THE Defence Department is investigating allegations that television celebrity Tania Zaetta had sex with Australian special forces soldiers during a recent tour of war-ravaged Afghanistan.
The department has been severely embarrassed after admitting it broke privacy rules by naming Zaetta - who has denied the allegation - in a briefing document to the Minister for Defence Joel Fitzgibbon.
The high-level document, obtained by The Daily Telegraph, says the unsubstantiated claim that Zaetta had sex with troops at the Australian base in Tarin Kowt last month was made by veteran rock singer Angry Anderson.
Zaetta and Anderson were the two headline acts on a 17-day tour of the Middle East that staged concerts for Australian soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Zaetta, who strenuously denies the allegation, told The Daily Telegraph the claim was "hurtful".
"That is the absolute first I've heard of it. That is the most ridiculous story I've ever heard about my life - and I've heard plenty over the years in this industry," she said.
"It takes the cake. I've just done this most amazing life-changing experience, been to the most unbelievable places and for this to be said, it's very hurtful."
Zaetta was the co-host of 1990s television show Who Dares Wins, which is also the motto of the Australian SAS. She is also a popular film star in India.
Performers on the tour - dubbed "Tour de Force - Middle East 9" were warned they would breach Defence Force regulations if they fraternised with troops.
Anderson, lead singer of rock band Rose Tattoo, told The Daily Telegraph he had no knowledge of any complaint.
But the document says the secretary of the Defence force's entertainment division "was informed yesterday by Mr Anderson that he had been told by SF (special forces) troops whilst at Tarin Kowt that Ms Zaetta had sex with them and they had the photos and video to prove it."
"The issue was not raised by Mr Anderson during the tour. The tour CO (commanding officer) was aware that Mr Anderson did not think highly of Ms Zaetta, often criticising her," the document says.
A Department of Defence spokesman confirmed that an investigation into the allegations was under way and that statements would be taken from those who participated on the tour.
Anderson, who said he is a member of the Forces Advisory Committee on Entertainment, said he had not made a complaint about Zaetta.
"I don't know where that came from. I don't get into personal or petty dislikes, particularly when it could hamper or have a detrimental effect on a tour," he said.
"I don't know Tania very well. As far as I could tell she conducted herself in a very professional manner. It's two weeks away, it's pretty intense and I pretty much kept myself to myself."
Anderson said he had formed a friendship with a male comedian during the tour. "I guess I could be accused of being homosexual. I was often seen in his company."
The document says all personnel on the tour were briefed on Defence force policy on fraternising with troops 10 days before they flew to the Middle East.
Under a heading "Talking Points" - briefing notes given to ministers as suggestions for handling controversial issues in public - the document suggests the minister say: "I'm aware of the allegation and understand that an investigation is currently being conducted.
In interviews given to publicise the tour, which was filmed by the ABC's Australian Story and aired over the past two weeks, Zaetta said: "I'm single and there has been a lot of teasing that I am going into a place where they haven't seen girls for a long time."
Just before the tour left, she said about touring the Middle East: "If you can't get a date out of there then you've got no hope."
Commanding Officer of the tour Lieutenant Colonel Greg McCauley said he could not comment and referred inquiries to the Department of Defence's public affairs division.
Sources on the tour said they had no knowledge of any Defence investigation and were surprised that an allegation had been made by Angry Anderson.
The Daily Telegraph
Click to view image: '184132-0605189600.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|