Prime Minister John Key won't confirm or deny reports that he
called football superstar David Beckham as "thick as bats***"
during a visit to Dunedin's St Hilda's school.
Key has made headlines across the world for the alleged
comments about the former Manchester United and Real Madrid
superstar in front of a group of students on Friday.
St Hilda's principal Melissa Bell was not available for
comment this morning.
But this morning Mr Key refused to comment about whether or
not he insulted Beckham.
When asked by TV One Breakfast host Rawdon Christie if he
made the comment, Key replied: "What I'm saying is somebody
has overheard a personal conversation and that's their
recollection of it.
"I'm not going to engage in the discussion about it - it's
their view. It wasn't an open forum, the person thought they
overheard me say something."
Key told Newstalk ZB all is not what it seemed over his
reported comments, and he didn't owe anyone an apology.
Talking to Mike Hosking, he again would not deny the
"bats***" comments, and would not be drawn into discussing
"It's probably not quite the way you see it in the paper. It
was a private conversation. I was talking to a few people and
that's what he thought he heard."
Key allegedly made the comments about the LA Galaxy
midfielder while talking to students at Dunedin's St Hilda's
Collegiate on Friday, according to a Radio New Zealand
The story has been widely reported on in the UK, but also in
Australia, the US, India and Malaysia.
Britain's best-selling tabloid newspaper The Sun led with the
"The PM said Becks, 37, had been very friendly, but then
cruelly claimed that the LA Galaxy star wasn't particularly
bright," Gary O'Shea wrote.