Federal MP Craig Thomson claims A Current Affair has paid a Sydney escort to detail how he was a client, describing it as “grubby” cheque book journalism.
The Daily Telegraph reports that ACA spent 90 minutes in Thomson’s parliamentary office yesterday seeking his response to the claims.
A figure of $60,000 is reported as the likely fee for the scoop.
Thomson, who is under fire from all corners, attempts to undermine the interview, but probably gives it more publicity in the process.
“Who is going to take this seriously when they pay a prostitute money? It has absolutely no credibility,” he insists.
ACA Executive Producer Grant Williams would not comment on the story or when it might be broadcast.
Thomson is reportedly planning to take legal action against Nine.
UPDATED: Statement from A Current Affair.
A Current Affair has been conducting an investigation into allegations against Federal MP Craig Thomson in relation to his former position at the Health Services Union.
Our investigation has uncovered additional claims, not previously reported or to our knowledge investigated elsewhere.
On that basis, we attended Parliament House in Canberra and met with Mr. Thomson. In the interests of absolute fairness and transparency, we presented our information to him, in an “off the record” conversation conducted in his office. This conversation lasted for almost 90 minutes.
In response to claims made by Mr. Thomson in this morning’s News Ltd papers and in a subsequent press conference, we want to emphasise that no-one has received any payment from A Current Affair.
We have not published or broadcast a story. In fact, our investigation is ongoing.
We reject Mr. Thomson’s claims of “grubby journalism”. Grubby journalists would have already run a story, without giving him the opportunity to examine the information.
Tonight, A Current Affair on Channel Nine at six thirty will bring viewers up to date with the progress of our investigation.
A Current Affair
UPDATE 2: Grant Williams confirmed to 3AW that ACA has discussed paying the woman a figure in the vicinity of $60,000 but that at this stage no money has changed hands.