A former CEO previously cleared of stalking model Simone Holtznagel has had a charge of breaching an AVO made to protect her dropped by police.
Benjamin Reeves, 59, was arrested in June and accused of breaching the apprehended violence order when the pair allegedly interacted amid the crowds at Vivid at Sydney’s Circular Quay.
The former chief executive of the Australian Association of Graduate Employers was on his way to catch a ferry to his home at McMahons Point when he was observed by the former Playboy model, his lawyer Osman Samin said at the time.
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Reeves was due to appear at Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday facing one charge that he breached the apprehended violence order in June this year.
However, in a letter from NSW Police sent on Thursday and seen by AAP, Detective Inspector Adam Solah dropped the charge.
“The matters you have raised, together with the evidence available to the prosecution, have been examined carefully,” Solah wrote to Samin.
“The command have considered the representations carefully and it has been determined for the matter of contravene AVO to be withdrawn.”
Police no longer allege that a former CEO breached an AVO taken out by model Simone Holtznagel days after he was cleared of stalking her. Credit: AAP
Holtznagel rose to fame on season seven of Australia’s Next Top Model.
She has also modelled for Bras N Things and Guess, and has appeared on a number of reality TV programs including SAS Australia and I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!
When the AVO and stalking charges were thrown out in June, Magistrate Glenn Bartley called into question Holtznagel’s credibility, saying what was seen on CCTV footage differed from her version of events.
She claimed Reeves stalked her in a Bondi pub, holding eye contact with her for 40 seconds and popping up behind her within centimetres of her face.
The magistrate found the prosecution had no real prospects of success and should not have gone ahead.
He ordered the prosecutor to pay Reeves $36,000 in legal costs.
Speaking outside court on Tuesday, Samin said while the outcome was a great relief the allegations have had a terrible impact on his client’s life.
“It’s ruined his life,” Samin said.
“He’s lost his job, he’s lost friends (and) his reputation has been severely damaged.”
Reeves had been suing the Daily Mail for defamation over an article he claimed falsely reported he was guilty of stalking Holtznagel and a separate, unnamed woman, leading to him losing his job as CEO of the AAGE.
That case was quietly dropped in July this year.
He failed in suing NSW Police for malicious prosecution and unlawful arrest over a separate stalking charge, which was also thrown out, but successfully argued he was falsely imprisoned as his detention was unreasonably protracted.
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