Matthew Ridge said today he would reconsider his appearances on A Game of Two Halves knowing what he now knows about Tony Veitch.

I am pleased that Matthew Ridge has publicly condemned Veitch’s behaviour. It was a bit of a surprise because on the surface I wouldn’t have expected a man such as Ridge with the public persona of a larrikin and loud-mouth to be so forthright in coming forward. It is proof of the widespread condemnation of Tony Veitch’s actions. Good on you Matthew.

I’m trying to work out who actually was ever a fan of Tony Veitch. I asked around at work.

The young guys in their mid to late twenties all said they couldn’t stand him. “Bloody loud-mouth”, “up himself wanker” I think were the terms used.

Some of the women at work (same age as the guys) didn’t even know who he was…

Then there’s me. OK, so I admit it – before this event I thought he was bloody good. He had energy. I thought his sports reading on TV One was vibrant – he made me want to pay attention. And the on-screen energy between him and Bernadine Oliver-Kirby was very relaxed. They appeared to be good friends. Compare them to Simon Dallow and Wendy Petrie and you’ll soon see what I mean.

He’s now lost his accreditation to the Olympic Games on behalf of TVNZ. I can’t see how they can keep him on as a presenter even after the games. Radio is looking a little more hopeful, perhaps because we don’t have to look at him. Visual cues are so much more powerful than audible ones.

Back at the end of 2007 there was a story that appeared in the NZ Herald about stars and celebrities getting off with lighter sentences than the general public in similar circumstances. The story related to Brent Todd:

“…within days of sentencing, the news was out: the 43-year-old had been seen lounging in the sun and lifting weights at best pal Matthew Ridge’s home, where he is serving his sentence.”

And a little later in the article:

Preventing Violence in the Home executive director Jane Drumm believes celebrities – particularly sports stars – often receive an easy run when they fall foul of the law.

“With the glory of being a famous person, you also should have the some sense of responsibility to be a role model, because that’s what you are being put up as.”

Ms Drumm says when celebrities seem to get away with violent behaviour – whether against a wife or partner, or a stranger in a bar – it tends to trivialise the offending.

“I think that regardless of who you are, everyone should have the same access to the law.”

Women’s Refuge chief executive Heather Henare agrees celebrities have long appeared to get lenient treatment from the courts, and wants some “fairness across the board”.

“Each person should be treated on the merits of their case, as opposed to who they are.”

Tony Veitch is now under investigation by the police. He may well face court proceedings. He has been publicly humiliated. He’s probably lost his income (rumoured to be $600K a year across the three positions).

Violence just doesn’t pay.

14 thoughts on “Matthew Ridge and Tony Veitch”

  1. I have not commented anywhere else about this matter as I know the families of some of those involved
    But I notice in todays ODT that a man got a small fine, name suppresion and no jail time for wife beating
    Now I doubt that he broke any bones in his wife’s back but the punishment sort of pales beside what (that prat) Tony Veitch is going to go through

  2. Something about this particular case makes my skin crawl. He appears to be a man who decided on a clear and concise path of celebrity and public recognition – this includes an almost instant engagement, and later marriage, to the daughter of an extremely wealthy and prominent NZ family. I may be wrong here but it seems to me as though he’s a man who would pay to keep anything quite that may hinder his status. For me it’s the pay-off that makes my skin crawl. The man kicked her in the head and broke her back in four places, she lay on the floor for some time before help was called and then endured months in a wheelchair – in certain situations this would be veiwed as attempted murder. I doubt very much if this was the first time either – in my experience it’s very seldom that someone goes from being non-violent to breaking a persons back – there are generally steps in between. I think this is the right situation to make an example of someone.

  3. First of all, everyone is assuming that every article published is the absolute truth. Just out of curiosity, if neither Tony Veitch or his former partner wanted this to be made public, who decided to start this campaign ?
    His partner demanded he pay her – ‘non negotiable’. The Women’s Refuge has condemned Tony Veitch but he DID recognise what he had done and sought help – just as they advise on the TV ads! How long can a person take BEFORE they decide (after demanding, and receiving, payment for pain and suffering) that they will lay a complaint. Tony Veitch has been tried and convicted by media and, people like Mathew Ridge should really take a closer look at themselves before they take a stand. Did Mathew Ridge not desert an ex partner when she had cancer? So commendable!
    Incidentally, I was an abused (mentally and physically) partner and spent considerable time in hospital over a period of years, so I know what I speak of when I say that Tony Veitch’s ex partner is merely exacting her revenge despite agreeing to keep the whole saga out of the spotlight.

  4. As an interesting aside – matthew ridge has a teenage conviction for robbing a cabbie.

  5. NZ tele-celebrities are such lightweights. Veitch is a ghastly wanker who was always crap at his job, and Ridge is a former fraudster.
    Why do we even waste our time with this melodrama? Let the man stand in court and let the court decide and may we mind our own business in the meantime.

  6. What is wrong with people, we don’t know the full story and I agree with all of Karen’s comments. I am sorry but all of us are capable of a split second descision that can change our lives in a heartbeat , most of us, thankfully, never lose control, but we do not know what caused Tony to lose control and until we have been placed in certain circumstances we just don’t know, anyone of us, what we are capable of if pushed over the edge. Shame on the NZ public and media for condemning a person before we know ALL the facts. If what he is supposed to have done is true do you really think his wife would have married him??

  7. I agree absolutely with Karen. Veitch used to be one of the highlights of my week when in the chair of “A Game of Two Halves.
    I found the timing of the revelations rather curious.
    I am very glad to see that Murray Deaker has offered him a place on his sports show. Everyone should be given the chance to use their skills to earn a living. Veitch will pay at his trial, he should not be punished ten times over.
    And by the way I am no hip chick but a grandmother.

  8. I am not a fan of Tony Veitch, but it has to be said he is – and always has been – an excellent sports news presenter. I do not condone what he did ( if he did it – and yes, the timing of the revelations is very odd ) but the trial by media has been nothing but a travesty. As for Matthew Ridge – well the expression ‘those in glass houses … ‘ springs to mind.

  9. I find myself searching for a site to leave a message for Tony Veitch.

    She got her compensation – excepted the money and then in order to gain her own fame and justification for not working, through a bone to the media which resulted in nationwide sympathy for her and ridicule of him.

    I don’t condone family violence but its ridiculous to keep attacking Veitch with New Zealnds statistics being what they are. Just because he had the money and the fame its ended up here.

    Atleast now you can move on.

    Good luck

  10. Who gives a rat tird what Mathew Ridge thinks!Give the guy a break,he’s come out and admitted it,he will neverforget that day,she’s got her bank a/c looking good,and she will never forget the day and hopefully learn not to provoke to such an extent,Turn and walk away from each other and let a situation difuse.There are a lot worse repeat offenders being let out to prey on our children those are the barstards that should get the Bullet.
    Totally agree with Erena.

  11. I condemn any person who cannot CONTROL his/her behaviour……..

    However I strongly believe God (If you choose to believe in Him)needs to JUDGE and Forgive?

    Suicide is NOT an OPTION.(He could have should have… not the question too…..He made the wrong choice?)

    He MUST Fight the Good Fight.

  12. hes a silly prick. he clearly needs to deal with his depression, but using the media the way he has with his guilty plea…hearing the feedback, trying to top himself and sending a letter to the sunday news to prove what a horrible person that poor girl is…..its terrible stuff. go get serious help mr veitch, stop banging on at us for our sympathy and support, then making us feel guilty.

  13. Hello again Jo Coelho – You do like to see your opinions on the web, don’t you? Your opinions are clouded for me – How dare you slate N.Z. teachers on the international web. It is the job of parents like yourself to instill values in your children – take your parental role more seriously and stop slating our poor overworked teachers – by the way if you spent more time being a proper parent and less time putting your ill-informed opinions on the web, your children might learn more in the way of values.

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