Coast developer, pastor in legal stoush

 

A MULTIMILLIONAIRE developer allegedly threatened to take a pastor to The Spit and shoot him, it is claimed in court documents.

It is one of a number of allegations filed against high-profile businessman Roberto Badalotti, who has vowed to build the Southern Hemisphere's highest tower.

In a peace and good behaviour complaint lodged in Southport Magistrates Court, Pastor Shane Reynolds alleged he received a voicemail from a private number, which said: "I've got a one-time offer for you. Robert is good friends with lots of bikies. You better take down that website or you're dead." The website purported to list information about court cases involving Badalotti companies.

Shane Reynolds with Robert Badalotti
Shane Reynolds with Robert Badalotti

Other allegations in the court application include:

Mr Badalotti would "seduce" him "from time to time" by buying expensive gifts and taking him to luxury hotels.

A warning from Mr Badalotti's sister that her brother "fled the mafia in Italy" and "associates with criminals".

Mr Badalotti is one of the more successful developers on the Gold Coast and lives in a mansion on millionaire's row, Hedges Ave at Mermaid Beach. The Bulletin made over a dozen calls to Mr Badalotti this week, seeking comment for this story. He did not reply.

The Bulletin asked Mr Badalotti's lawyer Michael Purcell if Mr Badalotti denied the allegations. He said: "No comment."

Mr Reynolds, who identifies as gay and claims to be a pastor at the Universal Church of Love Peace and Equality, alleges the abuse started in 2017 when he was at dinner with Mr Badalotti at Marina Mirage.

The pair at lunch.
The pair at lunch.

"He liked to flirt with me," Mr Reynolds alleged in the court documents. "This one evening Badalotti got verbally abusive with me and said, 'I could have driven you up to The Spit and shot and there would be nothing you could do about it'."

Mr Reynolds said the last time he saw Mr Badalotti was at a lunch in Byron where he alleged Mr Badalotti told him he was angry with Wingate, a partner in a joint venture at a shopping centre.

"Badalotti told me that Wingate stole $2 million of his money," he alleged.

Artist impression of Azzura Group's Imperial Square development in Southport on the Gold Coast
Artist impression of Azzura Group's Imperial Square development in Southport on the Gold Coast

Mr Badalotti was also accused of signing an agreement with Mr Reynolds to provide $500,000 for his company, Blessed Group, which sells the Lord's Prayer, but pulled out and his behaviour became threatening.

"In February 2019 Badalotti's sister Ivana told me to be careful of her brother who fled the mafia in Italy and that Badalotti associates with criminals," he alleged.

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Lawyer Michael Purcell.
Lawyer Michael Purcell.

It was alleged Mr Badalotti sent Mr Reynolds four "threatening" text messages. He claimed he later received the voicemail from a private number that said: "I've got a one-time offer for you. Robert is good friends with lots of bikies. You better take down that website or you're dead."

The website was purporting to list information about court cases involving Mr Badalotti's companies.

On December 20, Magistrate Jane Bentley adjourned the matter for mediation. Mr Badalotti did not appear in court. He was represented by Mr Purcell. Peace and good behaviour applications usually go to mediation before a magistrate will grant a hearing date.


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