Monday 19 March 2018

Australian billionaire and friend fined for Bondi brawl

The fight happened outside James Packer's Sydney home (AP)
The fight happened outside James Packer's Sydney home (AP)

Australian police fined billionaire gaming mogul James Packer and his friend, television executive David Gyngell, A$500 ($470) each on Friday after a wild street brawl in Sydney's world-famous beachside suburb of Bondi.

Photographs of the fight between Crown Resorts Ltd  Executive Chairman Packer and David Gyngell, chief executive of Nine Entertainment Group, last Sunday were published around the world.

Packer was left with a black eye and media reported associates were instructed After the fight to look on the kerbside for lost teeth.

New South Wales state police said in a statement officers had issued a 46-year-old man and a 48-year-old man - identified by media as Packer and Gyngell - with the notices for "offensive behaviour" that occurred on Sunday afternoon.

Packer has won initial approval to build a A$1 billion ($937.3 million) luxury hotel complex with a VIP gaming licence in Sydney, pending the outcome of a probity inquiry.

Any  criminal convictions could complicate his expansion plans.

The fine will stand but no criminal conviction will be recorded if neither of the men contests the notice, police said.

The maximum possible penalty if the charges were contested would be three months in jail.

Mr Gyngell has apparently been furious that Mr Packer separated six months ago from Erica Baxter, his second wife and the mother of his children. Mr Packer has since been rumoured to have started a relationship with Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr, who separated from actor Orlando Bloom two months after the Packer split.

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