Home / Live Wire / Rowley’s inflamed Gumbs; Wired868 investigates bizarre harassment case

Rowley’s inflamed Gumbs; Wired868 investigates bizarre harassment case

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.

About Mr. Live Wire

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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236 comments

  1. Now yuh looking to put Lasana in trouble Albert Edwards. Lol.

  2. Lasana Liburd,i not in the medical field conducting physical screening looking for tattoos and birth marks ,but i am in stitches with your butterfly tattoo,i wonder if you have inside information on the location .please share it

  3. Excellent piece. Thank you. And as can often be the case, it is full of comments far more valid and mature than the “story” that prompted your clever response.

  4. Hilarious! Some genuinely good questions!

  5. In that case, the writer is doubly wrong. Not only does he/she ridicule a very real problem, but it’s written assuming that we the readers are privy to all the inside info.

  6. You do your own case a disservice if you rush to the defence of every woman who claims harassment without considering the evidence.
    It is your right to agree or disagree with the story.
    But it would be hypocritical to scrutinize everyone but the person making the accusation.
    By law, it is the person making the accusation that has the most to prove. Because the burden of proof lies with them.
    Thanks for the viewpoint still.

  7. Lasana – I like the butterfly tatoo picture in the link. As for the article, the less said about this the better. Tired of all this election nonsense.

  8. It’s makes you wonder when women are going to start standing together, instead of tearing each other down.

    Point made. It’s not going to happen.

  9. Agreed…….due to my personality I would not be made to feel uncomfortable and then return to a similar situation. So are we to be believe she lost her logic, her will…….generally changed her personality every time she was around Rowley. I am not defending him as I don’t know him personally. I don’t know if he is an inappropriate man who says inappropriate things and then do the “what, I didn’t mean anything”. We have all met those………but as the article says the fact that she kept returning, didn’t deal with it when the situations occurred and now sensationalizing it………it makes you wonder.

  10. Interesting read. Two things though, One should try their utmost best to NOT put one’s head on a block for ANY politician. One should not always believe EVERYTHING that one sees in the newspapers. Quietly waiting for the facts to surface and my country to see the light.

  11. $$$$$$$$$$ with wings ? Doh ask me.

  12. I disagree. I’ve been in a number of similar situations — once had to install a fax machine while the gentleman sat in his drawers watching tv. We’ve been told so often that it’s all in our head, that we become incapable of trusting our own judgment until we’re backed into a corner.

    • If she was harassed, she should go to the police. And I support her right to do so. But what would the crux of her complaint be?
      I strongly suggest that you not fix appliances or anything else in a room with a strange man in his drawers.
      I don’t want to question your judgment. But that sounds very risky.
      At the same time, if the man was in his house, it would be up to you to leave. He isn’t obliged to put pants on.
      It is inappropriate. But not criminal.

    • It’s a male dominated world. Who knows better than a woman how difficult it is to explain that some man is giving you a bad feeling? How do you complain about being leered at?

      And as to my own experience, his wife was there puttering about. Add to that, if it had been a woman Tay-lay-laying in her underwear while service people where in the house, there would be no question that she was in the wrong.

      We give men too much leeway for bad behavior, and women have too bear too much of the burden for said bad behavior

    • It starts with someone demanding more respectful behavior. And there is nothing in her career to suggest a shrinking violet.
      This is someone who walked out on Guardian for supposed political interference, knocked on the AG’s door and questioned his wife about alleged domestic violence and took on loud mouth Anil Roberts.
      I think you found the wrong poster girl for that campaign Gina.

    • I’m not looking for poster girls or campaigns. I’m saying that it’s doing a disservice to other women reading this same article, who are possibly also dealing with some sort of unwanted attention. It’s telling them, what society has said for millennia; that we can’t or shouldn’t be guided by our own feelings of a situation as a reliable source.

      The rest of us reading this article don’t know this lady from Eve, we don’t know her background story as you’ve shared. What We do know, is what we read. A woman, is being ridiculed after choosing to leave a position due to unwanted sexual advances

      Hooray for you if you’ve never had to second-guess yourself on your daily interactions. But you aren’t everyone and it’s time to stop ganging up against other women and start supporting each other.

    • Nobody is saying that it cannot be true, but the proper response – and an informed individual (as an Express reporter should be) would know and put into effect that response immediately not wait four months later at such an opportune moment as 30 days before a general election – is to report the incident right away and use specific techniques to avoid further occasions of harassment, if the first incident or the second was so traumatic. And I really want to know more about Ms. Gumbs’ state contracts than her supposedly traumatic incidents that could have been avoided had she shown a modicum of common sense or that she wanted to prevent all possibility of impropriety. If I’m uncomfortable with a person, I do not show up at their residence (for a business appointment) dressed in any way that would cause any misconceptions – I also do not share my cellphone number with the entire world (which is a good thing, considering I might be getting calls from a certain PM all now…but I digress) as it seems Ms. Gumbs was happy to do. We all know that women should not have to dress in any specific way to protect ourselves from men, but most women do it anyway, because they think it is wiser to not trust men to be the morally-upright individuals they should be. If I had to install a fax machine while someone sat in their drawers, I would install the machine and file a report later. Is people like you who never report anything until the situation is so old it does not really matter except as an example of poor judgement, that make real predators continue to flourish. Come better and please try not to play the victim. Tell me he insisted on having a talk with you after you installed the machine, but that was a ruse so he could get you into his office where he made you sit on his lap and told you he wanted to melt the ice in your heart. He just sat there watching you install a machine? Tell me you reported it to the authorities and they laughed in your face or something. What exactly did you do about it after you installed the machine? Go home and have a good cry at how cruel the world is?

    • Why did she keep going back if she felt so abused?

    • I agree with everything Gina has said but that does not answer the one question that I have..why resign from her position at the Express because of advances from a man who does not work there and who, when you consider that she is not really a political reporter per se, she could easily avoid being in a room with on her own. The person she had to go to with this complaint is also female surely she would have understood. In fact her complaint would have made one hell of a story for that newspaper.

  13. DENNIS
    TRINI HUMOUR/ SMARTS NEVER CEASES 2 AMAZE ME…
    SO THE BEE NEEDS TO SERVICE HIS GPS!

  14. Great article……and valid points are raised especially about returning to have encounters with someone who makes you uncomfortable

  15. I’m in so much pain…too much Gumbs…somebody get me a root canal so I could go numb too…maybe then I’ll be able to understand. Because this damn thing ain’t making NO sense. If anything she should report the bee for sexual harassment…oh but wait…don’t you have to call and ask for an interview? So who did that for her? The people making threatening calls to her phone. Guess it’s blackmailgate now huh?

  16. I don’t think a man will ever understand the nuances of harassment. It’s certainly in poor judgment to ridicule someone’s experiences, especially when they could never have any context on which to judge her experiences, or any woman’s daily experience, for that matter

    • Right…so you go back for more and more..and even more? (of the same thing that had yuh uncomfortable and traumatized in the first place?) Gimme a break! Not that people are insensitive to someone’s experiences..it’s that the story doesn’t add up and there is no logic to what she is claiming.
      Didn’t report immediately…
      Returned thrice..
      Reported the matter..didn’t say who
      Resigned from a job that the person does not work in….
      BAG OF ASS!!!

    • It’s certainly in poor judgment to ridicule someone’s experiences, Agree wholeheartedly! But does that also hold good when those “experiences” appear (as is the case here) to be, if not fabricated, at least exaggerated? You think this stuff actually happened as she describes it? You have my sympathy.

  17. Trying to remember what Devant said about her when asked for a comment some time ago.

  18. Brilliant Lasana! I think the reason she may have been so traumatised at the sight of this strong, toned, shirtless man is because she was unable to explain that tingly feeling all over, after all, being confined to the company of pregnant looking men like Moonlilal and Rambachan, the vision may indeed have contributed to this latest trauma in her life.

  19. While we all know Lasana Liburd is a PNM till he dead, at least he should have tried to look educated. It is clear the dunce PNMites will try to make this issue comical to take off the heat. How come he never asked those same relevant questions about the so called ganja find at the PM’s residence, that has more holes than a strainer. Also Jack’s fables about Kristian deserved that same kinda response..eh Lasana…I eh hearing you.

  20. While we all know Lasana Liburd is a PNM till he dead, at least he should have tried to look educated. It is clear the dunce PNMites will try to make this issue comical to take off the heat. How come he never asked those same relevant questions about the so called ganja find at the PM’s residence, that has more holes than a strainer. Also Jack’s fables about Kristian deserved that same kinda response..eh Lasana…I eh hearing you.

  21. Was her tattoo exposed when she went to his home in a professional capacity to interview him?

  22. Rowley and his legal team loves to sue to maintain his “good” name. ..wanna bet he would never take any legal action

  23. ?????? Lasana Liburd say he is not Krystian yes ???

  24. Asha , if this woman is really a journalist she would realise that the story is missing a piece that links the Rowley behaviour to her leaving her job.

  25. Lasana you may not know this but you have just described quite well why the UNC has only announced just a few candidates so far. And don’t be surprised if developments within the last 96 hours lead to Gumbs being a candidate for the PP.

  26. I’ve seen the tattoo. We’ve been talking about how GMOs have been affecting bee poi lagoons globally. That bee clearly need his GPS checked

  27. Whyyyy yuh sooooo eh?
    All I can say is that the T&T media has been flinging around the term “investigative journalist” wide and loose when clearly it’s only Mr Livewire have the scoops like mama’s homemade ice cream

  28. Oh gad, Dennis reach…kix by two now!

  29. Somebody roll a kamla and take ah 2pull before they write that. Brilliant.

  30. I will feel Karma Ian Gooding? Not if I can help it. You think everybody is Krystian or wot? ???

  31. #50ShadyWeyyyyyys. I call bullshit

  32. this story sounds so prefabricated

  33. lolol..yes he has that effect

  34. *Switched off 6 comments ago*

  35. If the guy is Rowlie, move your house

  36. This is the “map”,(what an ass) that Rowlie wanted to touch.

  37. She should be sued, and asked to pay a fine for defamation of character, how low!! she is a hot mess, I wonder if she ever thinks she will have to give account for every word that comes out of her mouth, this is the lowest anyone can sink, since April 2015? how come she is now saying this, in August 2015, well what about the threat she got not to write on “Goat boy” prob, she was threaten, who knows, thats weak sister………………..Where is her evidence, TAKE it to the police, damn nonsense.

  38. Mr. livewire is very biased. He will feel Karma.

  39. Love it or Lust it. HGTV. The Political Edition.

  40. You fellas would destroy a woman to save Rowlie’s wicked arse. The vengeance of Moko will fall on your evil heads…starting now!

  41. Thanks Lasana Liburd. But, again, you need to write some calypsoes…”Gumbs took her honeypot back to Rowley’s residence”. ? That’s a Rio kind of line, partner.

  42. Thanks Lasana Liburd. But, again, you need to write some calypsoes…”Gumbs took her honeypot back to Rowley’s residence”. ? That’s a Rio kind of line, partner.

  43. We are all born ignorant, but one must work very hard to remain..stupid.

  44. what crazy things we are hearing

  45. See what I mean, Mr. Livewire sounding like a way better investigative reporter..