The Advertiser - SA Weekend - - COVER STORY - PENE­LOPE DE­BELLE

The num­bers of high-pro­file tex­ters caught send­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate words and pic­tures shows that in the heat of the mo­ment, cau­tion is thrown to the winds. Any list of of­fend­ers should start with for­mer crick­eter Shane Warne, an early adopter and one of the first to be caught. In ret­ro­spect, his “sexts” were old-fash­ioned and unimag­i­na­tive us­ing words like “horny” and ex­press­ing an ur­gent de­sire to be rid­den. More re­cently his in­fat­u­a­tion (and co­hab­i­ta­tion) with ac­tor/model Liz Hur­ley, who wore a dress held to­gether with safety pins, may have cured him of the habit. On the po­lit­i­cal front for­mer Pre­mier Mike Rann was in trou­ble over the sheer num­bers of his texts to for­mer Par­lia­ment House bar­maid, Michelle Chantelois, whereas in Queens­land this month, the prob­lem was with the con­tent. For­mer ethics com­mit­tee head, Peter Dowling, had the bad taste, and poor judg­ment, to send his mistress a pic­ture of his pe­nis in a glass of red wine, a selfie of a crotch in boxer shorts and a full-frontal im­age of his gen­i­talia. She gave them to the press which left the pub­lic dis­gusted, his wife an­gry and hu­mil­i­ated, and his po­lit­i­cal col­leagues un­a­mused. “I am not proud of the events plas­tered all over to­day’s pa­per,” Dowling said. “And I can’t and won’t de­fend any part of it.” This is not an Aus­tralian prob­lem. New York has the re­cal­ci­trant, and un­for­tu­nately named An­thony Weiner who has been caught not once but twice. His first bout of sex­ting was par­tic­u­larly brazen; us­ing Twit­ter to post a young woman a link to a sug­ges­tive photo of his bulging shorts. Run­ning again as Demo­crat can­di­date for the Mayor of New York and still mar­ried to Huma Abe­din, he has done it again with more pic­tures and sexts sent un­der the pseu­do­nym “Car­los Dan­ger”. And in the UK rugby player Danny Cipri­ani squan­dered a re­la­tion­ship with Kelly Brook by send­ing lewd texts to a woman he met on­line. Brook found the mes­sages on Cipri­ani’s phone and kicked him out of her home.

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