Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Classy Emerald City..

party pals-John Ibrahim, Paris Hilton & David Freeman
The last time the Shuttle attended the Embassy Club in Double Bay was in it's previous incarnation 10 years ago. That night 6 men arrived with pistols after an earlier fracas when one had been ejected from the club and declared "try throwing us out now !"

It was also the night then owner, the late stockbroker Rene Rivkin decided the nightclub game wasn't really for him.

On Saturday night the club re-opened in Double Bay under the auspices of David and Adam Freeman whose father George Freeman was once considered a kingpin in Sydney's seedy underworld. He was featured in the series Underbelly where actor Peter O'Brien, husband of actress Miranda Otto portrayed him brilliantly, according to Freeman's boys.

David and Adam have a partner -John Ibrahim who now has an interest in 20 night spots around the city. Ibrahim's brother Fadi is still recovering from an assassination attempt when 5 bullets were pumped into him as he sat beside his girlfriend in a Lamborghini outside their Castle Cove house in June.

John Ibrahim who will be featured in the next Underbelly 3 series is planning a tell-all book about his rise from driver and bodyguard to the now jailed drug king pin Bill Bayeh, to nightclub czar and owner of a security firm that supplies bouncers for most of Sydney.He also hangs out in Las Vegas with Paris Hilton and motorcycle champion Mike Doohan who is now Vegas based, operating a successful entertainment centre there. Ibrahim says he will give half of the 6 figure advance to the children's ward at the Royal North Shore hospital that saved his brother's life after the shooting.

Ibrahim associates have started referring to him as 'Teflon John'. Police claim they have a burgeoning filing cabinet full of information on the promoter but nothing has stuck yet. Murder charges were dismissed in court when Ibrahim claimed that rather than being responsible for the death of a drug dealer, he was attempting to save the man with the "kiss of life" after the man took a drug overdose.

Meanwhile Freeman brothers David and Adam are plowing through a lengthy court process in the Caribbean after their luxury yacht I'l Dapprima, was impounded off the Netherlands Antilles in February with $250,000 in a hidden compartment on board. Money laundering charges were dropped but the brothers were forced to fly home sans yacht.

The Ibrahim clan-with John at the helm has it share of woes as well. 2 of his brothers have been refused bail and are accused of a murder plot, his sister is accused of allegedly concealing over $3M in the ceiling of her home, another brother has been accused of kidnap and his 6'6" Tongan bodyguard has been arrested on drugs and weapons offenses.

And as usual, Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd tabloids have hired disgraced ex-cop Roger Rogerson to be their 'consultant' as the Underbelly series is screened on television.

Ahhh Sydney-so stylish at times.