LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri on Monday repeatedly refused to answer questions about whether or not she had an intimate relationship with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson when he was mayor of London.
FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves his Downing Street office in London, Britain, October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo
The Sunday Times has reported that when Johnson was mayor he failed to declare close personal links to Arcuri who received thousands of pounds in public business funding and places on official trade trips.
Speaking to ITV, Arcuri said she had bonded with Johnson when he was mayor of London over classical literature and that they discussed French philosopher Voltaire.
But asked repeatedly about whether she had an affair with Johnson or intimate relations with him, she either sidestepped the question or openly refused to answer.
“I really am not going to answer that question,” Arcuri told ITV. “It’s really categorically no one’s business what private life we had or didn’t have.
“And categorically more important, Boris never ever gave me favoritism, never once did I ask him for a favor, never once did he write a letter of recommendation for me.”
Arcuri said that after they first bonded over literature and discussed venture capital for the technology sector, she and Johnson began sending text messages and then he would visit her office at her apartment in London, sometimes on his way home.
“There was plenty of office space for him to come visit,” Arcuri said. He visited around five or perhaps 10 times, she said. “I didn’t think it was awkward at all.”
She quipped that she once offered Johnson the chance to have a go on her dancing pole but he refused.
“He sat down with his tea and started muttering,” she said.
Johnson has denied there was any impropriety in the relationship.
The government of London said last month it had referred Johnson to Britain’s police watchdog for potential investigation over allegations of misconduct involving Arcuri.
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden
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