Reality bites in legal clash
All charges against Real Housewives star’s former sister-in-law dismissed
A REAL Housewives of Melbourne star has claimed in a bitter court case that a former member of her inner circle is trying to stop her being famous.
Venus Behbahani-Clark says former sister-in-law Neptoon Rodwal is out to ruin her new role in the Foxtel reality series and is conspiring to reveal her cosmetic surgery secrets.
The legal stoush between the pair played out in an at times volatile hearing at Ringwood Magistrates’ Court last week.
Ms Rodwal was facing charges of assault and property damage after allegedly trying to crash a Persian New Year celebration at Ms Behbahani-Clark’s parents’ home in March.
Ms Behbahani-Clark’s sister claimed she suffered bruising and scratches on her right forearm during an alleged confrontation with Ms Rodwal at the front door of the property.
Ms Behbahani-Clark told the court she had known Ms Rodwal for 16 years, but there was now a rift between them.
“She is trying to make me look like a fraudulent person because I am claiming to be wealthy,” she told the court.
“She has collaborated against me to make me look like a fraudulent person because I come from humble beginnings (and) I did not deserve to be on The Real Housewives of Melbourne.”
She also claimed Ms Rodwal had conspired to release images of her taken prior to her cosmetic surgery, but added that she was not upset about people knowing about her makeover as she had “liberated” herself from her transformation.
The court heard Ms Behbahani-Clark had changed her name from Venus to Vanessa during her school years as she was bullied by classmates who called her “Venus the Penis”.
She said she reclaimed her birth name in recent years.
Ms Rodwal pleaded not guilty to the assault and property damage charges, saying she was never there and the sisters had made the story up to stop her talking about Ms Behbahani-Clark’s cosmetic makeover and humble past. “She planned everything because I know too much about Vanessa,” Ms Rodwal said. “She is a scam lady. She is scared of me because she is scared to say anything in public about her plastic surgery.” Ms Rodwal said she had spent the night at her Noble Park home, where she had cooked dinner for her niece, had been visited by her sister and spoke with her neighbour while putting out the bins. “I never drove that night. I never went anywhere that night,” she said. Under further questioning she insisted: “I am a really innocent person.” Ms Behbahani-Clark was warned by magistrate Raj Malhotra about her emotional outbursts while giving sworn evidence via a video link from a locker room on the ground floor of the court building. “In a courtroom, if I am speaking you are not,” he said and warned her against “directing any commentary or venom towards the accused”. The court was told Ms Behbahani-Clark and Ms Rodwal had a brief expletive-riddled exchange in the court building while waiting for the hearing to commence. At the end of the twoday hearing the magistrate dismissed all charges against Ms Rodwal, saying she was consistent in her claim that she had been at home. She was awarded $2500 in costs.
Venus Behbahani (main) and sister-in-law Neptoon Rodwal (right).