A Martin Devlin, sports broadcaster, turns out to be “the celebrity” who was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in Auckland a week or so back, but whose name has been kept secret until now.
His lawyer asked yesterday that the suppression order be lifted.
The Auckland District Court obliged and the news media rushed to put the name up in lights.
Devlin says he sought name suppression to protect his children from embarrassment.
But doing so only made things worse, he admitted yesterday.
“I sought name suppression in an effort to try and protect my children from being identified and embarrassed by my behaviour,” he said in a statement to media.
Good for him for outing himself. An army of 46-year-old celebrities and blokes who think they are celebrities will be relieved they are no longer suspects.
Devlin has been granted police diversion. He says he will work through that process over the next three months.
Alf had little knowledge of a celebrity called Martin Devlin until now.
But he posted two items on the matter, while the name was suppressed.
One of these was headed Publicity-shy Aucklander should want us all to know he is frisky enough to jump on a car bonnet and How Joanna Sihamu has made life hell for all male celebrities aged somewhere near 46.
These posts have been good for building a readership far beyond Alf’s Eketahuna North constituency.
At the weekend the Google search engine sent hundreds of visitors to those two posts, apparently in response to a Sunday Star-Times report that police were investigating a breach of the name suppression order.
Auckland police were told on Friday of an alleged breach of name suppression on the internet in relation to the case, and were assessing the complaint, the Herald on Sunday reported.
Further breaches of the name suppression order have also been discovered, including a television journalist’s posting on Twitter, which has since been removed.
And the man’s Wikipedia page has also been changed numerous times since his court appearance, as internet users try to add the information, which is then removed.
This report obviously triggered a desperate sweep of the blogosphere to find the bloke’s name.
The graph which records visits to Alf’s site has been drastically distorted as a consequence, with a weekend spike of Everest proportions.
Devlin’s decision to out himself, alas, will bring the graph back to what had been a gradual increase in readership.
For the record, Devlin’s full media statement can be found at Stuff and is worth a visit by those who like to measure the worthiness of a bloke’s expressions of contrition.
Devlin somewhat curiously says –
“I have no problem in admitting that I behaved like a right plum that morning on Quay Street.
Alf cannot imagine why he should want to give plums a bad name.
Devlin goes on to tell us he was watching a soccer match, which is regarded in Eketahuna as a woof’s game.
“My wife, two young sons and I missed the 11am ferry sailing because I was watching Manchester United draw with Birmingham.
“As a result, the atmosphere was a little frosty and my wife dropped me at the terminal and drove away without realising my bag and wallet were in the boot.
“I walked across Quay Street into a lane of traffic to stop the car and get my bag.
“Once stationary, for some inexplicable reason I sat on the car’s bonnet. It was stupid and I apolologise.
“I have always been and continue to be a very big supporter of the police and I am sincerely sorry for wasting their time and that of the court.”
Alf would suggest Devlin have his wife write his media statements in future, because the sentence about sitting on the bonnet is grammatically flawed. He presumably meant to say he sat on the bonnet once the car was stationary, not once he was stationary.
But that’s a mere quibble.
Devlin then addresses the matter of the suppression order.
He is modest enough to deny he should be described as a household name, which will come as a relief to people like Alf who have never heard of the bugger.
“Regarding the media coverage there has been… several reports have described me as a “household name”. I think we all agree that description is totally inaccurate.
He challenges Herald reports that he and his missus had been having a “rowdy tiff” on Quay Street or a “blazing row”.
Those reports were incorrect. In fact, we weren’t actually talking to each other.”
As to the recipe for avoiding embarrassment for his family,
“Obviously the only effective way to prevent that was not to do it in the first place.”
Mrs Grumble has been fascinated by the suppression order and the media fuss it generated.
She did not regard Martin Devlin as a household name, either.
Since his name was brought into the open, she has visited Wikipedia to find out what might it a household name (like Cadbury, Colgate and Colin Meads) to see if she could spot the alterations reportedly made to Devlin’s entry.
She was astonished to find bugger all recorded under his name.
Martin Devlin (born 1964) is a New Zealand broadcaster, specialising in sports broadcasting. He is a former panellist and current host of Game of Two Halves on TV ONE. He also hosts Weekend Sport on Radio Live. He has previously presented Radio Sport Drive, Radio Live Devlin Live, Radio Sport Breakfast and The Edge Morning Madhouse. He is four-time winner of the sports broadcaster of the year award at the NZ Radio Awards.
Devlin is the nephew of New Zealand rock-and-roll star Johnny Devlin and was educated at St. Patrick’s College, Silverstream.
Following a period of name-suppression granted by the courts in regard of a minor ‘disorderly conduct’ charge in Quay St, Auckland, Martin Devlin identified himself as the person involved.
Before the suppression-order controversy there were fewer than 100 words about him.
Since then, his entry has expanded by around 30 words, a significant increase in percentage terms.
But not enough – Alf would have thought – to make him a celebrity or (as Devlin concedes) a household name.