Porky’s real strip club on Darlinghurst Road turned off its famous neon lights five years ago after 30 years.
Before lockdown laws restricted nighttime trading, John “King of the Cross” Ibrahim could often be seen standing outside the strip club with his bouncers in tow.
The Real Club also featured in Nine’s Underbelly: the Golden Mile and a graphic scene showed Ibrahim – played by Firasse Dirani – being carried away by a bouncer after being stabbed.
But even when this series was made in 2009, producers had to look beyond Kings Cross to shoot scenes.
Much of the show was shot on Longueville Road Lane Cove, which has been transformed into the infamous Golden Mile on the leafy North Shore.
The shops in Longueville become The Love Machine, Porky’s and the Pink Pussycat. Longueville Road was a no-go area and even Sydney buses were diverted around the filming location.
According to locals, three times in one week Longueville Road has been dressed up to look like Kings Cross. Neon signs were put up and taken down every day, which the team working on the set west of Sydney need not worry about.
New chapter for the fraudster
Well connected Annabelle Walker says she has turned her life around after becoming known as the Southern Highlands tweed and pearl socialite fraudster after being sentenced to prison in 2020 on a series of charges for various scams.
And in two months, she’s expecting her first baby, the start of a new chapter away from the unflattering headlines she once generated.
But when she appeared on SBS Insight program recently, in an episode featuring both scammers and their victims – including Cecile Fjelljoy which featured in the Netflix hit rogue tinder series – it was Walker’s comments about “paying back every penny” that had been the talk of the Bowral cafes.
She claims to have paid her dues since being released from prison, but those claims have fallen flat for her former boss, the director of Aust Leisure Group. Hugh Clarkwho says he has yet to see “a penny of the money” she stole.
Walker had used his boss’s credit card to scam more than $17,000.
“A few people called me after seeing her on TV, but I haven’t seen any return of that money, so I don’t really know what she was talking about. Yeah, I’d gladly take the money back…she knows exactly where to find me,” Clarke told PS.
But according to Walker, she has paid around $20,000 through a Work Development Order (WDO) since being released from prison and working for a charity called Keeping Women Out Of Prison.
WDOs are an initiative in New South Wales that allows vulnerable people to settle outstanding fines (penalty notices and court fines) with activities or treatment rather than cash. WDOs are overseen by organizations or health practitioners called WDO sponsors.
“I’m trying to do the right thing, I’ve changed my life, I want to make amends,” she told PS, explaining she didn’t know how the money was returned, promising to send a copy of the Thursday order, which had not arrived by Friday’s press time.
The former student of the prestigious Frensham School in Mittagong previously told the court she was in an “irrational” state of mind and acted on “pure adrenaline” describing it as an “out of body experience”.
The court previously heard she sent false documents to police claiming she had checked into the South Coast Private Hospital for mental health treatment to explain why she could not attend twice as part of his bail conditions.
At the time of sentencing, the magistrate Susan McIntyre told the court Walker’s “vast amount” of dishonesty cases showed a “gross breach of trust.”
Partying in Paxos
It’s Australian film and TV super-producer Bruna Papandrea’s Big Fat Greek Birthday in Paxos, marking her 50th birthday a year after the event when her original birthday party was canned by COVID.
She has certainly earned her right to celebrate, having produced a host of global hits, she was the woman who brought Australian stories to the world including big little lies and penguin flower.
This week she hosted a cast of her Australian friends on the Greek resort island for celebrations, including a fellow producer Emma Cooper, Naomi Wattsand Marie Coustas.
No word on whether fellow Australasian Neil Finn of Crowded House fame would join them, although he was also spotted in Paxos this week.
Raised by a single mother in a housing commission flat in Adelaide, Papandrea is about to celebrate her 51st birthday, no doubt a good time to reflect on her success after dropping out of university twice: once after having started a commercial law degree at the University of Melbourne and later went on to complete an arts degree at the University of Adelaide.
Cupid’s arrow strikes
Renowned architect in Sydney Nick Tobias confirmed he was dating Dana Lewisa red carpet figure who recently split from her wealthy husband David Lewis.
The Lewises were last in these pages a year ago after David’s 63-year-old London-based uncle appeared. Michael Lewismarried the 31 year old lady Kitty SpencerPrincess Diana’s brother’s daughter, Earl Spencer.
In 2019, PS revealed Tobias’ marriage to his wife Miranda darlingwriter and former model, had come to an end.
During this time he was a wealthy businessman from Sydney Robert Whyte who drew attention on board by James Packer IJE last week on the Mediterranean. Whyte, 79, had been joined on the boat by a single mother from Sydney Alessandra Eddiethe marketing boss of luxury fashion boutique Belinda, who told PS Whyte, 40 years her senior, was an old friend of the family.
Bastille Day with glitter
The young burlesque artist Gypsy Rose Lea once famously learned “Ya Gotta Have A Gimmick”, a lesson evidently understood by Melbourne performance artists The Huxleys, (composed of partners Will be and Garrett Huxleylocal icons around Melbourne) who were among the star attractions at the lavish July 14 dinner at French beauty potion supplier Lancome on Thursday night in Redfern.
Adorned in their goofy costumes, ruffles, towering post-modern beehive wigs, and enough sequins to sparkle a gob-smacked Kerri-Anne Kennerleytheir interpretation of Xanadu was definitely a sight to behold. Meanwhile, Jesinta Franklin stuck to the ‘script’, revealing her secret to happiness watching her kids grow up and avoiding any mention of a husband and star Swans player Buddy’s ongoing contract saga.
And to end the evening, it was Jasmine Stefanovic with her stepdaughter Ava, who is also named Willow. Jasmine told PS she was preparing for her first big flight with baby Harper as she and her husband Today co-host Karl Stefanovic heading to Europe for the summer.
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