Geoffrey Edelsten lived a full life before his death on June 11.
The eccentric former medical entrepreneur became a major player in the business world, at one stage acquiring the Sydney Swans AFL club.
But it was his relationships that attracted more attention and controversy, having dated and married the likes of Leanne Nesbitt, Brynne Edelsten and Gabi Grecko, who were all significantly younger.
Let’s take a look back at the scandals that plagued Edelsten’s marriages.
The first Mrs Geoffrey Edelsten title goes to Leanne Nesbitt.
The former-model-turned-nurse was only 20 years old when she married Edelsten in 1984. At 41, Edelsten was more than twice her age, but that didn’t stop them from tying the knot.
The following year, for Leanne’s 21st birthday, the businessman reportedly gave her a pink De Tomaso sports car. That same year, he bought the license to operate the Sydney Swans for a reported $6.3 million — he was the first private owner of the football club ever.
Edelsten was at the helm of the Swans from 1985 to 1988, in what is now known as the club’s glamour years. Leanne was often photographed wearing the team colours and posing with footy players on bonnets of sports cars.
By 1988, Edelsten and Leanne were over. He filed for bankruptcy, deregistered as a medical practitioner and got divorced in the span of one year. Edelsten also resigned as chairman of the Sydney Swans, a role he held for just 12 months.
The exes would later debate who put up the funds to purchase the Swans. Speaking to the Herald Sun in 2015, Leanne claimed she forked out $50,000 of her savings to help grow Edelsten’s business portfolio.
“I wrote the cheque. I drew out all the cash we had in the bank,” she told the publication.
Edelsten quickly hit back at the time, telling the Daily Mail “it’s just lies, lies lies”.
“She was just a penniless waitress when I met her,” he said. “How could she have helped me set up the Sydney Swans?”
Edelsten later claimed Leanne received $3 million from their divorce, and the pair haven’t spoken in years, despite her claims he regularly contacts her for relationship advice.
‘I don’t call her asking for marital advice. Why would I do that when our marriage collapsed?’ he said to Daily Mail. “What nonsense. It’s just a pack of lies. I haven’t spoken to Leanne in years.”
Nesbitt is herself no stranger to controversy. In 2012, she claimed to A Current Affair that she had an eight-year affair with married Aussie-born, London-based broadcaster Clive James — she was 48 at the time and he was 73.
James — who later died in 2019 — was forced to issue a public apology to his wife at the time, saying, “I have behaved so badly…. I am a reprehensible character who needs to clean up his act.”
Edelsten’s response to Leanne’s personal affairs? “I just don’t care about her at all. If you want someone to say something nice about her, talk to Clive James.”
Geoffrey Edelsten’s love life made headlines again in 2009 when he married Brynne Gordon, a fitness instructor from California. He was 67 at the time, she was 26.
“I mean, honestly, I don’t even notice it, because we have a lot of things in common,” Brynne later said of their 41-year age gap. “Like, he’s my favourite person in the world to spend time with.”
The couple tied the knot in a lavish ceremony at Melbourne’s Crown Casino just nine months after being set up on a blind date by a mutual friend in Las Vegas.
The wedding reportedly cost a staggering $3.3 million which included circus performers and 500 guests including Aussie stars Margot Robbie, and Kerri-Anne Kennerley, and international names such as The Nanny‘s Fran Drescher and Seinfeld‘s Jason Alexander, who bizarrely narrated the couple’s DVD wedding invitation shot by Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall. Alexander also gave an address at the wedding.
“We met them briefly when they flew into Melbourne,” Brynne told media after the nuptials of the high-profile guests. “They were both lovely. Jason especially was very funny. Geoff had them at the wedding because he wanted people who were Jewish because he is Jewish.
“When they spoke at the wedding I remember thinking that Jason was absolutely hilarious. Fran was lovely, but I thought she would be a little bit funnier, I guess.”
It was later revealed Brynne refused to sign a prenuptial agreement prior to their wedding.
After their wedding, Brynne — known for her flamboyant and flashy outfits — became a regular on the Aussie celebrity circuit and even appeared on TV shows such as Dancing With The Stars and Celebrity Splash, before landing her own reality show, Brynne: My Bedazzled Life, in 2012, where cameras followed her on extravagant shopping sprees and lavish holidays.
But their glamorous lifestyles came undone in late 2013 when the couple secretly called it quits.
They would announce their split in January 2014, with Brynne confirming through her manager that their almost five-year marriage was over due to “insurmountable issues”.
“They have unfortunately separated and Geoffrey is overseas at the moment,” her publicist John Scott confirmed. “They are still living under the same roof, but separately. They are hoping to work through this with a degree of privacy.
“Melbourne is Brynne’s home and she’s made a great life here and has wonderful friends. As far as I know she’s looking to stay in Australia.”
It was rumoured at the time that Edelsten had a fling with a woman from New Jersey who he met on sugardaddyforme.com and Brynne just could not forgive her husband. The couple would separate 18 months after the alleged fling.
Of their split, Edelsten said he was “very, very sad” and it was “the last thing I wanted”.
One week prior to the split, Edelsten — who was worth a cool $100 million in 2011 — reportedly filed for bankruptcy in an Ohio court. It was revealed he had $18.2 million in debts.
As their divorce played out in the years that followed, Brynne revealed to The Daily Telegraph that the split had taken a toll on her financially as she reportedly owed $70,000 in legal fees and facing bankruptcy herself.
“It’s been really stressful and tough. I feel really frustrated,” she told the newspaper in 2016. “It’s left me, financially, in a really tough place trying to cover things… I’ve gone through all my savings.”
In 2017, it appeared Brynne got a job as an events and functions coordinator when she was seen behind the bar at Melbourne haunt The Red Hummingbird. She would also later work at a nearby Japanese-themed karaoke bar.
Over the years, Brynne had had other very public relationships. She dated and was engaged to comedian Brett Hunter until their June 2017 split, before moving on months later with advertising sales rep Coby Boatman.
“She was my girl crush, but more like a fantasy girl crush than anything I took serious,” Brynne said on The Kyle and Jackie O Show at the time.
The pair reportedly dated for three months before breaking up.
In March this year, Brynne debuted her new man Brok Eastwood, who at 38 is the same age as her. And it seems she’s finally found her happily ever after.
“I felt it straight away! I have never had someone treat me so well,” she told New Idea. “I just love spending time with him and he makes me smile every day. I never saw it coming, but I could not be happier.”
Just as she appeared to have her life back on track, Brynne’s world was rocked once again when police raided a property in Melbourne in May and allegedly found drugs, including methylamphetamine, as well as stolen property.
Brynne and a 39-year-old man were charged with a number of offences. The socialite was initially released without charge but the following day police laid their charges.
“After further inquiries were made the woman was arrested and charged with traffick methyl-amphetamine, possess methyl-amphetamine, use methyl-amphetamine and deal property suspected proceeds of crime,” a statement from Victoria Police read. Brynne was granted bail and is scheduled to appear in court on October 8.
“Earlier this month, I was charged with criminal charges,” Brynne said in a statement to the media. “I am shocked and saddened by these events and will be vigorously fighting all charges. I am very thankful for the support of the team around me and will not be making any further comment.”
Edelsten married 24-year-old American model Gabi Grecko in June 2015, just months after he finalised his divorce from Brynne.
Unlike his extravagant wedding with his second wife, Edelsten’s nuptials with Grecko — real name Gabrielle Curtis — were low-key and held at a registry in Melbourne’s Chinatown. He would later explain the reason for the quickie ceremony was because Grecko’s visa was due to expire in 10 hours.
“Yes, it’s true her visa expires at midnight, we were conscious of it when we decided to get married but arrangements were made long before that,” he told the Daily Mail at the time. “[The visa] was not a major problem. She’s on a travel visa and now has a bridging visa for permanent residency. That wasn’t the main reason for the rush but it made sense to do it now.”
Gabi would later tell the outlet that she met Edelsten online 15 months prior to their wedding.
“We met on sugardaddie.com. “It was stupid,” she told the Daily Mail, adding that she hoped to “find someone cultured and in business”.
Gabi said there was no photo on Edelsten’s profile and was surprised when they met in person for the first time because she presumed he was in his 40s.
“When I met him I was shocked how large our age difference was because he hadn’t told me,” she admitted.
The couple shocked many when they seemingly split after just one month of marriage, only to make up less than one hour later.
At the time, the pair appeared on Celebrity Apprentice and had a massive fight in front of cameras. Gabi was then seen throwing her wedding ring at Edelsten.
She later posted a ringless photo of her hand on Instagram with the caption, “No longer Mrs. Edelsten.”
But just 32 minutes later, they were on again with Gabi posting a six-second video of her husband placing the ring back on her finger.
“Hardest fight we’ve ever had today on camera … thought we were past reconciliation,” she said.
This would mark the first of many breakups and makeups for the couple. They announced their separation five months after their wedding, with Edelsten telling Melbourne police Gabi had launched a blackmail plot to extort $7000 from him. She was allegedly threatening to go to the media with naked pictures of him if he didn’t pay up, so he did. Gabi denied the claims.
Around the same time, it was claimed in the New York Post that Gabi was allegedly involved in a group sex scandal involving New York police officers and three other men during a 2013 plane trip to Las Vegas. Gabi later admitted to the New York Post she was part of the mile-high group sex with police officers.
“She has made my life a misery,” Edelsten then told The Daily Telegraph. “I’m finally enjoying life again and keen to date and proceed with my life … The fact she has admitted to being a prostitute and part of the mile-high club makes me sick. The sooner we’re divorced, the better.”
The couple appeared to reconcile in Christmas 2017 when Gabi shared a photo of them spending the holidays together.
“Spending Christmas with my husband,” said Gabi, who was attempting to launch her rap career at the time with a new moniker, Glitta Fox.
The exes grew closer in 2018 with Edelsten confirming to news.com.au later that year that they had reconciled.
“We are back together now,” he said. “It is only her career that is keeping her in New York City, and as soon as the end of November, when she will have finished her latest music video, she will come back to Melbourne.
“She has changed a lot in the three years since she went back to New York City.
Her music career is going very well, and secondly she is much more mature.”
But their reunion was short-lived with the couple again splitting in April 2019. Gabi confirmed the split with the Daily Mail, telling the outlet she wanted to date men closer to her age.
The star then debuted her relationship with American hip-hop artist Surf School Rico.
“I met him at the studio and there was just something about him that stayed with me, his smile,” she shared. “We ended up exchanging numbers and the rest, as they say, is history.”
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