Gold Coast’s “Candyman” – the millionaire host to bevies of busty beauties at his luxury waterfront party pad – has notched up a win over his former nanny for implying on national television he was an unfit parent.
The Candyman – AKA Travers Beynon – took defamation action against Michelle Manthey in Brisbane’s District Court over an interview she gave to A Current Affair broadcast on the 9 network in May.
Manthey had signed a confidentiality agreement prohibiting disclosure of information gained from her role at the Helensvale “mansion,” about the goings on at spectacular revelries that – in terms of frequency and quantities of well endowed glamorous guests – put Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion in the shade.
In his lawsuit, Beynon claims to have been “exposed to ridicule and contempt, has had his reputation injured and has suffered hurt and embarrassment” as a result of the broadcast.
The nanny filed no defence, allowing Beynon to obtain a default judgment.
But she appeared at the assessment of damages hearing – unrepresented by lawyers – to contend her exposé implied nothing that wasn’t already apparent from hundreds of Instagram pics posted by the Candyman himself or others at the events.
Beynon’s lawyers opposed admission into evidence of photographs – upon which the court might conclude any defamatory imputations were substantially true – that depicted him surrounded by “bikini clad women” at what many “would regard as debaucherous parties”.
Some of the six pictures tendered allegedly showed his teenage son with alcoholic drinks. Another revealed Benyon’s wife Taesha “naked covered in sushi” with one of the ‘goddesses’ present “placing sushi towards her vaginal area”.
Judge Paul Smith allowed the pictures to become evidence but ruled – in the absence of any formal defence from Manthey – as a matter of law, “damage to reputation is presumed”.
Beynon – until injury once a promising AFL rookie on the North Melbourne player list – made no appearance at the hearing and relied on a transcript of the ACA interview contained in an affidavit from his film producer-solicitor Cherie Orevich.
His Honour reasoned that – given his own publication of pictures showing his 16-yr-old son “exposed to barely clad” women in his home; and of “bare breasted” (topless?) women – the Candyman would suffer “far less” reputational damage than someone with less colourful recreational pursuits.
As a result and in the absence of any evidence of his “hurt and injury” arising from the publication, the court declined Beynon’s $100k damages ask and awarded the Glitter Strip celebrity a more modest $25k.
The court noted there was no suggestion any of his four children were allowed “to watch while photographs were taken of people eating sushi from his wife’s naked body”.
The rulings do not bind the court that hears any lawsuit Beynon may bring over the broadcast against ACA in coming months.