Aussie stripper also claims affair with Warne

Published on Aug 25, 2003 01:47 PM IST

A Melbourne stripper claims that Shane Warne pursued and romanced her in a 3-month affair in which he sent her sexy mobile phone messages.

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PTI | ByAgence France-Presse, Sydney

A Melbourne stripper claims in a tell-all interview with an Australian magazine that Test cricketer Shane Warne pursued and romanced her in a three-month affair in which he sent her sexy mobile phone messages.

Angela Gallagher, 38, said she started a sexual relationship with Warne in May this year and that the leg spinner owes her an apology for telling her he had an open relationship with his wife Simone.

Gallagher's claims, paid for by the New Idea magazine and by the Channel Seven television network, were published in the magazine on Monday as the banned superstar sets up temporary refuge in Britain with his wife and children. Channel Seven is due to screen the interview later Monday.

Banned from playing cricket for 12 months after testing positive to a banned diuretic or fluid-loss pill, Warne is reported to have moved to England where he is due to play in a one-day charity fund-raiser on Friday with the Lashings Cricket Club -- a touring team of former Test players - at Weybridge in Surrey.

The latest episode in the Warne soap opera follows allegations by South African Helen Cohen Alon earlier this month that he had harassed her with lewd text messages.

The scandal-prone leg spinner lost the Australian Test vice-captaincy over an earlier scandal in England three years ago, in which a nurse accused him of making raunchy telephone calls to her.

Gallagher told New Idea magazine she decided to go public over her relationship with Warne because she was angry at public criticism of Helen Cohen Alon.

Gallagher said Warne was on the phone to her "every spare minute he had".

"We'd meet up, go out to clubs and meet up with his mates," she said. "He seemed to make no secret of me."

She described Warne as a "gentle, charming man" whom she said could do a lot of good with his profile. "This saga is a real shame but it's time he faced the truth and apologised," she added.

"I want Shane to apologise and I want him to get help," she said.

"I expect awful things will be said about me after this, but everything that happened is true and I hold my head up high."

Gallagher said she exchanged mobile phone numbers with Warne after meeting him on May 11 at Melbourne nightspot The Motel.

She discovered several explicit text messages from the cricketer after she arrived home later that night, including one that said: "Sweetie, I want to meet you in the toilets".

Warne had later called and asked if he could come around and see her.

"I'd had enough by then so I said goodbye. He said: 'Well, if I can't be with you, can I have phone sex with you?"

Gallagher, separated from her husband at the time, agreed to meet Warne after he called again the next day.

"I asked him about his wife and he led me to believe they weren't together," she said.

"He told me they had a very open marriage."

She said his story was confirmed by a friend of hers who worked with the Victorian Cricket Association.

A sexual relationship started and continued until Warne went to the United States with the Starlight Children's Foundation and Gallagher reunited with her husband Paul.

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