Former Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen has opened up about his "titillating and exciting" encounters with a sex worker which ultimately led to his departure from state parliament.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Mr Johnsen said allegations earlier this year that he had raped a sex worker in the Blue Mountains in 2019 had been distressing and caused him anxiety.
"It was titillating and exciting. I was finding myself again after 30 years of marriage. I married at the age of 21 and had never played the field.
"I'm a red blooded male, sorry if I get turned on. But rape? It just didn't happen.
"It's caused deep anguish, I lost control of myself.
"It was stitched up over the Upper Hunter seat. But I was stupid to be texting the sex worker in parliament."
Mr Johnsen's resignation triggered a by-election in which the National Party retained the seat, contributing to the resignation of Labor leader Jodi McKay and ascension of Chris Minns to the role.