Leslie refuses to leave political race

| 05/04/2017 | 74 Comments
Cayman News Service

Matthew Leslie

(CNS Elections): Embroiled in a very public and embarrassing marital scandal that has raised questions for many voters about his integrity, Prospect independent candidate Matthew Leslie has told CNS that he will not step aside in the political race. He has said the magnifying glass that is on him means he needs to work harder to prove to the people of Prospect that he can be their representative, though he admitted that the scandal illustrated a “need to fix my life”.

Leslie, who woke from bariatric surgery to find that his wife had posted messages on social media illustrating his infidelity and possible solicitation of sex for money, said that everyone makes mistakes.

He accepted he had partied as a way of dealing with his depression but he was now trying to repair his marriage and the exposure was a wake-up call for him to mend his ways. Despite the persistent allegations from several other women about his inappropriate sexual behavior and previous solicitations, Leslie denied most of the allegations and said that some of the more outlandish suggestions from women about what he has said and done are lies.

Defiant in his decision to remain in the political race, Leslie said there was not a single politician or would-be candidate in Cayman that did not have skeletons in the cupboard that they would rather not have posted on social media and he was no exception. Leslie described the messages that were posted and re-posted on social media dozens of times as just “trash talk”, and as this was the night before his operation, he obviously was not going to engage in sexual activity.

He said the exposure would make him work harder in the district and intensify his efforts to persuade voters that he is the man to represent the constituency, which he cares greatly about. He believes that neither the scandal nor his health situation, as he recovers from the weight loss surgery and begins to address the health issues associated with his obesity, will not impact his ability to campaign or serve as an MLA. He also maintained that his long-term depression or previous partying ways were not barriers to his ability to be a public servant.

Leslie is running in a district which was identified by several CNS readers as one of the districts with the least favourable choices for non PPM supporters. Leslie is joined on the ballot by Lucille Seymour, a former educator and a founder of the People’s Progressive Movement who served as a backbench MLA for George Town during the 2005-09 administration, and radio talk show host Austin Harris, who has had his own public humiliations

In 2015 Austin was fired from Rooster after he was charged with domestic violence for punching his girlfriend at a social gathering. Despite being found guilty in Summary Court, the magistrate accepted Harris’ claims that he was remorseful and had given up drinking. She decided not to hand down any punishment and did not record the conviction, essentially wiping the slate clean.

Leslie’s scandals at present are confined to infidelities, with no suggestions of violence. CNS asked him about the continuing and significant accusation that he has approached young girls who may be underage. He emphatically denied them and has also refused to accept that the recent exposure of the messages on social media was an indication that he was soliciting sex for money, which is a crime.

Local activist Sandra Hill, who has been outspoken for years about the inappropriate sexual relationships in Cayman between much older men and younger women as well as the plague of sexual abuse on underage girls and boys, said that she has spoken directly to Leslie in the past about the allegations made against him and advised him to seek help.

“I had heard complaints for years of predatory sexual behavior in relations to Mr Leslie and had spoken to him about it over four years ago. Naturally, I assumed the behaviour had been curtailed and stopped completely,” she told CNS.

“However, once his wife exposed her issues of solicitation, it opened the floodgates and many persons came forward who confirmed this behavior extended to contacting minors. This is of grave concern to me given my specific concerns of protecting this vulnerable group in our islands. I have seen the conversations for myself and I would suggest that Mr Leslie gets professional help. He needs step away from the campaign trail and focus on issues,”  she added.

Leslie has also denied allegations of asking for sexual favours from women in socially deprived situations whom he has given money to, which he says was to just help them. The independent candidate, who has received monetary support from Dr Steve Tomlinson among other donors, said that he gives money to people as they need it.

He has also been far less keen than other candidates to dismiss the “hand-out” culture because, he says, people need help and they expect that to come directly from their representatives.

Believing that past mistakes don’t necessarily indicate future behaviour and that everyone should be given a chance, Leslie is facing the scandal head on. He will be continuing with his campaign, even hosting a family fun afternoon in the constituency at the weekend, where he plans to face the voters.

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Category: Candidates

Comments (74)

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  1. Cayguy says:

    Bang! Did you hear that? Last nail in the coffin

  2. Knot S Smart says:

    Did Matthew’s wife send him packing with only those three bags of his stuff?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Given the turnout at his meeting last night he needs to really call it quits. Wasted money on food, chairs, stage and 2 bouncing castles that no one attended or used. Reality will soon set in for him and the wife!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Anyhoo … he’s done! Next.

  5. George Novak says:

    Just another day in paradise……

  6. Unison says:

    Hmmm … I notice all these negative posts about Matthew. I sort of recant the things I said about him. After reading the posts, it dawn on me that folks don’t know what it is to be human. In life you can either be PERFECT or be HUMAN. And who isn’t human??? Nobody is perfect.

    Could it be that Matthew is a better candidate than his critics, and will surprise everyone on Election Day by rising from the ashes. Look … if you feed him all that negative energy, he could very well turn it into positive…

    Besides the most action-man candidate amongst them all I see, is none other but Matthew Leslie 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey we had someone in office already from West Bay who use to beat his wife, it seems a norm, we have someone now who is high up: have we forgotten the principal and the twins????? So it seems its ok to commit adultery, prostitution, beating of wife, remember Mathew your dismissal from the RCIPS??? Come on now…give up already!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sure Matthew! LOL … no one is buying this BS! Tell him to get his act together PRONTO!

      His victims are the ones I’m sorry for.

    • Anonymous says:

      He is only human. We won’t hold that against him. Don’t make him fit to be elected tho.

    • Anonymous says:

      ^ I’ll have whatever he’s smoking, lol

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re more deluded than Matthew.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Woman lover or woman beater? Tough choices for Prospect.

    • Diogenes says:

      Think that’s woman harasser, woman beater…or a woman

    • Anon says:

      Women lover, woman beater, or woman herself.

    • Anonymous says:

      will all 3 candidates support gay rights?
      will all 3 candidates support greater penalties for beating women?
      will all 3 candidates support penalties for adultery, prostitution?

      Prospect, get the views of all 3 candidates from all 3 candidates and you might be surprised at who the monster in the closet is and who’s left as best of 3.

      We need to apply tests of integrity to all candidates AND regardless of gender.

      Signed,
      Tired of party loyalists and disappointed with majority of Independents

    • Cleva Jackson says:

      Not tuff at all. Vote Lucille. #caymanstrong!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Soliciting sex for money is not a crime. Neither is prostitution/sex work. Check the Penal Code.

    Only ancillary activities are criminalised, such as maintaining a brothel, a male living off the earnings of prostitution (i.e. pimping), and persistent solicitation in a public place (i.e. street-walking and the like).

    Neither party commits a crime when two adults consent to sexual activity in exchange for some time of payment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps maybe not but asking woman for sex for money does definitely insult the modesty of a woman [and i am talking about the majority of the cases where the woman has not asked for anything] and that is definitely a crime under the penal code.

      People don’t understand until it happens to them or their daughter, spouse, sister etc… its the most disgusting feeling in the world to be treated as being worth no more than “200$ plus a cab fare”.

      Plus, there is no consensual sexual activity here, we are talking about soliciting woman who didn’t ask for anything! Or perhaps woman who genuinely asked for help and were told to take off their top, please stop the victimization of predators.

    • Anonymous says:

      aka, many marriages

  9. Anonymous says:

    Pride is a bad thing and doesn’t belong in politics, do your country a favor and step down from this election.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Further to my first CNS post regarding the unfortunate sexual track-record of Matthew Leslie – posted days before his Facebook “Cuddles-gate” scandal by the way – I find no pleasure in saying “I am not surprised” by his ongoing predicament.

    (A copy thereof can be found below):

    “Anonymous says:
    21/03/2017 at 8:50 am
    Sometimes there are things in one’s past that simply cannot be overlooked or “forgiven” to the extent of democratically electing an individual as a government representative.

    Speaking as a man who believes his primary and natural function is to protect the weaker and or vulnerable members of my family and community as a whole, I could never bring myself to mark an “X” for Matthew Leslie.

    Nevertheless, I encourage him to keep up the good work in the community. In fact, I have even worked alongside him on a particular project.”

    Matthew, as a fellow Caymanian male of your generation with whom you are loosely associated, I urge you to seek help for your issues.
    It is clear to just about everyone, other than yourself, that you are not mentally fit to hold political office.

    An absolute refusal to accept or explore that possibility on your part is simply supporting evidence for the suspicion.

    I sincerely hope those that love and care for you (family / true friends) will do their best to address the matter, even if that requires an intervention of some sort.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It still amazes me how we as Caymanians continue to tear each other down. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. No one is without sin.

    This man has disgraced himself publicly and he needs to get professional help. No matter what he has done he is still a living person and we should be encouraging him to get that help. He and his wife if they chose to do so need to work this out in private without we the public telling either of them what to do and if I were him and wanted to save my marriage, I would focus my attention one hundred percent on my wife and repairing my marriage and forget about politics.

    For all of you out there, particularly one particular woman who has taken this on as her own personal witch hunt, I say to her and others to remember that this can happen to anyone including her and in particular this woman who has had to live through so much public embarrassment herself should know how it feels and shouldn’t constantly be inflicting harm on others. Please don’t get me wrong, we need to speak up when these things happen and speak loudly but personal witch hunts are unnecessary and we accomplished more when we don’t sink to that level.

    I can only hope and pray that right decisions are made and taken and that the nasty attacks and accusations can end and we return our focus on things that matter, one of the biggest being that we need to pick the best government that we possibly can for the next four years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nice try Matthew

    • Anonymous says:

      Constant deflection. Focus on Matthew and his need to get professional help. No one else needs to be dragged into this. Whatever some woman had done and supposed embarrassment of her own issues is on her. Nothing to do with Matthew!

      No one is attacking him. You clearly don’t know the magnitude of what Matthew has been allowed to get away with for the betterment of 20 years!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Matthew you are the laughing stock of the country. You really didn’t need the scandal to come out publically like this to be the laughing stock, you were the brunt of many jokes already. But now that you are on social media and not just blackberry memes sent around makes you an international laughing stock.

    Who truly wants to be known as the butt end of every joke, spoken about in a derogatory manner by the community locally and internationally and still continue with the behavior plus blame others.

    Matthew you are a complete embarrassment to all Caymanian men. You have fulfilled the opinion of many and solidified that the Caymanian male is so dense and thick that they don’t know when to stop.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Please Prospect. Do not vote for this degenerate. Mac does not need a Mini-Me!

  14. Anonymous says:

    And so we get the useless Lucille because the other candidates are so totally crappy.

    • Picked a Fine Time to Run says:

      Hey, Lucille “partied” in her day too but lets face it, she is by far the least likely to do irreprebale damage and is clearly the only choice in Prospect. Don’t hate the playa’, hate the game

  15. Anonymous says:

    Austin Harris has not stopped drinking. I saw him at the Cayman Airways Party with a rum and coke.
    I really hope he didn’t go home and beat his wife again that night.

  16. Innu Endo says:

    He won’t pull out you say.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Rooster interview…”well at least she wasn’t 12 or 14 years old or anything like that”. Hmmmm.

  18. Angie Hernandez says:

    Austin Harris is the next one that has to be dealt with. He is a woman beater. We simply cannot have him represent us in the Legislative Assembly. I can always say NO to the pervert Matthew Leslie but I could never over-power an angry and abusive Austin Harris!!

  19. Facto Dematta says:

    Lets be honest, he was never really in it to begin with.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I think we should see audited financials of Leslie’s humanitarian projects, in particular his Haiti drive supported by many businesses and people here. He’s clearly a generous man in several senses.

  21. Anonymous says:

    what BS. He contacted me in November asking me to meet him. I declined. He also contacted my friend offering her money and this was around the same time. She declined as well. He was engaged to his now wife at the time. He is disgusting, inside and out. He is a dirty low life who will never change. If the people of Prospect vote him in, then it says a lot about their mentality and lack of intelligence.

  22. Anonymous says:

    US News & World Report recently noted that gastric bypass surgery not only cuts your appetite but also might reduce your desire for high-fat foods. Over the years, I’ve had friends who have suffered through gastric bypass or lap band procedures. They’ve all shed weight as if they had made a pact with Satan — quickly and what appears to be easily.

    People applaud their weight loss and congratulate them on how thin they’ve become and how good they look.

    Not I.

    I don’t like cheating and I don’t like short cuts, especially (at least) when it comes to such a big thing (pun totally intended).

    My weight has yo-yoed during the years. I’ve been normal weight, thick, chubby, and obese. When I was at my heaviest, 250 pounds, I did the unthinkable. I cut my calories to less than 500 per day and began exercising two hours daily. Guess what? I also lost weight as if I had a pact with “he who must not be named.” (Oh, wait, that’s Lord Voldemoort; I mean the other guy.)

    It was difficult, especially at first. But every day I — and my will — grew stronger. And after three months (in which I lost 80 pounds), I was very, very proud of myself.

    How can I be proud of someone who takes the easy route? Someone who decides that having a surgeon cut them open and rearrange or modify their insides is easier than eating less and exercising more? It’s just lazy.

    And if you’re too lazy to cut calories and exercise, you don’t deserve to be skinny.

    Before I get a ton of comments about how some people are so obese they don’t have a choice — chill, please. You’re the type of person who enables drug addicts and criminals. I have the Learning Channel. I’ve seen those shows about the heaviest people on the planet, including Manuel Uribe from Mexico, who weighed more than 1,000 pounds and was dubbed “the Fattest Man on Earth.” He began losing weight by exercising and cutting down on eating. Sure, his exercise consisted of doing arm circles while lying in bed, but it burned more calories than lying there eating tacos.

    And if the fattest man on Earth can say no to food and yes to exercise, so can all of the self-indulgent, overweight, spineless jellyfish who take the easy way out.

    • FYI says:

      Um, ok lol.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you especially since his issue is he has NO SELF control. That extends to his weight, his current issue with women and his financial woes.

      Lack of restraint is the common thread between them all. I listened to him on the radio. He was saying how he takes his wife to all the best restaurants. That’s his idea of treating her well. Forget that he has disrespected the sanctity of their marriage and cheated on her throughout a one month marriage.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not overweight but I find your comments sanctimonious, self serving, condescending and offensive because you tar a whole group of people with the same brush. Some people have thyroid and other serious medical disorders etc….which contribute to their overweight…not everybody is a Macdonalds Stuffing soda guzzler as you suggest. I won’t even look back at your intolerant retort (which you are bound to make)…. You ignorance must be bliss .

    • private 8 says:

      For You to make comment on GASTRIC BYPASS and say it is EASY or LAZY You have no Idea and nEEd to do some research it is not EASY OR LAZY and some people require surgical assistance but you would have a clue since I assume you are not MEDICALLY TRAINED IN ANY WAY

    • Private 8 says:

      OH by the way you need to put up a disclaimer for 500 calories a day to loose weight you may have lost yours that way but it may not be HEALTHY number one and people who have other medical issues like diabetes for one need to know DO NOT DO THIS YOU MAY END UP IN A COMMA. Seek medical help and a licensed dietician for advice. people who have other medical conditions please be advised DONT TRY THIS AT HOME .

    • Obese Chick says:

      Wow! The article is about Leslie refusing to bow out of the race and you somehow managed to slide in a response all about yourself. You could be family to Trump.
      But since you brought it up…..

      I agree with 8:13am, your comments are sanctimonious, self-serving condescending and I will add judgmental.

      I am overweight and although I would never consider gastric bypass or lap band surgery or any kind of surgery to assist in weight loss, I am not going to judge others for their choice to do so or resort to calling them names like some immature high schooler.

      Your method of cutting to less than 500 calories a day was probably worse than the surgery because if you truly did your homework and knew anything about how your body works, you would realize that your body requires more than 500 calories just to perform regular functions.

      Although you may have achieved your goal and lost 80lbs in 3 months, what is the long term cost? You might have just wrecked your metabolism.

      This was unhealthy and clearly unsustainable. What happened after the 3 months when you went back to eating more than just 500 calories per day. Am surprised you didn’t end up in the hospital if you actually ate less than 500 calories a day and exercised two hours a day for 3 months as you say.

      As an earlier poster said, there are people who have thyroid and other issues and it doesn’t matter how much they lower their caloric intake or exercise, all that will happen is they will make themselves sick so please don’t judge other people for their choices just as some did not judge you for your unhealthy choice.

      You said you had the Learning Channel but you should “cancel” that subscription because you never learned anything.

      You are encouraging people to do unsafe things like you did but have the nerve to condemn a person who does surgery, a surgery that has to be approved so there are restrictions and nutritionists involved unlike your situation because I know no certified nutritionist would have given you that advice.

      You said you didn’t like cheating yet you didn’t consider so drastically reducing your caloric intake to an unhealthy level as cheating. Someone who took their time and shed their weight over say a year or two could look at you and say “how can I be proud of someone who took the easy way out” as well.

      You seem proud to call all the people out there who are battling obesity “self-indulgent, overweight, spineless jellyfish”, you are forgetting you were once in those categories as well, let’s just hope you never go back there.

  23. Unison says:

    Come on … really??? If my socalled wife posted on facebook for the whole world to see that Im having an affair with another woman, and it so happens, she does this after I am made a political candidate so to destroy my excelling in society and see me in prison for prostitution …

    I don’t care if she is from Canada, London, or Pope-blessed! She does not have me in the best interest! She wants to see me arrested! And for I to make up with her??? Don’t give me that jealous excuse and wasnt thinking! You wanted to see me in jail!

    Even if I was cheating, I don’t deserve prison! And … I find it hard to believe she found out just after I declared to be a candidate. This is just a bad-minded person, and not wife material at all …

    If Matthew continues running and makes up with her, I think he just makes himself look weak of a leader. Because Matthew denies the allegations, and if youre going to say your innocent, why would you go in beds with the one who made the story on you! Geeeezzze … I mean thats incredible! I hate to see good folks break up even after long years of marriage … but if I was him I wouldn’t have a heart. She would have to be on her knees begging me for forgiveness! Again, I would say her like, “woman (with all due respect) why would you frame a story and make it go public against on the eve of Elections when you know I am running??? What love in you do you have for me??? Why would you make up a story that could see me in prison???!”

    :/

    • FYI says:

      He cheated, and he got caught. It was his decision to cheat. She posted the screenshots of his conversation with the other woman. She did not “make up a story”. Also, they have been married since Feb 2017, not a long time. Not to mention, I am pretty sure she would not have cheated.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not about cheating! this is about the solicitation of women! Insulting women’s modesty! The cheating part [although of significance] is a drop in the ocean compared to the rest of the accusations made against Leslie.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I guarantee you, he will be elected, considering his opponents.

  25. Anonymous says:

    He is sounding rather Trumpy with the locker room banter talk excuse.

  26. Anonymous says:

    If I were Matthew, I’d rather bow out now since he’s been exposed than to walk away with 10 votes this time around. Swallow your pride Matty, I won’t judge you for dropping out this very tight race we have in Prospect.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Everyone expects their candidate to do all within their power to lower prices for the common man. Paying $100 per hour for cuddles is pricing us out of the market

    • Anonymous says:

      Might appear amusing to you but not to his victims. NO laughing matter at all.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well I found it amusing too, you poor snowflake.

        Other than his wife, what victims? He’s just a fat old perv who offers money for cuddles. If you’d rather not, just say no. Many seem to have done so already.

        • Anonymous says:

          Allegations go back over 20 years and cover countless victims including many underage! Get the facts.

          • Fun bring bun says:

            Um it takes two…no victims here, they both got what they wanted. And if they were underage, his fluffy ass should be in the slammer

            • Anonymous says:

              How does it “take two” when he randomly, without precursor propositions women?

              You are part of the problem.

          • Anonymous says:

            “Get the facts” from where? The marl road? Admit it: you heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend.

            Either reveal your “facts” or stop rehashing Cayman rumour.

  28. Anonymous Commenter says:

    Your past can be forgiven, but not forgotten!

    This scandal has and will forever remain online for the whole world wide web to see, Matthew.

    If you are to become one of Cayman’s next representatives, you must be aware that your conduct (or lack thereof) will most likely be exposed on the world stage.

    Your actions matter.

    Despite all that has transpired, you still wish to throw your hat into the ring and potentially embarrass us all.

    That is a disservice to our islands, and you know it.

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