The Defence Department admits it broke privacy rules by disclosing her name. Oops. Fortunately, we hear they aren’t in possession of any further sensitive documents.

Zaetta denies the allegations, calling them “ridiculous”.

Angry Anderson, rocker and member of the Forces Advisory Committee on Entertainment (or FACE) who was also on the tour, is said to have made the original complaint.

Angry denies this (crossly?), poking a stick at claims. Anderson became chummy with a male comedian while on tour, he says, so “I guess I could be accused of being homos-xual. I was often seen in his company.”

But, writes Linnell, the document reports that the secretary of the Defence force’s entertainment division “was informed yesterday by Mr Anderson that he had been told by SF (special forces) troops whilst at Tarin Kowt that Ms Zaetta had s-x with them and they had the photos and video to prove it.” We await confirmation from YouTube.

Who Dares Wins is also the motto of the SAS.

Before leaving on the Middle East tour, Zaetta made a comment that will haunt her: “If you can’t get a date out of there then you’ve got no hope.”

(For unfortunate comments, see Sunday Life magazine’s interview with Lieutenant Colonel Charles Reynolds who, when asked “What do celebrities love about [entertaining the troops]”, responds: “They’re blown away with the soldiers’ commitment to a task and to their country. Some started a relationship there. But I won’t say who.”

Since the Daily Tele broke the story, Zaetta’s virtue has been defended by Opposition spokesman for defence and chivalry Nick Minchin, who was also on the tour — must’ve been some hijinks on that plane. Jenga anyone?

Minchin lashed out at the “extraordinary invasion” of privacy, saying Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon has “got some answers to provide”, starting with how this story was leaked to the newspapers.

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.