Pubdate: 26 May 1999
Source: Independent, The (UK)
Copyright: 1999 Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.
Contact:  1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL
Author: Andrew Buncombe


LAWYERS for the toiletries manufacturers Gillette were considering the
company's position last night after being implicated in the Lawrence
Dallaglio drugs scandal.

In a statement issued after Mr Dallaglio's press conference yesterday
at which he claimed News of the World reporters had posed as agents
for Gillette, the company said it was shocked. "We wish to deny,
unequivocally that Gillette or anyone acting on our behalf has been
involved in this matter," it added.

A spokesman for the company said last night that lawyers were still
considering its position. A further statement is expected today.

Mr Dallaglio, 26, said yesterday the reporters he had spoken to,
unaware of their true identities, had purported to represent an
advertising agency working on behalf of Gillette.

Using fake letter heads and business cards, the reporters told Mr
Dallaglio they were interested in offering him a two-year sponsorship
deal worth UKP500,000. They also wished to invest money in a scheme to
fund inner city rugby projects.

The initial approach to Mr Dallaglio was made via his agent Ashley
Woolfe. In a letter to Mr Woolfe the bogus agency was named the CSR
Partnership and its letter-head gave an address in Islington, London,
along with telephone, fax, e-mail and mobile phone contacts. The
letter was signed by the so-called "creative director" Peter Simmons.
Last night the owner of the mobile number on the letter-head refused
to comment. Mr Dallaglio had two meetings with the representatives
from the bogus company. He was accompanied at the first by Mr Woolfe
but at the secondwent alone.

It was at the second meeting that the "publicity shots" of Mr
Dallaglio that appeared in the News of the World last Sunday were taken.

On both occasions Mr Dallaglio claims he was plied with a large amount
of champagne by the representatives. He has told friends that on the
second meeting he drank so much that afterwards his memory of it was
only partial. He admitted as much yesterday when he told reporters "he
had to accept" that he said everything that the newspaper quoted him
as saying. His defence was that the comments were all lies designed to
impress the representatives.

But the matter is unlikely to end there. Phil Hall, editor of the News
of the World, has said he has further evidence of Mr Dallaglio's
involvement with drugs. He is due to meet later today with
representatives from the Rugby Football Union - including two of the
members of the investigative committee appointed to investigate the

The Statement In Full

This is the full text of Dallaglio's statement yesterday:

“First of all, I'd like to say I'm sorry that we are meeting under
these circumstances. I hope today to give you some sort of explanation
for what has happened.

I have been foolish and naive and I will always regret the effect this
has had on everyone, particularly my family and everyone concerned
with the game of rugby football.

I did lie during the course of discussions with reporters and I can
give you no sensible justification for doing it.

I feel totally humiliated in having to acknowledge that fact now.
However, I've not lied to my family, to the RFU and Wasps and I will
not lie to you today.

I bitterly regret that I ever experimented with drugs and although it
was a long time ago I most want today's message to be that no one
should ever touch drugs.

I hope that out of all the mess I have caused I can try and do
something positive to get this message across.

Rugby has given me a tremendous purpose in my life and I desperately
want this to continue. I hope that in time, I can rebuild everyone's
confidence in me as a player and as a person.

In conclusion, I would like to apologise for the embarrassment and
distress this has caused, not only to my family but everyone in the
game and everyone who has supported me throughout my career, and I
intend to do everything within my powers to rectify the situation.”
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