Jonah Lomu's ex manager fuming at TV drama

Jonah Lomu seen in 1999 with Phil Kingsley-Jones (left) and NZRFU CEO David Rutherford. Photo / Getty
Jonah Lomu seen in 1999 with Phil Kingsley-Jones (left) and NZRFU CEO David Rutherford. Photo: Getty
Jonah Lomu's former manager Phil Kingsley Jones has criticised the new TV miniseries that tells the life story of the rugby legend.

Jonah, directed by Danny Mulheron, aired over two nights on Three and has won praise for the performance of Mosese Veaila as Jonah.

Kingsley Jones is widely credited as the man who discovered Lomu when he was playing at Auckland's Wesley College.

The Welshman went on to manage Lomu throughout his career, before Lomu's marriage to Fiona Taylor saw their partnership end. The drama last night showed Taylor questioning Kingsley Jones about money that had been withheld from Lomu.

Kingsley Jones took to Facebook to take umbrage at his depiction: "Just watched TV movie Jonah, it was all over the place and a lot of truths left out. So much wrong and bulls***. I know, I was there. Can't trust some media."

Kingsley-Jones recently spoke to the New Zealand Woman's Weekly and shared his frustrations over the bitter end to his relationship with Jonah.

"It was the worst time of my life not going to the funeral," he told the magazine.

"On the day of the funeral, I sat at the Counties Manukau clubrooms and watched it on the telly with tears streaming down my face."

Kingsley-Jones told the Herald last year that he hadn't been consulted about the series.

Kelson Henderson as Phil Kingsley-Jones Mosese Vea'ila as Jonah Lomu in Jonah. Photo: Supplied
Kelson Henderson as Phil Kingsley-Jones Mosese Vea'ila as Jonah Lomu in Jonah. Photo: Supplied
"I'd like to know who their rugby experts are," he said.

"I offered to consult for them for free but they never came to me. I am alive, Jonah's not. They can write what they like. I mean they better get it right.

"I was there from day one. I took him to his first job interview at the ASB Bank. He wore his Hong Kong Sevens blazer, his All Black tie, fluorescent green trousers and boots like Herman Munster."

Laurie Mains - who brought Lomu into the All Blacks aged just 19 in 1994 - said he also hadn't been consulted.

"What worries me is that TV3 might get a contorted view of what happened when it's only me and [then All Black selector] Earle Kirton that have the inside information on how we transformed him," Mains told the Herald last year.

The two-part special has been criticised by Herald reviewer Anna Murray for its "disjointed script" and its reliance on viewers' knowledge of the intimate details of Lomu's love life.

Comments

Maybe viewers accept drama is not documentary. Public squabbling is unseemly.

 

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