Tycoon tries to gag ex-girlfriend, ex-staffer with secret recordings
A national business tycoon is desperately trying to gag an ex-senior staffer plus former model girlfriend from releasing 100-plus secret audio recordings of him made without his knowledge.
Lawyers for Gold Coast-based Ultra Tune roadside assist and car repair mogul Sean Buckley have threatened the pair with legal action unless they retrieve and destroy all copies of the secret recordings.
Mr Buckley's lawyers asked for a signed undertaking to say they had done so - by 2pm last Friday. It is understood neither has complied with the instruction.
Bikini model and Melbourne nurse Jennifer Cruz Cole - who has a two-year-old daughter with Mr Buckley - made the recordings during the latter part of their relationship which ended in December.
A January 21 letter from Mr Buckley's lawyers Belleli King and Associates to Ms Cole notes she had sent a copy of one recording - made about 18 months ago - to the law firm on January 15.
Ms Cole - who starred in the most recent controversial Ultra Tune TV ad alongside Baywatch icon Pamela Anderson - pointed out at the time of sending it that she had about 100 other recordings of "private conversations with our client without his knowledge and/or consent", the legal letter says.
Mr Buckley's legal team also claimed she had supplied the one recording she sent them to Anthony Swords. Mr Swords is the former general manager of Gatto Corp - a debt collection agency using the surname of underworld identity, turned businessman, Mick Gatto.
Mr Swords, who is Melbourne based but frequently visits the Gold Coast, said he had more recently worked as a senior risk manager and in a top management role at Ultra Tune Australia. He is no longer in those roles. He has also worked for Ultra Tune Thoroughbreds.
Ms Cole was previously an Ultra Tune ambassador. She is no longer in that role.
In response to the legal threat from Mr Buckley's lawyer to sign a declaration that he would retrieve and destroy any audio recordings, Mr Swords replied he would not be doing so.
Mr Sword's response adds he sent the recording to Mr Buckley's long-term former mate Jimmy Seoud, who previously worked for Ultra Tune and temporarily ran Mr Buckley's Gold Coast strip club Toybox Showgirls.
"I won't be signing anything," Mr Swords replied. "I did not ask to be sent this recording and it was sent by one of the parties.
"I have already sent it to numerous other people…including Mr Seoud who is spoken about in the recording."
Ms Cole told the Bulletin she had not sought legal representation despite the legal threats from Mr Buckley's lawyers and had not signed the undertaking.
She met Mr Buckley more than 10 years ago when starring in an original Ultra Tune 'Unexpected Situations' TV ads. But the pair did not become a couple until years later when they met socially in Melbourne at Crown Casino.
In response to questions, Mr Buckley had a legal representative call who said Bellil King & Associates would apply in Federal Court on Wednesday for injunctions preventing release of the recordings and seeking "damages".
Mr Buckley was "shocked" by the recordings being made, the lawyer said, alleging: "They are private tapes made without his knowledge. They are not accurate, we think they have cut and spliced."
Asked if Mr Buckley would lay a police complaint, his lawyer said "yes - there will be a police complaint laid and police will get involved."
"It's a disgruntled ex employee. He has been paid out his entitlements and no other payments will be made that he's not entitled to. He resigned and it was accepted."
Asked about Ms Cole, the lawyer said: "It's a girlfriend of his, there was a breakdown of the relationship and he wishes her well."
In September last year, the Bulletin revealed Mr Seoud and Mr Buckley - friends for 14 years - had a spectacular falling out during the 18 months Mr Seoud ran Toybox in Surfers Paradise.
Mr Seoud, living rent free in a Surfers apartment and driving a brand new Mercedes with 'Mr Vegas' number plates when he managed Toybox, was sent a termination letter in December 2019.
He took out a Fair Work Commission case for alleged unfair dismissal but lost the case due to applying outside the required timeframe. His alleged salary of $177,000 - including the car and accommodation - was deemed to be above the threshold for a Fair Work claim.
Mr Seoud told the Bulletin this week his lawyer would be lodging an appeal to his unfair dismissal case on the basis of new information coming to light.
The Bulletin is unable to reveal what that alleged new information is at this stage.
Originally published as Tycoon tries to gag ex-girlfriend, ex-staffer with secret recordings