Earwax and Instagram: Rudd's rogue moments

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is leaving parliament. (Getty)

As Kevin Rudd prepares to leave parliament, the Australian people have been left to muse on his legacy. But Rudd made numerous non-political headlines, too. Here are some of his most memorable moments.

Strip club visit

Rudd's first foray into public controversy came before he was elected PM. In August 2007 Rudd was revealed to have visited a strip club during a visit to New York as the shadow foreign affairs minister. The press jumped on the story, labelling it as rocking his hopes of becoming PM. However, the politically adverse effects of the incident were kept to a minimum, with some even stating the event could be viewed as an endearing indication of Rudd's humanity. 

Earwax incident

Rudd had another less-than-ideal media storm as he was gearing up for the election campaign that would make him prime minister in 2007. A leaked video appeared online that would go on to give Mr Rudd an early taste of international headlines. It was a video filmed during Question Time in Parliament, and the then Member for Griffith can be seen putting his finger into his ear and then into his mouth.

Flight attendant incident

The then-prime minister issued an apology after details emerged that he reduced an RAAF flight attendant to tears after berating her over an airline meal.

Fair shake of the sauce bottle, mate

In mid-2009, Rudd's utterance "Fair shake of the sauce bottle, mate," during a Sky News interview attracted media attention. Rudd has a reputation for spouting alleged Australianisms, almost entirely undeterred by the fact few Australians have actually ever heard his bizarre slogans before. When at his best, Rudd wavers between unintelligible political jargon such as "detailed programmatic specifity" and cringeworthy casualness, like his signature parting words: "Gotta zip". 

Rudd swears on camera

In early 2012, a video of Kevin Rudd swearing as he attempts to record a message in Mandarin was leaked on the Internet. The video quickly went viral, with theories about the identity of the anonymous uploader - known only as 'Happy Little Vegemite' - proliferating just as rapidly. The Australian Federal Police investigated the matter, concluding in October last year that their work was done. However, Mr Rudd raised concerns that they had not investigated the matter properly, and the AFP continued to talk to witnesses. 


Chin Up Video, 2013

Earlier this year, a video of the then-prime minister attempting to complete chin ups at an outdoor gym went viral: 


Make-up artist incident

Rudd's temper made headlines again earlier this year when a make-up artist alleged he had been rude to her. Brisbane resident Lily Fontana posted a Facebook status saying that Mr Abbott had been polite and Mr Rudd had done 'the exact opposite' when she did their make-up prior to a leadership debate. However, after a media circus and a denial from Rudd, Fontana stated that she regretted making the comments. 

Social Media

Rudd's presence on social media consistently outshone his fellow parliamentarians, with a whopping 1,395,000 followers on Twitter. For comparison, former PM Julia Gillard has 444,000 and current PM Tony Abbott is sitting on 260,200.

Rudd's social media strategy attracted criticism during the 2013 election campaign when he posted a selfie to Instagram in which he had cut himself shaving.  

Source SBS

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