Australian opposition leader Kevin Rudd has admitted getting drunk and visiting a New York strip club while on an official visit to the United Nations in 2003 at taxpayers' expense.
The Labour party leader said he visited Scores, a Manhattan "gentlemen's club", during a drunken night out while serving as shadow foreign minister.
Rudd said he went there with the editor of the New York Post, Col Allan, and Warren Snowdon, a Labour legislator from Australia's remote Northern Territory, after dinner with the two men.
"Mr Allan suggested to Mr Snowdon and I that we all go on for a drink. Mr Snowdon and I agreed," Rudd said in a statement late Saturday.
"By that stage, I had had too much to drink. With the benefit of hindsight, I should not have gone on for a further drink."
But Rudd denied media reports quoting Australian diplomats that alleged "inappropriate behaviour" at the club, and he said he was unuaware that the incident had been reported to any Australian diplomat.
"Notwithstanding the fact that I had had too much to drink, I have no recollection (nor does Mr Snowdon) of any incident occurring at the nightclub — or of being asked to leave.
"It is our recollection that we left within about an hour," he said.
Rudd said he had informed his wife Therese at the time.
"I have never claimed to be perfect but I make no excuses," he said.
New York Post editor Allan confirmed that he had been to the club with Rudd, and said the politician had behaved "like a perfect gentleman".
Rudd is running against veteran Prime Minister John Howard in an election due later this year. He has a strong lead in the polls.
Last Mod: 19 Ağustos 2007, 18:02