Conner Walks Off New Zealand Show After TV Interviewer Gets ‘Aggressive’

From Staff and Wire Reports

Dennis Conner broke off a live studio TV interview and walked out Monday night--and most New Zealanders said he was justified in doing so.

New Zealand interviewer Paul Holmes played video footage of Conner insulting New Zealanders at a news conference after last September’s controversial America’s Cup defense at San Diego by calling his rivals “losers” and describing the New Zealand boat as a “dog.”

Conner stood up and walked out of the studio while Holmes continued to ask questions. A Television New Zealand spokesman later said the station received 300 phone calls about the incident, all but two critical of Holmes’ questions.


Peter Debreceny, a spokesman for New Zealand syndicate chief Michael Fay, said that Conner “got some unnecessarily aggressive questions. In the end he was absolutely polite, thanking his host for having him on the show and wishing him good luck.”

Debreceny added that Holmes is “the New Zealand equivalent of Morton Downey Jr.”