Sydney’s red carpet running redder than usual
In the movies the “underworld” stays on the right side of uncivilised – law abiding citizens, other than small-business owners in the wrong part of town never have to see it, interact with it, or admit to their parents they may have been out on a date with it once or twice.
But in Sydney, the line between the “underworld” and the rest of has always been a bit blurred.
A couple of years ago it wasn’t a red carpet without at least two members of the Bra Boys. The big PR fish was big wave surfer Koby Abberton, but if you couldn’t get him any old Abberton would do, even Jai, who was tried, but found not guilty of the murder of Anthony Hines.
Koby’s photogenic girlfriends have included Tara Reid (admittedly not A-list) and model and actress Tahyna Tozzi, and he’s never been short of an invitation.
The Kings Cross nightclubs, while long a haven for those people you wouldn’t take home to your parents for dinner, are also the place where most of the young social kings and queens of Sydney end up on a regular basis.
And over this long weekend, while the rest of us were having BBQs and marveling at the Sydney sunshine, some of the more glamorous members of the “underworld” moved from their regular spot in the Sunday paper social pages, to the front page.
Under headlines such as It’s War, and Hit ignites war in Sydney’s underbelly, we were assured all hell is about to break loose. And there might be a few talent managers and actors agents advising their clients to stay in for the next few weeks.
The transition started last week when Home and Away star Jodi Gordon was found cowering in the bedroom of a senior bikie named Mark James Judge.
You don’t get much more A-list than Gordon, who apart from being a well-bred suburban Sydney girl/model/soapie star, is also the girlfriend of media heir Ryan Stokes. It’s still a bit of a mystery how the dentally-blessed Gordon, usually seen in promos for fun runs and clean living, ended up in Judge’s apartment.
Some people might have been shocked that Gordon would even know someone like Judge, but in Sydney, he’s just another member of the social set, with a red Corvette in the garage no less.
Like John Ibrahim.
Ibrahim is also in possession of a nice set of choppers, and is more likely to be photographed at a party at Icebergs or the Ivy than on the steps of a courthouse. This is in spite of his having been named in the Wood Royal Commission, and Roger Rogerson saying in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph “John Ibrahim is either the smartest crim the world or the cops are bloody dumb.Or they’re just wrong about him.”
Yesterday’s Telegraph had him pictured at Royal North Shore hospital, where he was keeping vigil for his brother Fadi Ibrahim, who was shot five times in his Lamborghini on Friday night. Also in the car was Fadi’s girlfriend, Shayda Bastani Rad, a model and another regular on the social scene. She was shot once in the leg.
Bastani’s has had bad luck with men. Her fiancé Faouzi Abou Jibal was shot dead a couple of years ago. He was on the run after the murder of comedian George Nassour’s brother Robin.
Premier Nathan Rees was out and about yesterday demanding Police Commissioner catch the people responsible for the shooting, while the Ibrahim’s lawyer was doing his best to hose down speculation of a bloody retaliation.
During all this drama Bastani rang the Telegraph to clarify a very important point – she’s 22, not, as the paper had earlier reported, 23. The big issues.
In Melbourne’s well-documented underbelly wars the players might have been powerful and at various times very wealthy, but they were never socially acceptable.
Maybe it’s because in Melbourne people still care about where your money came from, more than how much you have. Where as in Sydney, money is money and a Harbour view is worth more than three generations of blue blood.
In Sydney the red carpet is running extra red, and there might be a lot of social players wondering what the hell they’ve gotten themselves into.
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