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07th Sep 2016

Stripper that lost job after Super Rugby players’ Mad Monday speaks out

Scandal in New Zealand

Patrick McCarry

She is known simply as ‘Scarlette’.

At the end of the Chiefs’ Super Rugby Season, earlier this year, the senior squad engaged in a traditional blow-out known in Kiwi rugby circles as ‘Mad Monday’.

The squad went to some hot, thermal pools, had a lot of drinks and hired a stripper, from Go Wild Strippers, to add to their merriment.

A couple of squad members, who later stood up and took responsibility without being formally named, admitted they may have overstepped the mark with some inappropriate touching. Scarlette, the woman’s working name, says she felt violated but it was a member of the public that called the police to report the shenanigans.

The Chiefs, NZRU and even All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen [below] have all decried the incident, now known as Strippergate across New Zealand, in various forms of harshness. Still, the lack of punishment for the players concerned, or the franchise, festers.

New Zealand All Blacks Squad Announcement

Margaret Comer, the corporate services executive of Gallagher Group (one of the Chiefs’ main sponsors), fanned the flames with some particularly ill-judged comments. She stated:

“If a woman takes her clothes off and walks around in a group of men, what are we supposed to do if one of them tries to touch her. It’s not nice and perhaps the stripper shouldn’t have been hired, but I’m reluctant to say that the boys were out of line.”

Comer is involved with the Waikato Women’s Refuge but those comments have sparked calls from her to step back from her role there.

As for the woman at the centre of the scandal, she lost her job with Auckland-based company Strippers R Us for going against its ‘no touching policy’. She released a statement to the New Zealand media as the story rumbled into a third month:

‘My advice for all women is if you are going to attend an all-male event such as the one organised by the Chiefs, whether you are a paid worker or not, take a friend or a supporter who can make sure you are safe and who can vouch for you afterwards if needed.’

Chiefs chief executive Andrew Flexman has apologised to rugby fans for Strippergate while coach Dave Rennie remarked that the players were ‘normal Kiwis’ who’s mistakes were getting exposed as they are in the public arena.

Rugby is trying to move on but is finding it extremely, and understandably, tough. Future Mad Mondays, meanwhile, have been canned.

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