The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Alon says Warne fan attacked her
- More quirky turns to leg-spinner's scandals

Durban: In a new twist to the phone SMS sex scandal, Helen Cohen Alon has claimed she was physically attacked because she had opened the Pandora’s box of Australian cricketer Shane Warne.

Cohen Alon, 45, said she was attacked last week by a woman who works in the upmarket Sandton clothing store where she first met Warne early last year during an Australian cricket tour.

Cohen Alon said the shop assistant has had Warne as a client since 1995 and was angry about her allegations about the leg spinner.

“She attacked me from behind, but fortunately I do tai chi and she only managed to grab my hair,” the mother-of-three told Johannesburg’s Sunday Times.

Cohen Alon, who has complained to police about the incident, also hit back at accusations of extortion made against her by Gavin Varejes, an associate of Warne. She claims Varejes offered her 200,000 rand ($ 42,000) in hush money.

South African police spokeswoman Mary Martins-Engelbrecht said police were investigating the accusation of extortion and were likely to present the country’s director of public prosecutions (DPP) with their evidence soon.

If the DPP was satisfied the police had enough evidence, he would make a decision on whether to prosecute Cohen Alon for extortion, she said.

However, Alon said she would be making a counter claim against Varejes, including for defamation.

“I’m suing Gavin [Varejes] for saying I’m an ‘extortionist and a blackmailer’,” Cohen Alon told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, reports emerging from Australia said Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland had a number of private conversations in the past few days with the leg-spinner, serving a drug suspension.

Sutherland is reported to be concerned about the impact the allegations may have on the game. “From a cricket point of view, there is no doubt allegations of this nature can reflect badly and have a negative impact on the game and, from a cricket point of view, it is always better to deal with them,” he told the Sunday Herald Sun.

“These are only allegations at this stage, but, as I always do in situations like this, I remind the players of their responsibilities.”

Another report said an unidentified 38-year-old Melbourne stripper has engaged celebrity agent Harry M. Miller to sell her story about Warne.

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