A stalking charge against a man accused of being obsessed with one of Australia’s top models has been dropped – with a court showing CCTV footage of her relaxing and drinking champagne at a Bondi venue while he’s there.
Police dropped stalking charges against 58-year-old Benjamin Reeves, who was accused of deliberately turning up in the Sydney CBD and the Bondi Beach Party precinct when the star of Australia’s Next Top Model was at work or at the beach. socializing was.
And on Thursday afternoon, his attorneys were awarded $36,208 after a magistrate ruled I’m a celebrity! Get Me Out of Here star Simone Holtznagel’s evidence against Mr Reeves was ‘unreliable’
Ms Holtznagel, 29, claimed she was followed by the man to multiple functions between May and July 2022 and that NSW police arrested Benjamin Reeves in August last year.
But in a dramatic development, prosecutors dropped the stalking charge and on Thursday Mr Reeves’ lawyer successfully filed for charges, saying officers viewed CCTV footage of their client and Ms Holtznagel at Ravesi’s and that he clearly wasn’t stalking.
Solicitor Steven Boland told Downing Center Local Court it was a case of Mr Reeves and his accuser of both frequent nightlife areas – the Ivy venue area of the Sydney CBD and the beach strip at Bondi.
“It’s people who go to popular public places and see each other,” he said. “It would be like Mr. Reeves pointing the finger at her.”
Simone Holtznagel (pictured) starred in Australia’s Next Top Model and SAS Australia
Police have dropped a stalking charge against Benjamin Reeves (arriving at court on Thursday) who was accused of being obsessed with model Simone Holtznagel
He said that in her police statement, Ms. Holtznagel had described Mr. Reeves’ distinctive appearance – about six feet tall, thin, with long legs and a stiff gait, curly red hair, freckles and “beady eyes” – “in a derogatory manner” described.
He said footage of her drinking champagne and kissing her famous personal trainer boyfriend Jono Castano on Ravesi’s balcony while Mr. Reeves was sometimes nearby showed “massive inaccuracies” in her police statement.
He said that instead of being scared, as she had told police, she and her boyfriend engaged in “back slapping hilarity” on the evening of June 12 last year.
At one point on the CCTV footage playing in court, Mrs. Holtznagel puts her fingers in her mouth twice and makes a vomit gesture.
Mr Boland said this could represent her ‘dislike’ of Mr Reeves: ‘she finds him aesthetically displeasing’.
However, Magistrate Glenn Bartley replied that the gestures could be a response to “anything.” That could be federal politics or Waverley Council politics.”
Your Honor noted that Ms. Holtznagel’s body language changed when Mr. Reeves approached the table and she saw him: “Her body language seems to say she didn’t want him there.”
The 29-year-old (pictured) is one of the country’s top models and has campaigned internationally
Mr. Boland countered that there were large parts of Ms. Holtznagel’s police statement about the occasion that were untrue, including that Mr. Reeves was “within inches of my face” at Ravesi’s “obviously untrue.”
Magistrate Bartley rejected the arrest warrant issued by police against Mr. Reeves for Mrs. Holtznagel.
Prosecutors argued that while the honor of the complainant, Ms. Holtznagel, “was at stake,” Mr. Reeves “was at those locations.”
“If the court accepted that there were six incidents in a two to three month period, the prosecutors’ argument would be that it was not a coincidence. [Mr Reeves] should know … that it would make a reasonable person fear,” the prosecution said.
However, Magistrate Bartley found that while Mrs. Holtznagel had not lied, she was a “demonstrably unreliable” witness and that CCTV had proven her story false in two of the six alleged incidents.
He said the “incidents are too fleeting and infrequent” to be considered stalking on purpose, and that Mr Reeves’ eye contact with Ms Holtznagel on several occasions “could be because he had seen her before, so that interest was aroused, or because she was attractive’.
Your Honor said that Mr Reeves’ credit card details indicated that he visited both Sydney’s CBD and Bondi.
Out of court, Mr Reeves’ lawyer said his client had been vindicated by the CCTV footage.
Ms. Holtznagel and Mr. Castano were reportedly dating since early 2022, but initially kept their romance a secret.
They went public in May last year when they kissed passionately at Mimi’s restaurant in Coogee and moved in together.
She wrote, “If you have never lived with a boy and now live with your fifaboyfriend @jonocastanoacero referring to Jono playing FIFA football with a friend on the couch amidst a burst of laughter.
Ms. Holtznagel recently went public with her relationship with Jono Castano, the boyfriend of the famous trainer (pictured)
Mr Castano is a personal trainer to the stars and has helped the likes of Rita Ora, Rebel Wilson, Michael Clarke and Candice Warner get in shape.
Ms. Holtznagel has led international modeling campaigns for Guess Jeans, among others, and most recently appeared on TV in SAS Australia.
Castano and Holtznagel first met several years ago when she was one of the trainer’s most prominent clients