My private relationship with Johnson is no one’s business, says Arcuri
US entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri has refused to answer questions over her private relationship with Boris Johnson during a TV interview.
Ms Arcuri said the prime minister visited her Shoreditch office and home "five, ten, a handful of times" when he was London mayor and described him as "a really good friend".
The technology entrepreneur and former model told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "It's really not anyone's business what private life we had."
Ms Arcuri said the pair "tried having drinks out in public or having lunch" but "it just became too much of a mob show", so she told him: "You just have to come to my office."
The businesswoman said she and Mr Johnson, who saved the mayor on her phone as "Alex the Great", had bonded over their "mutual love of classic literature".
Ms Arcuri also denied ever directly asking Mr Johnson for sponsorship money.
She said: "Do you think I would waste his time talking about this stuff?"
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'It's no one's business': Key points from the Jennifer Arcuri interview
- The entrepreneur refused to answer questions about whether she had an "intimate relationship" with Boris Johnson
- Ms Arcuri said Mr Johnson "asked me to show him a few things" on the pole in her flat
- The entrepreneur said she never discussed any sponsorship or grants with Mr Johnson
- She said she was part of three trade mission because of the work she was doing, and not because of her relationship with the mayor
- Ms Arcuri said Mr Johnson had "absolutely nothing to do" with the £100,000 grant given to her company, Hacker House, in January this year.
The former model was reportedly given £126,000 in public money and privileged access to three foreign trade missions led by Mr Johnson while he was in City Hall.
The prime minister was referred to the police complaints body last month to assess whether he should face a criminal investigation over his association with her.
Ms Arcuri said on Monday that she used £10,000 given to her firm from London and Partners, the promotional agency run by the Mayor of London, to "produce (an) event" she hosted in 2013.
She said: "I produce good, really sexy, on-point events."
Ms Arcuri added in the interview: "And categorically more important, Boris never ever gave me favouritism, never once did I ask him for a favour, never once did he write a letter of recommendation for me."
Ms Arcuri also said she had not been part of three trade missions because of her relationship with Mr Johnson, but due to the work she was doing.
She added: "At the end of the day, I was allowed to go on that trade mission as a delegate because of who I was."
When asked whether her company operates out of the UK, despite her relocation to California, she said: "Yes, we operate out of the UK.
"Before this story hit we had eight staff, two contractors and two part-time developers in the UK."
The Sunday Times also reported over the weekend that Mr Johnson wrote a lRead More – Source