Bill Shorten says Nova Peris has Labor's support
UPDATE: OPPOSITION leader Bill Shorten says Labor is standing behind NT Senator Nova Peris amid allegations she improperly sought public money for a personal affair.
"Let me say this about Nova Peris, she is a remarkable Australian,'' Mr Shorten told reporters on Wednesday.
"These are private matters which predate her election to the Parliament of Australia.
When pressed on what Ms Peris had told him, Mr Shorten said he was not going into private conversations.
"Nova Peris has our confidence.''
News Corp has published a string of explicit emails it says are between Senator Peris and Olympic medallist from Trinidad and Tobago, Ato Boldon.
The report alleges Senator Peris, who at the time was an ambassador for Athletics Australia, sought funds from the organisation to help pay for Boldon's trip to Australia.
News Corp alleges one email from Senator Nova Peris said: Ato... tell me babe... what u want... Make a bit of money and spend time together... I will take time off from work to be with u."
Boldon allegedly responded: "Purpose is time with u plus attend trials plus help them promote the trials and possible guest broadcast on the tv station carrying it... need hotel ticket plus 15,000 US."
In other emails, Senator Peris allegedly wrote: "All expenses paid, meals and accom and a fee!! Don't know what it is, I was thinking around the $10,000.
"I don't know bub if your purpose was to come here and make a bit of money or holiday. It was not in the budget to bring any profile athletes out but I am going through the Indigenous grants mob."
Athletics Australia has confirmed it covered the cost of Boldon's flight to Melbourne, his accommodation and some incidentals, the ABC reported.
Both Nova Peris and Boldon have denied any wrongdoing.
"Nova Peris is a former training partner of mine, and has been a friend for almost 20 years,'' Boldon said in a statement posted via Twitter.
"My trip to Australia almost five years ago was for the purpose of holding several youth clinics, and it was a successful undertaking.
"The trip was co-organized by one of my now-deceased colleagues at Athletics Australia.
"The article recently written by the Northern Territory News, includes gross fabrications.
"I will be following the senator's lead, including, but not limited to, pursuing all legal action possible for this malicious misrepresentation of the details surrounding my presence in Australia in 2010.''