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Shane Warne in new call scandal

Sydney: Shane Warne on Sunday found himself in the midst of another telephone sex scandal with a South African woman accusing the spinner of making lewd calls and sending dirty messages.

Helen Cohen Alon, a 45-year-old divorcee and mother of three, claimed Warne called her up “40 times” saying he “wanted me” and even sent text messages telling her he was lying in bed next to his wife Simone but thinking “naughty thoughts about me”.

The allegations of Alon were reported by the Sunday Times, Johannesburg.

Alon also claimed she was offered 200,000 rands ($42,000) by an associate of the Australian star, currently serving a 12-month ban from international cricket for taking banned drugs, to keep quiet about the phone calls.

She said she first met Warne on February 20 last year at a clothing store in the Johannesburg suburb where the Australian team was based in during its Test and one-day tour of South Africa.

“The moment he laid eyes on me, he was interested. He asked for my number. I gave it to him,” she said. Alon claimed she went on several dates with Warne and also went to his hotel room, where they kissed “lightly”.

She said she did not have sex with Warne because he was married.

Alon said she kept text messages from Warne, including one that read: “Where are you now. Waiting for you, should I get dressed or stay naked, Room 2011... Shane.”

The message, according to the paper, came from Warne’s mobile telephone number.

However, doubts were raised over the authenticity of the claims of Alon when an unidentified woman told the paper that a “skimpily-dressed” Alon had spent her time at a party trying to attract the interest of an uninterested Australian team, including Warne.

Alon’s former hairdresser, Clifford van der Westhuizen, also gave a statement to the paper questioning the sensational claims.

Westhuizen was quoted as saying he was present when Warne met the woman. “He (Warne) did not look for it. She went to him and started all of this. He never said ‘let’s go for supper.’ She said, ‘I want your number’”.

Westhuizen also claimed Alon later told him she was “going to leave him (Warne) and will blackmail him for $625,000.”

Alon denied Westhuizen’s charges, saying Gavin Varejes, the Johannesburg associate of Warne, offered her money to keep quiet after hearing she wanted to sell her story. Varejes denied her allegations.

The controversy prone leg-spinner, who was stripped of his vice captaincy after he admitted to making dirty calls to a British nurse in August 2000, refused to respond to the charges and was seeking legal advice. But his manager and brother Jason did issue a terse statement denying the allegations.

“We regard the allegations of the South African woman as a personal issue between Shane, Simone and the relevant parties,” the statement said.

“This appears to be a blatant attempt by a person attempting to set up someone for personal gain and we will consult our legal people in this regard,” it said.

“We feel to comment on the issue would only further assist her in gaining the result she is conspiring to create. Therefore, Shane and anyone connected to him will not be making any further comments on this topic.” (PTI)

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