A bubbly Queenstowner tells how she was one of a bevy of blondes hand-picked to party into New Year with Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi’s son.
Gaddafi’s second-eldest boy Saif and his free-spending entourage toasted in 2010 by buying women thousands of dollars of drinks at an upmarket resort bar.
Spa boss Jenny Hodgson was among those rounded up for the mega-bash in a guarded private lounge.
She reveals: “There must have been 10 or 12 blondes. Whatever we wanted, we ordered it.”
Barmuda doorman Regan Pearce says a ponytailed member of Gaddafi’s entourage told him: “Find me beautiful blondes – no fat ones. We buy them drinks, we will look after them.”
Pearce was approached about midnight on New Year’s Eve by the man who asked if a group could have exclusive use of the lounge.
Pearce was amazed when the Gaddafi gofer peeled a wad of banknotes from a gold money clip.
“He said ‘We want that room’, he tipped me $200 and said, ‘See you in 10 minutes’,” Pearce says.
“Unfortunately, I had to ask a couple of people to move out.”
Pearce and a fellow doorman then invited female bar patrons to join the private party, he says.
“I said, ‘Hi girls, he’s shouting champagne, want to go and hang out with him?’, Pearce says.
Hodgson and blonde workmate Renee Little were happy to oblige.
“You go into Barmuda and don’t expect to be whisked into a private room with free drinks flowing,” Hodgson says.
The two Queenstown women joined 37-year-old bachelor Gadaffi’s Barmuda bash at 2am – but Hodgson says she didn’t know who he was until next day.
“I wondered who they were, I just knew it was someone rich,” Hodgson says. “We were just dancing with them and they were nice, fun and polite.”
She was never made to feel uncomfortable but insists Gaddafi’s crew weren’t her type.
The two women eventually left to hang out with other friends who hadn’t been invited into the private room.
Apart from blondes, London-based Gaddafi also roped in a Maori haka group during his five-day Queenstown trip – to farewell him on the airport tarmac last Saturday.
“Apparently he bought up every All Black jersey in town and mentioned that he hadn’t seen a real haka,” local Maori leader Darren Rewi says.
Queenstown’s Kiwi Haka group started with a Maori challenge but didn’t invite Gaddafi to pick up a dart or fern leaf, as is normal protocol.
“We were told we weren’t allowed to get within a metre of [Gaddafi] and there were supposed to be no sudden moves,” Rewi says.
The 15-minute performance continued with two Maori songs, a haka and nose-rubbing hongi before the party flew out.
Gaddafi was “pretty relaxed”, Rewi says.
“I was told to address him as His Excellency at all times and only offer to shake his hand if he put his hand out.”
Saif Gaddafi – an architect and artist – is tipped as the son most likely to take over from his strongman father, who’s ruled Libya for more than 40 years.
Last August Saif brokered the release of cancer-stricken Libyan Abdel Basset Ali-al-Megrahi, convicted of placing an explosive device on a Pan Am flight that blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, killing 280 people.
Saif has vigorously maintained Megrahi’s innocence.