The US businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri has accused UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson of heartlessly casting her aside “like some one-night stand” and leaving her “heartbroken” since he entered 10 Downing street and once their four-year relationship became public, according to a revealing interview with ITV’s Exposure, which will be broadcast on Sunday, reported The Observer.
In the programme “When Boris Met Jennifer” the tech entrepreneur confessed that Boris Johnson has been dodging her phone calls, and addressed the prime minister directly:
“I’ve been nothing but loyal, faithful, supportive, and a true confidante of yours.
“I’ve kept your secrets, and I’ve been your friend. And I don’t understand why you’ve blocked me and ignored me as if I was some fleeting one-night stand or some girl that you picked up at a bar because I wasn’t - and you know that. And I’m terribly heartbroken by the way that you have cast me aside like I am some gremlin ...”
Referring to one recent call to Johnson, she says:
“He heard my voice. And I knew it was him. And he hung up. He said “Yes, hello” and I simply asked: “Why did you block me?”
On another occasion, soon after Johnson had become prime minister, Arcuri says she had discovered that reporters were contacting her friends and felt the urgent need to speak to him.
However, after expressing her interest to confer with the PM, she was reportedly told “There are bigger things at stake.”
Arcuri, 34, shared her feelings of humiliation and disgust at being cast aside in this manner, saying in the interview:
“I was brushed off as if I was one of Kennedy’s girlfriends showing up to his White House switchboard, you know, here to do my, you know, calling. And I felt so disgusted and humiliated that I was told: 'Bigger things are at stake; never mind you, he’s too busy for you'.”
Referring to the last few months since the controversy surrounding her relationship with Johnson broke, Arcuri says:
“It’s caused nothing but utter chaos, destruction and sheer disappointment on many fronts ... and as a result I am the collateral damage that’s left behind. I mean the prime minister hasn’t been affected. He puts his head in the sand and looks the other way. I’m the one on the ground having to pick up the pieces from my name and my integrity and my character and my business, you know, – all these things that I, you know, never intended to have to explain publicly.”
The former model turned tech entrepreneur said she wished Johnson had declared their friendship and been above board about it to avoid the resulting scandal and humiliation.
Jennifer Arcuri has been staunchly refusing to divulge the nature of her relationship with Johnson while making it clear that they were very close for several years.
The ITV programme claims Arcuri and Johnson had an affair that lasted more than four years.
On becoming mayor of London in 2008 Johnson had to sign up to a code of conduct requiring that he not use his position to gain financial or other benefits for himself, his family or even his friends, however, the programme claims Johnson wrote to the City Hall monitoring officer on nine occasions during that time to declare various personal interests, although Arcuri’s name did not appear on any of those letters.
Police watchdog inquiry into PM shelved
Last weekend the Observer revealed that an independent police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, had shelved its announcement on whether the PM should face an investigation into possible criminal misconduct until after the 12 December general election.
This prompted claims from Westminster politicians that the ruling had been suppressed to keep Johnson from being damaged during the campaign.
The IOPC was tasked by the Greater London Authority with assessing whether criminal charges should be brought against Boris Johnson in connection with a conflict of interest because of the then-mayor’s responsibility for London’s policing.
The scandal first erupted after the Sunday Times reported in late September that Jennifer Arcuri had allegedly told four friends and a Tory activist that she was engaged in an affair with Boris Johnson while he served as the Mayor of London, and was married to his erstwhile wife, Mariana Wheeler.
Allegations of misconduct immediately surfaced, with claims Johnson gave favourable treatment to Arcuri, including inclusion in private trade talks and grants from state bodies of up to £100,000.
The Greater London Authority asked the Independent Office for Police Conduct to determine the need for a formal investigation over Johnson’s relationship with the US entrepreneur, with the probe looking into whether the current owner of Innotech Arcuri was allowed to join trade missions, and received large grants, “when she and her companies could not have expected otherwise to receive those benefits”.
Both the Prime Minister and Arcuri have repeatedly denied having any intimate relationship as well as embezzling public funds due to trade missions or funding her startup.
Johnson has denied any impropriety or having broken any rules.
In an interview with the BBC, the UK Prime Minister denied any wrongdoing, saying:
“Everything was done in accordance with the code [...] and everything was done with full propriety. There was no interest to declare," he said.
“I am very, very proud of everything that we did and certainly everything that I did as mayor of London”.