Rowley’s inflamed Gumbs; Wired868 investigates bizarre harassment case

EPL Infrafred Sauna

In what would probably go down as the worst “sex scandal” since an Australian Senator offered ex-Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Ato Boldon a Tim Tam, Trinidad Express investigative journalist, Anika Gumbs, quit her job yesterday after being left “mentally scarred and traumatised” by a series of meetings with a character who Mills and Boon might refer to as ‘a tall, dark, handsome Opposition Leader.’

Photo: Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley enjoys himself during Carnival 2015.
Photo: Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley enjoys himself during Carnival 2015.

I know what you’re thinking: “Mr Live Wire, we are big people here… Rest it on we! Doh leave nothing out!”

Well, some time in January, Rowley allegedly told Gumbs that she was “looking rosy.” Three months later, he enquired about a tattoo on her back and removed a bee from her dress with the line: “Even honey bees landing on you.”

And, two weeks later on April 21, Rowley was allegedly bareback when Gumbs turned up for a pre-arranged interview, which was done in his kitchen. During the meeting, Rowley supposedly offered to work as a bodyguard outside her bedroom door.

Eh… that’s it. According to columnist Anthony Deyal, it was a case of ‘all Gumbs and no teeth.’

Incidentally, Rowley might be the first person accused of a sexual harassment case in which the woman just would not stop visiting his damn house for more

So, after all the nibbling, flattening, groping, puffing, blowing and ‘bring-a-Krystian-and-come’ pyjama parties that littered the People’s Partnership’s term in office, Gumbs somehow managed to grab the media spotlight with a lengthy recount of supposed sexual inappropriateness that had less action than ‘Rapunzel.’

Mr Live Wire cannot stress enough that if your claims of sexual harassment can be published without an editor’s note about graphic language and adult content, then somebody did not do their job properly.

Photo: Ex-Tourism Minister, MP and sweetman brahmin Chandresh Sharma. (Courtesy Trinidad Guardian)
Photo: Ex-Tourism Minister, MP and sweetman brahmin Chandresh Sharma.
(Courtesy Trinidad Guardian)

Former Prime Minister Basdeo Panday probably steupsed halfway through the story and turned the page.

You mean to tell me that Wired868 could publish the whole of “50 Shades of Gumbs” without one bleeding asterisk self?!

But that does not mean there was no lesson worth learning here.

First of all, let us look at Gumbs.

On September 2013, the Sunshine Newspaper reported that Gumbs landed two contracts valued at close to $1 million, which fell under the portfolios of Minister of Works and Infrastructure Suruj Rambachan and Minister of Food Production Devant Maharaj.

Gumbs allegedly confirmed her interest in the relevant companies and declared her dream was “to become (a) successful business woman.”

Yet, the Trinidad Express newspapers hired her anyway and allowed her to write investigative pieces on various political figures.

Perhaps Express editor-in-chief Omatie Lyder should have read Luke 16:13, which states that: “No one can serve two masters.”

Photo: Trinidad Express editor-in-chief Omatie Lyder.
Photo: Trinidad Express editor-in-chief Omatie Lyder.

Did Lyder, a former Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) official, fail in her duty to protect the reputation of her newspaper by not acting sooner on an obvious conflict of interest?

Did Rambachan or Maharaj have any input in Gumbs’ investigative pieces on former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan?

Gumbs, one may recall, first tried to get a tale of domestic violence from Ramlogan’s wife—the ex-AG claimed the reporter posed as someone else although Gumbs denied this—before sinking him with the David West witness tampering story.

Was that really top notch investigative work? Or the fall-out from an internal UNC feud?

And then there is Rowley.

This is 2015. Bareback, like asbestos and cassettes, is not cool anymore, Keithos. Not unless you’re Vladimir Putin.

But, more to the point, why would the Opposition Leader invite anyone with substantial Government contracts—let alone a female reporter—to his house?

If Rowley, the instigator of email-gate, wants to give an example of his good judgment, then that would not be it. Have a word, Sharon.

Photo: Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley. (Courtesy Jyoti Communication)
Photo: Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
(Courtesy Jyoti Communication)

Of course, as always, the devil is in the details. So let’s revisit the timeline.

Gumbs said she felt uncomfortable when Rowley described her appearance as “rosy” in January. Presumably, she bursts into tears whenever she gets a “soot” on the street.

Or maybe Gumbs thought he was saying she was shaped like a mango.

But, if she felt uncomfortable at his office, why then agree to meet him at his home?

There, she turned up wearing a dress that apparently allowed Rowley to see a tattoo on her back. If she still remembered her last “awkward” encounter with the Opposition Leader, why flash the flesh in a more intimate setting?

Mr Live Wire hates to come off like a prude. But if a man can see your tattoo at his house, you are probably not dressed appropriately.

Unless, of course, Rowley intuitively assumed she had a tattoo there. But that does not make sense either. Most men cannot even tell if a woman has on weave.

Rowley, according to Gumbs, rescued her from a bee at the end of their interview with the words: “Even honey bees landing on you.”

Photo: Trinidad Express reporter Anika Gumbs. (Courtesy Stabroek News)
Photo: Trinidad Express reporter Anika Gumbs.
(Courtesy Stabroek News)

If anything, Mr Live Wire thinks it is the bee that should have been offended. It was clearly lost.

Yet, surprise, surprise, Gumbs took her honeypot back to Rowley’s residence within a fortnight.

This time, according to her, Rowley was shirtless.

What would most women do when a shirtless man asks them to step inside their home? Notwithstanding her previous concerns, Gumbs did just that.

If only Rowley’s charm worked on Wade Mark, who booted him out of Parliament.

Is Gumbs suggesting that she is more easily led than the Speaker of the House? That, to put it lightly, seems far-fetched.

For some reason, Rowley and Gumbs conducted their interview in the kitchen.

Was somebody making a sandwich? Did somebody try to leave a bunny in a pot?

And, the coup de grace, Rowley allegedly offered to stand sentry outside Gumbs’ bedroom door, due to prank calls she supposedly reported to the police.

Gumbs claimed she felt: “numb and blank… completely helpless and confused as if I was being trapped in a situation that I was totally unprepared for.”

Photo: Butterfly-gate?
Photo: Butterfly-gate?

Mr Live Wire shares her confusion at this point.

What good is Rowley outside Gumbs’ bedroom door? Is that where her PBX was situated and he intended to screen her calls?

There is certainly no satisfaction to be had outside a woman’s doors.

A proper pass would be along the lines of: “Would you like to come into my bedroom and tell me all about it?” or “You seem so wound up… maybe it’s because you are overdressed.” Or maybe: “Can I tell you what I would say if I called you late at night?”

It took another two weeks for Gumbs, by her admission, to bring the incident to Lyder’s attention and, even then, she did not mention Rowley’s name.

So how the hell was the Express supposed to protect her from future meetings with Rowley if the paper did not know about it?

She claimed that she stopped wearing dresses to work and stuck to pants suits.

Was Rowley in the habit of turning up at her Express workplace and gawking at her dresses? Are bees less attracted to pants suits?

Photo: Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
Photo: Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.

Did her pursuit of a ‘Bill Clinton story’ somehow channel her ‘inner Hillary Clinton’?

Gumbs said: “I now feel unable to communicate with Dr Rowley any longer because he betrayed my trust and expectations.”

What does that have to do with the Express? She is not a political reporter. Did someone other than the Express editor-in-chief assign Gumbs to Rowley?

If so, what was Gumbs’ assignment with Rowley exactly? And why did she decide, 15 weeks after her last house call but five weeks before the General Election, that she had enough?

Was it because Gumbs’ trauma took nearly four months to properly manifest, unlike the air hostess allegedly groped by Glenn Ramadharsingh?

Or was it that, after nearly four months, she is now certain there will be no further opportunity for a meeting at the Rowley residence before the elections?

And what did Gumbs mean when she wrote: “Developments over the last 72-hours have caused me great distress to my personal and professional life hence my decision to walk away.”
What developments to her personal and professional life? Was her boss mad at her about something? Which boss?

Photo: Eh?
Photo: Eh?

Did Gumbs quit her job? Or just the cover for her real job?

No doubt, the electorate will hear much more about this in the coming days.

Gumbs, presumably, would now devote herself full-time to satisfying her State contracts.

It could have been worse. She might have entered the romantic novels business.

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About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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  1. If these sort of things continue i will give serious consideration to stopping the purchase of newspapers everyday. I am still bothered by the former crime reporter for the Express Akiel Simont and his alleged exploits .

  2. One of the best “sex- stories” ever written by Wired868. thinking of buying the rights and producing a Soap Oprah. What a sexy woman!

  3. The person who wrote this article is very skilled. They had me laughing.

  4. The writing is on d wall only those with Eyes will see it the blind will always be led astray like lost sheep

  5. What was she wearing to go to that interview?

  6. My dentist tell me he can’t fix my plate until he investigate my Gum

  7. To many , Dr Rowley is the equivalent to Barack Obama. Beautiful wife , two lovely well educated daughters and a well knit family . How would anyone react if they heard such a thing of Obama ?
    Why condemn the messenger / victim ? Maybe that is why she chose not to say anything at first. Or maybe she thought she was misinterpreting his words so she returned to make sure she was not wrong . Please ladies , it could happen to anyone of you.

  8. The P N M Media thinks that because they don’t report .Ministers giving sexual favours for house jobs etc. That its not common practice that they do. Ask the very popular P N M minister from east west corridor why Manning didn’t send him back for his seat????????

  9. she definitely smoking some kind of plant like substance to come up with this story. Must be Zebapique cause it will leave the bitterest taste in her mouth. Trust me

  10. Plain and simple she just love the man and can’t get him right and the unc take over she fight to set up the. Dr

  11. Y people still focusing on Delia….don’t give her the satisfaction….right now she’s an after birth.

  12. Great article. Didn’t she walk with a recorder to take her conversations with Dr. Rowley for her article? how come she ain’t have no recordings of his ‘comments’

  13. I am not sure what to type. I was in the midst of this provocative thought and enlightening insight when I ventured to all the comments posted and went completely blank. I know I was laughing too hard (people still looking at me) that I forgot every single thing I was going to write. I absolutely love the article and to the author, this was a much needed read.. Anyone with a brain could surmise that “dis woman” mad in she “so an so”(not to be profane.. as much).

  14. I cannot begin to imagine a more perfectly crafted headline! Congratulations, take win Lasana Liburd.

  15. he needs to leave ppl chirren alone. SMH,, sad

  16. This thread aware that an actual police report is yet to be made?
    So essentially Gumbs accuse the man and he cannot even clear his name in a court of law because it isnt a legal matter but one of hearsay.

  17. That useless woman know she she gets 30 pieces of silver every one not stupid like the ppl in yellow in front d parliament building girl

  18. She look like a wild thing,so ROWLEY take a LAPPE DANCE.

  19. For any one to see that tattoo, you are dressed inappropriately.

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