By Jerram Watts
Gossip columnist Rachel Glucina’s most recent article has created unease within the gay community, after “revealing” TVNZ presenter Alison Mau is in a same-sex relationship.
The article, which ran in the Herald on Sunday, said “TVNZ presenter Ali Mau… is understood to be in a new relationship – with a woman”.
Ms Glucina wrote Ali Mau, 44, is “believed to be seeing hip hop dance teacher and aerobics champion Karleen Edmonds… after they met at an Auckland dance school which Mau’s daughter is thought to have attended”.
The outing has created unease for members of the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender (GLBT) community, who feel Ms Mau has been treated unfairly.
Content editor for gaynz.com Jay Bennie says he finds the outing of Ms Mau “reprehensible”.
“It is an intensely private and personal thing,” he says. “It’s been taken out of her hands – it’s disgraceful.
“The Herald needs to look at its sense of ethics and morals in this area.”
A Gaynz.com article said speculation was rife in media circles for some weeks that Ms Mau was about to reveal she was in a same-sex relationship, possibly through a women’s magazine.
The article quoted two GLBT people who have “had an association with Mau” in saying the Herald story was “distasteful, she’s done nothing to deserve this” and it was “intrusive… who cares if she is or is not, let her get on with her life with some privacy and dignity”.
Mr Bennie said, whether the speculation proves true or not, Ms Mau has been robbed of her privacy.
“Coming out is an intense process, it is often a difficult and soul-searching process – it’s not to be used for public titillation.
“A person needs to have control over it.”
Ms Mau released a statement on Saturday saying: “I am aware that there’s been a lot of speculation in recent weeks about my personal life; these rumours don’t bother me.
“I said in June last year that my children were my most important priority and to protect them I would not discuss our private lives in a public forum.”
Ms Edmonds refused to comment when the Herald approached her.
Alison Mau split with husband Simon Dallow last June, and their break-up has been well-publicised in newspapers and women’s magazines.
Ms Mau and Mr Dallow had been together 19 years, 13 of them as a married couple.
They presented One News together from 1999 until 2003, when Ms Mau left TVNZ to work for Paul Holmes on Prime, before returning to TVNZ in March 2008.
Mr Bennie says it will be an awkward and difficult time ahead for Ms Mau.
“She is an intelligent and savvy woman – she will find a way of dealing with this.”
He also says if the speculation proves true and Ms Mau does decide to come out, that she will be a “great role-model for women”.