A Taupo skydiver who survived a 3900-metre plunge after a parachute malfunction has been recruited to an international media guru's celebrity list.
Skydiver Liam Dunne, 35, now recovering in Burwood Spinal Unit from a broken back he suffered from the fall, has been snapped up by Sydney-based celebrity public relations adviser Max Markson.
Markson, who has given advice to Lara Bingle, Gordon Ramsay, Bill Clinton and Cherie Blair among others, now has Dunne on his client list.
It is understood Markson contacted Dunne at his hospital bedside to broker media interviews soon after the Taupo adventure clothing designer and manufacturer was admitted to Burwood Hospital in August. Dunne politely declined an interview when contacted during the week, saying he could talk only if he had the consent of Markson.
Attempts to contact Markson were unsuccessful.
Dunne's wife, Sally, said her husband was undergoing daily intensive physiotherapy as he prepared to be discharged from Burwood next month.
Dunne spent his days playing wheelchair basketball at the hospital, she said.
Markson is not unfamiliar with skydiving accidents.
In 2007 he also telephoned Taupo skydiver Michael "Mikey" Holmes, who had survived another "one in a million" fall to earth.
Holmes landed in blackberry bushes after his parachute failed to open at 3690m above Taupo airport.
He suffered a punctured lung and broken ankle.
Holmes, who filmed the descent from his helmet cam, was shielded by Markson from local media until an exclusive deal was arranged with Close Up allegedly worth more than $20,000.
Markson is currently negotiating with authorities here to allow former heavyweight boxing champion and convicted rapist Mike Tyson into New Zealand for a speaking engagement.
- Sunday Star Times