Re­al­ity bites in le­gal clash

All charges against Real Housewives star’s for­mer sis­ter-in-law dis­missed

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - FIONA BYRNE fiona.byrne@news.com.au

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).

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