Thursday, April 29, 2010

A victory for the little man !

To the Channel 7 studios for a public performance by Justin Bieber. This was a dangerous mission. About five thousand teenyboppers were there in the streets in the grip of Biebermania. Bieber is minute, tiny-perfectly formed. Undeniably as cute as a button, confident and extremely professional.

Someone I first mistook for a slightly older fan, his mum, confirmed my suspicions. Far from being a phenomena on youtube with the home produced films of his singing, Justin has been attending every known class for dance and song since he was about 3. Which isn't long ago.

The police called off the outside performance claiming it unsafe. Those of us privileged to be inside stood as far as we could from the giant plate glass windows facing Martin Place that seemed to throb as waves of tearful hysteria come from the wild eyed girls in the street.

Justin was singing and dancing in front of us, the fans outside were going berserk. 3 constables manned the barricades just a metre from the windows which I was sure were about to crack as the girls surged forward to rip little Justin to pieces. There wouldn't be much of Justin to go around.

Firass Dirani
Another small star had a victory of some sorts. Firass Dirani who stars as nightclub promoter John Ibrahim in the purported tale of Kings Cross police corruption Underbelly, The Golden Mile has been voted Cosmo's Bachelor Of The Year at the Zeta Bar in the Hilton Hotel. Firass is about the same size as Bieber but thankfully, the camera lies. He looks like a 6 foot hunk in the series. He does have piercing blue eyes though. Or are they contacts?.

By contrast the party at the Bulgari on the same night to launch their exhibition of famous jewellery was as good as it gets. The chilled Louis Roederer champagne and Belinda Frank's catering helped.

The Bulgari family have been buying up some of their previous masterpieces for years and this exhibition features some of the treasures. It was in Rome last week, will be in Sydney for another 7 days and then heads for Paris. They won't quite say who owned some of the diamonds and rubies but a few names get mentioned in passing.
Diamond Liz
The Duchess of Manchester was a Bulgari fan. Elizabeth Taylor still is. Apparently when Liz was filming Cleopatra and began her affair with Richard Burton, her then husband Eddie Fisher plied her with Bulgari jewels in an effort to woe her back.

Burton did likewise and won the fight. Taylor ended getting Fisher's invoice from Bulgari which he had refused to pay. Bulgari never did get payment but figured having Liz wearing their creations was more than enough in publicity value.
The Seven Wonders

One amazing necklace must be seen to be believed. The Seven Wonders of The World is one large emerald surrounded by 6 slightly smaller ones in a diamond encrusted necklace. That's about 160 carats of emeralds and around 116 of diamonds.

It was purchased by an Italian industrialist as a wedding present for his wife. Years later when she had to go into an aged nursing home she sold it back to Bulgari on the understanding it wouldn't be re-sold while she was alive.

When she was filling in the form for the retirement home she got to the part that said "occupation'. "I've never worked " she puzzled." what should I put " She wrote-'well off' !.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dramas at Royal Randwick

Word has come from a trusted source that there could be major repercussions over the guest list at the Emirates marquee during the Autumn Carnival at Royal Randwick racecourse.
A fortnight ago Fadi Ibrahim, brother of Kings Cross nightclub mogul John Ibrahim was a guest in the luxury tent where guests are treated to the best French champagne and a sumptuous buffet with entertainment.

brothers Fadi & John
Although he must be presumed innocent, Fadi is facing an attempted murder charge and was himself the subject of a shooting last year as he sat in his Lamborghini outside his luxury house in Castle Cove . Fadi was wounded several times and his girlfriend once as a hail of bullets were pumped through the window of his car.

As Emirates tries to build it's image in a market dominated by Qantas and British Airways, it seems the Australian Jockey Cub has expressed it's disappointment that such a high profile and controversial figure like Ibrahim should had been included on the airline's official guest list. And the airline's headquarters in the Dubai have said similar. At least one head will roll.

fact : in the past when newspapers wrote about known criminals like the late Perc Galea , the euphemism "colourful racing identity" was the moniker for : a crook !

Monday, April 26, 2010

exclusive-a developing story about the world's most famous science fiction author

Although the Shuttle has the inside story there are legal reasons we cannot give many details but a major scandal is developing over the late science fiction author Sir Arthur C.Clarke who died in 2008 at the age of 91.

Clarke emigrated to Sri Lanka in 1956 where he remained for most of his life largely confined to a wheel chair from the 1980's onwards. He suffered a debilitating paralysis disease in the 1960's  later diagnosed as polio 

His most famous book was 2001 A Space Odyssey on which he collaborated with the film director Stanley Kubrick with the 2 later turning it into one of the most.iconic films of the 20th century.
Born in Somerset in England he began contributing to science fiction fanzines in the late 1930's and became a prolific writer of science fiction novels that sold for years on end. He also produced and starred in TV series and was a member of some major scientific groups. Regarded as a futurist, he was predicting discoveries like satellites long before they were thought of.

Actor Morgan Freeman has purchased the rights to one of Clarke's most loved books  Rendezvous with Rama and has raised $200M to film the space epic but is having endless script problems.

A fairly frugal man, Clarke lived in a rambling compound in Colombo but his estate is estimated at being worth in excess of 60 million dollars.
Keep tuned !

Thursday, April 22, 2010

exclusive-Brad Pitt for Aussie lion tale..

Brad Pitt * Christian * Johnny Depp
With one half of the Christian the Lion,  duo Anthony 'Ace' Bourke  in Los Angeles for discussions with a Hollywood studio over the planned film of the saga of their former Kings Road pet lion Christian, purchased at Harrods and kept as a pet in a Kings Road antique shop, a reliable source from the Christian camp tells tSS that Brad Pitt has expressed an interest in playing Bourke in the film.

Ace Bourke
Before Subo swept the world in the youtube video of her Britain's Got Talent performance, the grainy film of ex-partners John Rendall and Ace Bourke's re-union with Christian on animal conservationist George Adamson's African reserve  became a world-wide sensation. Bourke and Rendall were suddenly thrust into the limelight , quickly re-wrote the book they had published 35 years earlier and found themselves in demand for talk shows from the USA to Germany and all stops in between.

John Rendall ?
The Christian bandwagon continues to roll on under the expert guidance of Lauren Miller, daughter of the recently retired agent and entrepreneur Harry M.Miller who published his autobiography late last year and revealed intimate dinner conversations he had had with Prince Charles.

Cuddly toys and merchandising are underway along with advertising tie-ins with the McDonald's hamburger chain and so on.

But who to play Rendall who was once a gossip writer on Hello! magazine and was married to the PR agent Liz Brewer ?. The choice is obvious and one Rendall would surely approve of-Johnny Depp !

And will the scene appear in the film that was often told by the 'Queen of London's cafe society' Lady Edith Foxwell whose country house Sherston backed onto the 1970s commune Bourke and Rendall lived on with assorted folk like a young Helen Mirren and Princess Margaret's beau Roddy Llewellyn ?. Llewellyn and the Princess used the commune for their secret assignations.

Edith fondly recalled how  early one morning she discovered a group from the commune bathing naked in her swimming  pool and  fetching a shotgun, fired off a deafening blast through the window above their heads
"They were making a terrible racket and God only knows what they got up to in my pool" said Lady Edith. . Edith liked the late Dai Llewellyn but had no time for his younger brother Roddy who she described as a "dull young gardener and not a very good one at that".  As she recalled their howls of terror as they scampered off through the fields she said " I always wondered if one of the white bottoms vanishing into the mist was royal"
To Nino's restaurant for a media lunch for Queer Eye For the Straight Guy Carson Kressley who has become something of a popular star downunder. Kressly is in town for the giant  Westfield chain of shopping malls and his Be Styled Tour where, fresh from Oprah Winfrey's show where he was teaching overdressed American ladies how to 'dress down', he will inform young Australian gels how to correctly 'accessorize'. This appears to involve advising them to wear stiletto heels as our pic at the launch shows. Not bad work for the rumoured $200K he is being paid.

At the lunch and overheard from a publicist in a discussion on merchandising deals and the impending arrival of round the world yachtswoman, 16 year old Jessica Watson who is expected to arrive at the Sydney Opera House in a fortnight after completing her voyage without once touching land.: "after she rounded the Horn (of Africa) the Penguin book deal kicked in-when she crossed the equator the TV network deal was sealed..if she arrives safely, amongst her greeters will be a bevy of Fox Studio executives with the movie deal contract."

 Sitting unnoticed  at the back of the stage at Jamie Cullum's performance last night at the Basement  was a low key Sophie Dahl. The pair arrived together via the back entrance and quickly split once inside the club. Sophie sat entranced by Cullum-unfortunately critics weren't so kind about his vocals. tSS thought he was wonderful.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A very famous blow job

It's becoming the most famous blow job since actor Hugh Grant got busted on the Sunset Strip just as Devine Brown was about to dive into his crutch.
Emma Booth as Hollingsworth

Kim Hollingsworth's hilarious blow-job scene in the hugely popular Underbelly The Golden Mile which is drawing audiences on Sunday nights of up to 3 million viewers.

A facebook group has started, The underbelly blow job which has over 55,000 members.

It's dedicated to the scene from the premiere last Sunday week when prospective hooker, the real life Kim Hollingsworth, played by Emma Booth began working as a prostitute in Kings Cross and  entertained her first client in a motel. 
When the client says 'I just want a blow job" Hollingsworth bends down, unzips the punter's fly, takes out his penis and starts gently blowing on it. Well she was a Convent girl. Hollingsworth worked as a prostitute for a few years before joining appropriately, the NSW police where she was posted back to-yes-Kings Cross.

Holingsworth was eventually drummed out of the force when her hooker past was revealed and the fact she had had an affair with Kings Cross identity John Ibrahim whilst still in uniform. Hollingsworth sued for unfair dismissal and initially lost but then made a small fortune modelling for men's magazines and Playboy.

Kim Hollingsworth
Last night she gave an interview on '60 Minutes' in which she described how she had had sex with "thousands of men' before being successful in her application to join the police force. Whilst training at the academy she was recognised by a detective who asked her to work in a brothel he was opening. When she complained to the powers that be, she was asked to return to the Cross and work as an undercover cop in the disguise of a prostitute. When she appealed her dismissal  from the force the police were ordered to re-instate her. Holingsworth eventually left the force after persistent harassment and is now an animal rights activist.
Peter O'Brien as Freeman

     Just how close is the new Underbelly series to the real thing ?. There is much muttering from those who were around at the time the series is set in-the 80's and 90's about inaccuracies. The 'overlord' of the Cross is depicted as the 'colorful racing identity'  Geor
ge Freeman played by Miranda Otto's husband Peter O'Brien who appears as a mentor to the young John Ibrahim who at  age 40 now  controls Kings Cross nightlife. But Ibrahim would have been in shorts and still at school in the early 1980's when Freeman reigned supreme running protection rackets and several illegal gambling casinos. Freeman was dead by 1990 when he had largely been out of Kings Cross activities for a few years and Ibrahim just 20.

And so far there hasn't been a single mention of the true crime boss of Kings Cross-Abe Saffron, or Mr Sin as he was dubbed, who died in 2006  and who from the late 1940's either controlled all strip joints , gambling casinos, prostitution and anything that made an illegal buck or had a share in these illegal activities and a army of stand over men who exercised control. 
In his 2008 book, "Gentle Satan: My Father, Abe Saffron" Alan Saffron described how as a schoolboy, every afternoon he would go to his father's motel where his headquarters were located and went to a special room to count bundles of money into colour coded paper bags with each colour representing different bribes-to police  magistrates and even the state premier Sir Robert Askin. Perhaps Abe will pop up as the series progresses.

Accidents Happen is the gorgeous Geena Davis's latest film and it had it's world premier at the Cremorne Orpheum last Thursday night.
Geena and her co-stars (c)tSS
Geena & husband Reza Jarharry (c)tSS
 Descibed as a 'black comedy' it's about a family beset by a series of accidents and how they cope with them.

Filmed in downtown St Ives on the North Shore of Sydney 2 years ago, the all Australian cast speak with American accidents.
The film is set in Connecticut.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"I'm so sick of that old queen-he never shuts up about me" says bender

81 and out of the closet
Professional sceptic James Randi has issued a press release telling all  another of the world's worst keep secrets. At 81 Randi has announced he is gay.
 And because no-one picked it up, or at least commented on it before now, therefore, according to Randi this proves that the paranormal doesn't exist in any form. There is an interview with Randi here.

On Randi's website (where you can apply for a special Randi visa card and donate $50 to Randi's 'non-profit' organisation) you can book for something called the Amazing Meeting , a seminar to be held, suitably,  in a casino in Las Vegas in July.

Featured guests include the world's most humourless man Richard Dawkins , author of the world's most unreadable book The God Delusion, and the crude and misogynistic illusionists Penn & Teller amongst a host of others who will get together and discuss all the things they don't believe in. Religiously. And do a lot of magic tricks.
Some forums you may not want to miss:
 Feminist Scepticism – Rebecca Watson hosts an interactive panel discussion with several activists and experts, covering topics such as the lack of women at sceptical events and how feminism is compatible with scepticism.

and one perhaps the former closeted Randi may be at :
Scepticism and Sexuality – Join JREF Challenge Coordinator Alison Smith and a panel of guests on a journey through the myths of sex that will take you through misconceptions about STDs, homosexuality, pregnancy, and even basic anatomy.

If that doesn't grab your fancy try this  
Learn to Juggle! – Do you want to learn to juggle? Join famous juggler Michael Goudeau in a hands-on training session that will leave you juggling like a pro.

 The only person missing in the stellar line-up is Christopher Hitchens. He'll be at the
Sydney Writer's Festival next month where he plans to tell us how he  is going to arrest Pope Benedict XVI.

Randi has kept some strange bedfellows, so to speak, over the years. He's a fellow of the Committee for Sceptical Inquiry, an assorted collection of academics and stage illusionists along with a host of well known names like science fiction master Isaac Asimov, Dawkins (has this man ever laughed in his life?) and Carl Sagan (always suspected of being an Alien). You can even book for lunch with Dawkins and Randi. Or you could stick pins in your eyes.
tSS once visited the late writer Arthur C.Clarke in Sri Lanka when Randi had just departed after staying with Clarke for 2 weeks. Clarke was considered a sceptic in public but in private he said he didn't know what to believe in. Although he did say he was glad to get rid of Randi who had landed on him and kept ogling the house boys whose warm smiles he mistook for invitations.

The local version, The Australian Septics boasts the superb writer Phillip Adams as a member. Adams was head of the Australian Film Corporation for decades and helped get off the ground the careers of thespians like Mel Gibson, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe. He writes a weekly column for Rupert Murdoch's personal favourite publication the Australian. Adams is also fascinated, in a strange schizophrenic fashion, with ancient Egyptian culture and in particular their beliefs in the afterlife. His house and country farm are packed with precious Egyptian antiquities including a sarcophagus.
charming bender

 But back  to the old and gay Randi . He's spent a lot of time attacking spoon bender Uri Geller over the years. Geller sued Randi once and lost but as part of the evidence introduced by Geller's lawyers were some phone tapes of some young lads discussing with Randi various payments they were demanding in a purported blackmail attempt .The boys claimed they had had sex with Randi. Randi says he was never charged, others say differently but it was in 1968 so who knows ?.

Lady Mary: 'stick it next to the Rodin'
tSS once attended a  dinner at Lady Mary Fairfax's house where Geller was a guest. Lady Mary asked her butler to fetch  the "best family silver" which Geller held aloft and bent within seconds. He announced that people should check their pockets and watches. Some watches had stopped, one guest who brought along a watch that had ceased ticking years ago found it had started again and 2 people found their house keys twisted in strange shapes. If it was a trick we couldn't see it from 3 feet away. Lady Mary had the bent silver with the Fairfax crest, framed and hung next to her Rodin statue.
Later we buttonholed Geller over drinks. As we pointed out who were the richest people in the room at his request, we asked the extremely charming bender about his contact with his critic Randi and he replied-"I'm so sick of that old queen-he never shuts up about me".
Sorry Mr Randi-everyone's known for decades.It isn't  news to us.

A funny little film : the late TV host Don Lane was a believer in Spiritualism and put the famous British medium Doris Stokes on the map-he throws a tantrum and tells James Randi to get off the set of his show.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sex, drugs and orgies with TV and sporting stars.

Rob Astbury
Rob Astbury barely scratched the surface of an amazing life when he wrote the best seller King and I, detailing his 20 year love affair with Graham Kennedy, Australia's first major TV star who was billed as the King Of Comedy.

Astbury’s second book, an autobiography entitled Twice as Hard, opens with the words: “I’m on my way to have my homosexuality removed. They’re going to take it out like a bad tooth that’s been rotting in my head….’’

Twice as Hard goes beyond the Kennedy era to uncover Astbury’s youthful struggle to stop falling in love with his mates; his rise to the pinnacle of television sports journalism; a drug-fuelled decline into sexual depravity; rebirth and riches in Queensland’s Gold Coast real estate jungle, and finally finding peace of mind and the love of his life in a gay bar in Thailand.

Tracy Grimshaw
Along the way he rips aside the slick veneer of showbiz and TV stardom to reveal the true character of household names including Eddie McGuire, Jana Wendt, Tracy Grimshaw, Derryn Hinch, Don Lane, Bert Newton and Daryl Somers. Astbury knew them all, intimately, and he even found time for a hilarious, but terrifying, encounter with Kerry Packer.
Astbury also spurned the advances of singer Peter Allen, the subject of the successful Broadway musical The Boy From Oz which catapulted Hugh Jackman into superstardom.

He describes television as a despicable industry and his explanation will have stars and TV executives on tenterhooks. And if the lawyers don't maul the manuscript (tSS has read it) many popular and well known sporting stars may be outed.

Frightening-Kerry Packer

At the pinnacle of his media career Astbury was Australia’s highest paid television sports reporter. Although he won many awards there were stories that were simply too hot to touch. However, this book may lift the lid with controversial revelations about football's biggest star sand also sports administrators, many of whom are still today’s mover sand shakers.

Sam Newman
But it wasn’t all wine and roses. A road accident set Astbury on a downward spiral of addiction, initially to medicinal, and then recreational, drugs. Along with the drugs came sex, more of it than most men could handle.

Until one day he found himself answering the front door to the host of Channel Nine's Footy Show Sam Newman while reeling from the after effects of a full scale orgy involving 40 or so whores, mates and showbiz stars, regulars at such events at his Toorak mansion. He didn’t exactly see God in Newman’s face, but he did see something else – the realization that death was the inevitable finale to his excesses.

Peter Allen
Rebirth began with his mother pulling him back from the brink –literally. He was about to jump from the balcony of an exclusive Gold Coast hotel when she intervened.

Astbury stayed on in Queensland, forging himself a second fortune and a swag of real estate awards to go with the ones he won for his ground breaking sports journalism.

Eventually he decided another rebirth was necessary, this one in Thailand, a land full of the people his racist, war hero father had taught him to hold in contempt. But Astburyfor adoration.

At first it was the kid in a lolly shop attraction of the gay bars, and a different lover every night. But then came HIV, and the love of a man known as The Deer.

Astbury's 2006 book King & I was a best seller but it drew mixed reactions mainly from those who wanted Kennedy's image to remain intact even though his homosexuality was well known. Following it's success Astbury considered a political role standing for the Senate as a gay rights campaigner.

In the end he chose to remain living his current life as a successful property developer in Thailand where healso operates a model dairy in the North.
Following the Shuttle's revelation that a facebook page Eddie Mcguire is ruining the 2010 Winter Olympics coverage, wit hover 10,000 members had started after Eddie McGuire's gay digs at the ice skating stars, nearly 30 top name footballers and coaches are joining in a campaign to begin next month calling for more understanding in sports of gay and lesbian issues.

Eddie 'Everywhere', one of the countries biggest stars issued a press release (ignored by nearly all except the Shuttle)proclaiming his own disappointment in his remarks and promised to do better. The ensuing controversy after the broadcasts eventually made it onto the front page of The Sun newspaper in the UK . Eddie is one of the big names who will front the campaign.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A 15 year old Murdoch and the groom who eloped with his best man in Venice

 Pictured left: James Murdoch, Primrose Dunlop and News Ltd snapper Frank Viola.

Calling in for a brief visit to artist Mary Shackman's exhibition at the Charles Hewitt Gallery was our favourite Egyptian royal, Prince Lorenzo Montesini Giustiniani with the new man in his life, a large handsome fellow Egyptian by the name of Remy.
Prince Lorenzo (right) and Remy
An Alexandrian by birth, Lorenzo heads the Australian Friends of the Alexandrian Library in Egypt. His stylish autobiography MyLife and Other Misdemeanours was released by Penguin in 1999 in which Lorenzo recalled with enormous gusto his early years in Egypt,his arrival in Australia, his military service in Vietnam, and his tumultuous relationship with his late partner Robert Straub along with the events surrounding a certain wedding in Venice.
left at the altar-Pitty Pat

It's 20 years since most of Sydney and Melbourne society travelled en mass to Venice for the nuptials of Lorenzo and Primrose 'Pitty Pat' Dunlop, the daughter of establishment figures Sir Ian and Lady Potter. He had the title-she had the cash. A future inheritance estimated then at nearly $200M. Was it love?. Although the 2 had previously met when they both lived in Melbourne it seems love blossomed after a chance meeting at a soiree at Lady Mary Fairfax's home in Darling Point, Fairwater which doubles as the Monaco consulate. Lady Mary has hosted many parties for visiting royalty like Prince Albert of Monaco and the British royals.
Lorenzo was a guest and Pitty Pat was covering the party for the social column she wrote for the Sunday Telegraph. Her newspaper work experience junior for the night was a 15 year old James Murdoch , son of Rupert and now boss of the UK News Ltd corporation. While the 2 lovers eyed each other off, young James promptly fell asleep on a sofa on his first night on the job

The wedding was never to be. Lorenzo got cold feet the night before the ceremony and fled for parts unknown with his lover Robert Straub, his best man. The bride was left waiting at the altar. Montesini and Straub had met when they were army conscripts in the Vietnam War and had been together ever since working as Qantas trolley dolly's. Straub passed away about 14 years ago from cancer.

Mary Shackman & Elizabeth Fox
Prince Lorenzo tells tSS plans are well underway after initial teething problems, with a new Hollywood production company to immortalise the events on film. With a script written by award winning writer Louis Nowra who wrote K-19: The Widowmaker, Map of the Human Heart and the much celebrated Cosi, and director Stephan Elliot of Priscilla Queen of The Desert fame.

Lorenzo now travels between Sydney and Alexandria to check on his pet project the Bibliotheca Alexandrina that stands on the spot reputedly where the once famous Royal Library of Alexandria stood during the Ptolemaic dynasty, built in honour of Alexander the Great.

Also at Mary's exhibition was Elizabeth Fox, once labelled as Australia's Secret Weapon during the bid for the 2000 Olympics when she managed to secure the 3 crucial winning bid votes from South America including that of her home country Columbia. She never told us how it was done.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Teflon John needs to tone down that profile.

Arriving in Sydney in the early 1990's tSS was fortunate to land a job on a local newspaper covering the inner city. The main beat was  Darlinghurst-the Golden Mile of gay Oxford Street , it's surroundings and Kings Cross.
Dawn-ran Oxford Street
 It was an eye-opener. Oxford Street truly was fun city with all manner of night clubs and bars with every taste catered for. It was friendly  and packed every night. Sure it was run by some questionable characters like the late  Roger Claude Teyssedre. who had arrived from France penniless and was a multi millionaire within 5 years. Claude died in mysterious circumstances with his lover  by his bed-Ludwig Gertsch who 18 months later was found strangled and trussed up in a sleeping bag in the Blue Mountains, his murderer still free.

 Or the one time champion lesbian ice skater turned nightclub mogul Dawn O'Donnell. A lovely lady to dine with who could talk for hours on which lesbian porn sold to straight men in huge quantities over an after dinner cigar. Dawn would know-she owned a few shops openly selling illicit hard core adult porn.
Costellos fan?

Kings Cross was something else. Drugs prostitution and live sex shows that made Amserdam look decidedly tame. And there was supposed to be a bar called Costellos beneath the giant Coca Cola sign where 12 year old boys were on tap at the bar.  At a later Royal Commission witnesses swore it was true and one even claimed  improbably that the late American actor Karl Malden had once visited the bar. Wacky stuff.  

And the police. Well they ran the show as journalist Michael Duffy points out in his piece on 2 books to be released by 2 honest cops that got run out of town for their efforts. tSS recalls one quite scary lunch at the Bourbon and Beefsteak hosted by 4 Kings Cross detectives which we thought was some sort of community and neighbourhood watch get-together. It turned out to be a boozy afternoon where one couldn't actually leave and the tales we heard about who did what  to whom and who ran who and was on the take and which politician was in whose pocket just wasn't what one wished to know. Well certainly not from the cops. Fortunately they got so drunk one was able to slip out carefully ripping our name tag into tiny pieces. 

Sir Joh-premier of the corrupt Sunshine Coast
The excellent reporter Chris Master of the ABC who exposed Queensland's police corruption in the 1980's amongst govermment figures and police under the premier Sir Joh Belke Petersen, has been giving out a warning to 'Teflon 'John Ibraham, the current Kings Cross bigwig . Masters says John's profile will be boosted so much by the Underbellly TV series his life will be in danger. Masters knows what he is talking about. When his film on the Sunshine State corruption was broadcast the state's Police Commissioner Sir Terry Lewis  immediately fled back to his native UK only to be discovered by Scotland Yard detectives a year later living in luxury in  Richmond . He did 8 years in jthe Boggo Road jail after being extradited back to Oz.

Sunday sees the 2 hour premiere of
Underbelly 3, TheGolden Mile that continues the tale of the extraordinary corruption of police and the rule of gangsters during the 1980/1990's before a Royal Commission finally put paid to a scene that would have made Al Capone envious. The then king of Kings Cross, the 5'4" Abe Saffron known as Mr Sin was only finally put behind bars for tax evasion, just like Capone,despite having a finger in every piece of action.

friendly Teflon John
 The series also brings up to date the new breed of local entrepreneurs who now rule Kings Cross, namely our ever friendly luncheon pal John Ibrahim whose career we have watched flourish ever since he and his younger brother Fadi cornered us in his first nightclub, The Tunnel in a back laneway and demanded we promote him in the local rag. Why not?. They seemed nice enough lads and despite police saying Telflon John is now a major 'leading crime figure' he is certainly charming..The Tunnel was eventualy shut down when the Chinese triad murdered 2 men outside it's entrance, hacking them to pieces.
According to Masters the new ruling mafia in town are the bikie gangs who are so organised they have left authorities scratching their heads in bewilderment. And they don't take prisoners. Masters warns that this is new breed of crim who holds no respect for rank and privilege, as enjoyed by Ibrahim at present, and will ruthlessly remove him. They are called bikie gangs but they drive Mercedes and BMWs and wear designer suits. It's said Ibrahim has an interest in about 8 Kings Cross nightclubs and nearly all bouncers in every club including Oxford Street's gay strip are controlled by his firm. The bikies have their own security firm who would like a share of the action.

One honest copper forced out by the bent ones was Deborah Locke who has written a superb book Watching The Detectives in which she describes attempting to report serious misconduct at the Parramatta Police Headquarters only to be taken to lunch by a head honcho with Louis Bayeh-the then drug baron of the Cross and currently doing a few years in prison .It's a superb and racy read and you can order it at Deborah's website.
Another great read is Dirty Work by an honest ex-cop Glen McNamara who fled to California after attempting to report bent cops only to find there was a contract on his life. He was tracked down in an LA motel with a chilling phone call from hitmen saying that they knew where he was, whereupon his pregnant wife miscarried. It's an amazing record of a sorry era in Sydney.

 Underbelly-The Golden Mile starts next Sunday 10th April at 8.30pm on the Channel Nine network

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sir Elton John's manager dons Miss Marple garb over mystery death

Friends and family of the late record company executive Peter Ikin who died in November 2008 aged 62, are still asking questions about the manner of his death. Ikin, a much loved music industry figure who was the boss of Warner's Music Australia passed away after a fall down some stairs in his Paris hotel and after marrying his French lover Alexandre Despallieres in a civil ceremony the previous month at the Chelsea Town Hall in London. Ikin had retired in 2000 after a stint as VP at the London HQ of Warner's Music.

Despallieres produced a new will reputedly signed by Ikin in August of that year and witnessed by Despallieres' assistant Jeremy Billien and another friend Vincent Bray, leaving Ikin's $20million fortune to his new husband. After getting probate granted in England, Despallieres' had Ikin's body cremated and set about spending over $2 million from Ikin's Channel Island's bank account, purchasing 3 Porches-one for himself and one each for  Billien and Bray.

actor Simon Burke, John Reid and Peter Ikin
London's High Court overturned that will after a previous one was produced by Ikin's lawyer, signed in 2002 which left his estate to charities, his godchildren and only living relative, a Catholic priest in Sydney. An out of court settlement was reached in which Despallieres is said to have received a million dollars.  Despallieres also agreed to move out of  Ikin's Chelsea apartment.

It's claimed that Despallieres has said in the past he was suffering from brain cancer and is HIV, hence Ikin's rush to marry him and make a new will.

Ikin was well liked and friendly with many pop stars like Elton John and Rod Stewart. John Mellancamp said of Ikin ; "he was always kind, and jovial and a pleasure to be with. I have thought and spoke of Peter often. He was my introduction to the music business"

Now former rock manager John Reid, a friend of Ikin's and who guided the careers of Elton John, Freddie Mercury and Queen and the dancer Michael Flatley wants some answers. Reid has hired a French lawyer who has petitioned the French coroner for a toxicology report into Ikin's sudden death. French police have opened a file and are investigating after it was found there were deadly levels of paracetamol in Ikin's blood when he died.

Billy Gaff wants fraud charges
And another tough-minded Scot Billy Gaff, the ex-manager of Rod Stewart is pursuing Despallieres for $500,000 he said he lent the Frenchmen whilst he was waiting for probate to be granted on Ikin's will . Gaff said he "came under Despallieres' spell when he said he was a French pop star". Gaff wants fraud charges laid against Despallieres.
He may have to get in the queue. At a recent memorial service for Ikin in Sydney  there was much muttering from Ikin's distraught friends in the music business about issuing  legal claims against Despallieres. It seems Reid has fired the first shot.

exclusive : Lady Sonia McMahon dies

Sir William & Lady Sonia McMahon in that dress with president Richard Nixon at the White House
Julian McMahon & sister Debbie
much loved-Lady Sonia and son Julian McMahon
St Vincent's Hospital has issued a statement that Lady Sonia McMahon has died in a Sydney hospital.
Lady Sonia, the wife of former prime minister Sir William McMahon and mother of actor Julian McMahon, died late on Friday evening with her family by her side.
Lady Sonia, 77, had been battling cancer for over a year. Details of her funeral had not been released yet by her family, the hospital statement said.
It was just a year ago that Lady Sonia, one of Australia's most loved social figures attended the funeral of her great friend Johnny Baker along with her children including the Hollywood star Julian, who were by her bedside when she passed away late last night.

On the 24th of March tSS wrote about Lady Sonia's amazing entree onto the world stage when she appeared at a state dinner at the Richard Nixon White House.
Newspaper front pages around the world ran photos of Sonia's split gown with straps that revealed her tall shapely legs as she ascended the White House steps. The dress, now in a museum of contemporary art has been described by the Washington Post as the most talked about fashion garment to be ever seen in Washington.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Will our Max decide Britain's next election ?

Max with Carson Kresley
For a month now the tabloid media has been waging an all out assault on our favourite celebrity spruiker Max Markson who likes to think of himself as Australia's answer to Britain's Max Clifford. Originally from Bournemouth via a saucepan stall in a Shepherds Bush market, Max is Australia's top celebrity agent.
Max's crime was to disrupt the holy of holies-a cricket match. When model Lara Bingle, best known for the failed Oz tourism campaign 'So Where the Bloody Hell Are You?' discovered that a previous boyfriend footballer Brendan Fevola had distributed some topless snaps of her taken on his mobile phone, she did the only sensible thing. She hired Max to negotiate a deal reputedly worth $200,000 with a woman's magazine to tell her side of the story.
Lara does a Bingle
 Bingle's then fiancee  Michael Clarke, vice captain of the Australian cricket team was about to embark on a tour of New Zealand. As the team strode out for the first day, missing was Clarke. He had flown back to Sydney to see Lara. The howling of sport's writers, egged on by their tabloid comrades was deafening. Leading the moralising charge was Sydney Morning Herald cricket writer Peter Roebuck who delightfully informed us that 'to do a bingle' was new cricketing slang for fumbling the ball.

Others like the fragrant Miranda Devine weighed in wanting to know, just who was Bingle and what did this "airhead "do all day as Miranda pondered on the size of Bingle's IQ.
But Markson was deemed the villain of the drama.
Max was denying the tabloids their God given right to a saucy tale. And he was encouraging them to beat up the story to boost sales of magazine carrying Lara's story.
Beware of a reptile scorned.
Now Max has become the story as a newspaper yesterday revealed supposed emails to Max from a 'disgruntled' employee questioning the legality of  Max's ability to avoid speeding fines. Markson's business registered Mercedes has clocked up over $30,000 in fines but avoided being de-registered via a complicated loophole whereby a company can declare it doesn't know the identity of a driver when the offence occurred.
They're out to get Max and today tSS hears news that a writer from the UK  Independent newspaper is flying in to do a piece on Markson. 

As Britain's Labour Party and PM Gordon Brown vie to be re-elected they have brought in ex-PM Tony Blair to boost morale.
 Expect a major story to appear about Markson's involvement in Cherie Blair's ill-fated Oz book tour in 2007.
A charity that expected to receive substantial funds from the tour cried foul when the pot was discovered to be empty. tSS was ejected from one function after approaching  Mrs Blair and asking her if she might consider donating profits from her book to an Iraqi children's fund.