The father of an Irish woman at the center of a major political sex scandal in Australia has spoken out in defense of his daughter.
She has been named as Hong Kong-based 25-year-old Amy Keating from south Dublin who used the online name “Sweet Sophia Rose” on a dating website for “sugar babies.”
She exchanged online messages with married Andrew Broad, assistant minister to the deputy prime minister of Australia before he flew to Hong Kong to meet her in an upmarket restaurant.
The 43-year-old has since quit his front bench post amid a political storm after the young woman went public. He said he will not stand for re-election.
The scandal has rocked the Australian government and the fallout threatens to derail it as it faces into an election year.
Australian reporters have dubbed the furor “Fifty Shades Of G’day.”
Australia’s New Idea magazine reported that it was approached by the Irish woman after the politician refused her request for payment for “an allowance” of 8,000 Hong Kong dollars for meeting him. The magazine reported she had walked out on a dinner date because she became uncomfortable with the politician’s behavior.
The woman’s 55-year-old father told the Sunday Independent, in an exclusive report in which neither he nor she was named, that his daughter would never contemplate blackmail and could never be considered to be in any way involved in sex for sale.
His daughter works for a reputable company in Hong Kong, holds an honors master’s degree, and is involved in charity work he said.
The father told the paper his daughter was introduced to the SeekingArrangement.com website by new friends after she was transferred by her company to Hong Kong. Dating websites were how people met in Hong Kong and this one was used by young women to meet wealthy men for dinner in a restaurant after which they and an agency would be paid a fee.
Andrew Broad offered to quit FIVE WEEKS before news of his international dalliance with “Sugar Baby” broke - bringing into question Morrison government’s handling of scandal. @theheraldsun https://t.co/4tCa4GWEnp— rob harris (@rharris334) December 26, 2018
“Why anybody would want to do it is beyond me,” he said. But he was proud of the way his daughter left the restaurant when Broad’s behavior became inappropriate.
“She is naïve as they come, at times. But I am glad that she did what she did at the restaurant.
“But do I think she covered herself in glory afterward? Absolutely not. I thought she was a bloody eejit; an absolute idiot.”
The father said his daughter met up with friends afterward and they drank a lot of wine after which she sent “a drunken text” seeking the allowance payment.
The Australian media has reported that Keating’s text included a threat that she knew how much more she could get if she went public to the papers with her story.
Broad, who did not pay any money, is reported to have later referred her message to Australian police who said the matter was outside their jurisdiction.
In one of his earlier messages, Broad said “I’m an Aussie lad, I know how to ride a horse, fly a plane and f*** my woman. My intentions are completely dishonorable.”
When Keating told him she found Australian accents sexy, he is said to have replied, “I pull you close, run my strong hands down your back, softly kiss your neck and whisper ‘G’day mate.’”