New Zealand's Prime Minister has for the first time categorically denied that he called British footballer David Beckham "thick as batshit".
During a visit to a Dunedin girls' high school last Friday, John Key told a group of pupils that his son spent 45 minutes with the world's richest football player during a visit to New Zealand in 2008.
Mr Key was also overheard saying that Beckham was a really nice guy to spend that long with his son, but that he was "thick as batshit".
In Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Key denied making the remark.
"Did I say that David Beckham was as thick as bat whatever, the answer is categorically: I did not."
When questioned outside the House, Mr Key would not say what he did say about Beckham.
The football star, who plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy team, is estimated to have earned more than $300 million from the game and endorsements.
He came to Auckland in December 2008 for an Oceania All Stars exhibition match.