A notorious socialite has been fined $1,200 for an obscene graffiti attack on Roxy Jacenko’s PR office – a year after being cleared of the crime.
Anthony Hess, 40, and controversial street artist Anthony Lister, 41, were accused of graffiting her Sweaty Betty agency in Paddington, Sydney, and near her home in North Bondi, on April 24, 2019.
Ms Jacenko attempted to bring a restraining order against Hess in a Sydney court, in February last year, which failed after he denied the claim with the quip ‘gay guys don’t do graffiti’.
However, he and Lister were in April both charged with aggravated vandalism after GoPro footage of the crimes was found in Lister’s home.
Roxy Jacenko with the offending words: The Sweaty Betty PR maven’s offices in Paddington, inner Sydney, were plastered with graffiti on April 24, 2019. Two men have been charged
Hess was on Tuesday found guilty in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court and fined $1,200. Ms Jacenko had vowed to sue him for $140,000 in damages if he was found guilty.
The colourful personality, who now lives in Los Angeles, did not appear in court, send a lawyer, or respond to the charges and was given a default judgement.
‘Why would I leave my LA lifestyle where I’m getting paid thousands of dollars a week and going to parties with celebrities to come back and spend two weeks in quarantine for this?’ he told Daily Mail Australia on Wednesday.
‘Roxy is obsessed and needs to move on, it’s just some graffiti and she’s beat it up into a huge deal.’
Ms Jacenko celebrated the victory on social media after being informed of the court result by her lawyer on Wednesday.
‘I know [the fine] doesn’t sound like a lot but for someone with no criminal charges prior to this, it’s a good result,’ the lawyer told her via email.
‘More importantly we have set the record straight about this incident, proving beyond reasonable doubt that Anthony Hess was responsible for the graffiti on that night, despite his deniability of it.’
In a candid interview with Daily Mail Australia, Ms Jacenko (above with husband Oliver) said she was ‘absolutely terrified’ by the ordeal and revealed she had to take a raft of security measures to protect her family
Ms Jacenko used the verdict to hit back at Magistrate Allison Hawkins, who denied her restraining order application against Hess saying her evidence was ‘hollow and unconvincing’.
‘After two years and the magistrate labelling my testimony hollow, grossly exaggerated and unimpressive, Anthony Hess [has bee found guilty of] graffitiing my business,’ she wrote on Instagram.
‘Thank you to the [police] at Surry Hills command who were so incredible to deal with and believed every single bit if evidence I took to them as well as my genuine fear for not only my safety but that of my kids.
‘Suppose my apology note from the magistrate will be in the mail.’
Married at First Sight star Stacey Hampton got in her own dig at her best friend turned sworn enemy in the comments.
‘Good work. He can’t go around defaming people and getting away with it,’ she wrote.
Ultra-popular fitness influencer Emily Skye added: ‘So glad the truth has been exposed. Terrible that you were believed by the magistrate.’
Anthony Hess, 40, is accused of spraying the graffiti as part of a campaign of harassment, but claims he is actually the victim
Ms Jacenko gave a candid interview to Daily Mail Australia when the charges were filed in April, saying she felt vindicated a year after Hess was cleared in court.
‘I will look at appealing to recover the damages and legal fees in excess of $14,000 in light of this new evidence and their charges,’ she said.
Hess in return rubbished the idea Ms Jacenko was ever genuinely afraid of him.
‘Why is Roxy bringing this up again a year later when I don’t even live in Australia anymore? She is obsessed with me and needs to move on,’ he said.
‘All that court nonsense was unnecessary attention seeking. She’s wasted a year of my life already and needs to go away.’
Ms Jacenko said the attack made her ‘scared and nervous for my children’ Pixie, 9, and Hunter, 6, and revealed the toll it took on her family.
‘Having to receive a call from my young son – who was four at the time – saying ‘mummy, why does it say you are a dog on the road’ was something I will never forget’,’ she said.
‘I was absolutely terrified. I felt it necessary to implement regular and ongoing security patrols of my home, which to this day I still have in place, and of my office premises.
Anthony Hess (above) was charged with two counts of aggravated intentional marking premises without consent last week
Hess pointed to Magistrate Hawkins throwing out Ms Jacenko’s case and calling her account ‘hollow and unimpressive… grossly exaggerated’.
‘She lost the restraining order because there was no threat and she wasn’t genuinely in fear and the magistrate was right to say so,’ he said.
‘I trolled her a bit on Instagram but I never threatened her kids or did anything to scare them.
‘What is there to be scared of about me? I’m just a fun, bubbly gay guy. Besides, even if I did do it, it was just some graffiti – she wasn’t kneecapped.’
Hess claimed the prominent businesswoman was trying to make herself look like the victim when it was his life that was turned upside down by the restraining order.
‘Roxy is the real bully. Look at her history with staff, clients, nannies, even her friends like Candice Warner,’ he said in reference to Warner and Ms Jacenko falling out after trading blows on SAS Australia last year.
‘Why should I pay her court costs? I never asked her to go to court and spend money on lawyers. I had to spend tens of thousands of dollars on my own.
‘I’m not coming back to Australia any time soon and don’t have anything to give her.’
Ms Jacenko may get some answers in the months ahead as the police allegations that Hess and Lister were responsible for the attacks are tested in court.
She said she hoped the court process would prove her claims in the restraining order application were correct and the court was wrong to reject it.
The graffiti didn’t only hit her company’s offices but was scrawled throughout the eastern suburbs, near Bondi Junction and her home.
A police facts sheet alleged Hess and Lister sprayed the graffiti on her office wall between 1.38am and 1.40am, and then on a nearby skip bin.
Ms Jacenko said she will ‘never forget’ having to answer her son, then five, about why there was graffiti on the road calling her a ‘dog’
Ms Jacenko with her two young children Pixie and Hunter Curtis, above
The graffiti attack was caught on CCTV but neither of the figures could be positively identified despite a social media call-out by Ms Jacenko.
However, police found a GoPro memory card during a raid on Lister’s home at Taylor Street, Darlinghurst, on March 10, 2020.
‘Upon review of the SD card, police observed three videos of which depicted the above mention incidents,’ the facts sheet alleged.
Lister is awaiting trial accused of drugging and sexually assaulting five young women he met through the art scene, along with a series of drug charges.
Charges were laid after Hess’ former friend Lena Kalajian went to police last Monday, claiming she witnessed the incident, the police facts stated.
Ms Kalajian, who was not charged, was a close friend of Hess and supported him at court appearances during the restraining order battle.
In court documents, police alleged Hess spray painted the 7m-long obscene graffiti while Lister watched and gave instructions before they both left – all filmed on Lister’s GoPro.
Street artist Anthony Lister has also been charged and will face court over the graffiti at a later date
Lena Kalajian, a former friend of Hess’s, went to police about the graffiti last Monday
Hess said he is ‘living it up’ in Los Angeles, staying in Beverley Hills and driving an expensive Porsche
A few minutes later, they allegedly sprayed an Empire skip bin with the same slur on the corner of Oatley and Renny Streets in Paddington.
Police allege the GoPro footage also shows the pair discussing doing more graffiti, though the actual spraying is not filmed.
‘Roxy is a crook’ was found sprayed on a traffic barrier on Syd Enfield Drive in Woollahra and ‘Roxy is a dog’ a wall on Ramsgate Avenue in North Bondi.
The fact sheet also alleges that Hess’ mobile phone pinged towers across East Sydney and Bondi Beach, putting him in the area when the graffiti was sprayed.
Hess during the restraining order hearing said he was asleep at a friend’s house on Oxford Street 10 minutes drive away at the time.
Police also matched Hess’ Nike Epic React Flynit 2 shoes with ‘distinctive pink, blue and white on the back’ with shoes seen on the CCTV.
Hess posted a photo to Instagram of himself wearing the shoes on his Instagram on May 15, 2019, about three weeks after the vandalism.
The words ‘Roxy is a dog’ were found plastered in black spraypaint on Ramsgate Avenue, North Bondi
Hess claimed to Daily Mail Australia last week that he didn’t remember the night in question and was ‘living it up’ in Los Angeles driving an expensive Porsche.
‘I was drugged, I can’t remember even being there,’ he said.
Lister’s lawyer Brian Wrench said the graffiti was too crude to have been sprayed by the renowned artist.
‘This is certainly not a Lister [work] and our client shouldn’t be given credit for this attempt at artwork,’ he said.
Ms Jacenko claimed in court last year that the whole saga began when Hess abused her at an event, beginning a campaign of harassment that left her living in fear.
Her lawyer Greg James QC said the incident left Hess with ‘resentment’ for his client, leading him to paint the offensive graffiti on her office two months later.