Melissa Caddick’s husband has slammed his ‘sickening’ portrayal on Channel Nine’s Underbelly show about the disappearance of his wife.
In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Daily Mail Australia, Anthony Koletti said the program – where he was played by actor Jerome Velinsky – portrayed him inaccurately and untruthfully.
‘I don’t feel like they’ve portrayed me at all,’ he said. ‘I thought it was sickening’.
Koletti said there was no truth to the show – which aired in April and employed some creative licence in telling the story of Australia’s most notorious conwoman.
‘It was difficult [to watch] – I thought it was very tasteless,’ he said.
The exact circumstances of Ms Caddick’s suspected death are yet to be confirmed by a coroner, who will wrap up an inquest into the matter this week.
The inquiry – which will conclude on Tuesday after further evidence from two NSW Police officers – previously heard investigators initially thought she was on the run and there was no evidence of homicide.
Koletti said he had not been approached by Channel Nine about the show.
‘They stole my name and made up a story. I don’t think they see what damage that causes,’ he said.
‘I don’t feel like they’ve portrayed me at all. I thought it was sickening,’ Koletti said of how he was portrayed in Underbelly: Vanishing Act, the Channel Nine production about the Melissa Caddick case
Daily Mail Australia approached Channel Nine for comment on Mr Koletti’s remarks.
Earlier in the interview, Koletti said he ‘felt’ his wife was no longer alive when police told him they found her severed foot – and broke his silence on his new job and the toll years of ridicule as a ‘failed DJ’ and her ‘toyboy’ has taken on him.
Koletti revealed how he’s trying to get on with his life two years years after Caddick vanished without a trace, having stolen $23million of her clients’ cash while posing as a financial advisor.
He has returned to hairdressing after finally securing a position as a senior stylist at The Hair Angel in Balmain, in Sydney’s inner west.
The constant scrutiny made finding a job very hard with employers terrified of bad press associated with hiring a con-woman’s husband.
Actor Jerome Velinsky was cast to portray Mr Koletti in the Underbelly production
Anthony Koletti, husband of millionaire fraudster Melissa Caddick (pictured together),says he does not expect to get answers about the disappearance of his wife in November, 2020
But sitting in the salon with his new boss Deborah Bradshaw, Koletti said he is determined to draw a line under the saga – even if it means he’ll never find love again.
‘I still love Melissa, and I always will,’ he said.
‘I highly doubt I’ll find someone else, but that’s OK.’
REALISING SHE WAS DEAD
Koletti knew his wife was dead the moment police approached him in March, 2021 and said they found her severed foot washed up on Bournda Beach – 400km from the home they shared together in Dover Heights.
Before that, he still thought she was alive.
‘In your heart, you know if someone is no longer on the Earth,’ he said. ‘When I spoke with police that day, I knew she was gone. I felt it inside my heart.’
‘And as sad as it is, maybe not knowing what happened to her is more of a blessing in disguise.
‘Do I feel like I’ll ever get answers? No, I don’t.’
He said the last two years had been terrible, but the realisation he’d never see his wife again was probably his darkest moment.
Anthony Koletti has a new job as a senior stylist at The Hair Angel in Balmain. He is pictured doing his boss Deborah Bradshaw’s hair in the salon
Anthony Koletti (pictured) said he will always love Melissa Caddick and may never find anyone else
Anthony Koletti is pictured with Melissa Caddick. He now looks after her son, and said it’s an ‘honour’ to do so
Since Caddick disappeared in November, 2020, and was subsequently branded Australia’s most notorious fraudster, Koletti has been the subject of ongoing ridicule.
He has been slammed as a ‘house husband’ and a ‘toyboy’ – an accessory to the life his wife bought with funds stolen from friends, family and investors while posing as a financial advisor.
While most of it has been ‘water off a duck’s back’, Koletti has struggled with the ‘impact it’s had on my life in general’.
He said reports claiming he relied on Caddick’s money to fund his lifestyle were wrong – and he had actually worked as a hairdresser four days’ a week throughout his 10-year marriage.
Koletti also said he only stopped working because his life was suddenly in the headlines and he had to take clients on a freelance basis – cutting hair in their homes instead of inside a salon.
Melissa Caddick is pictured while ASIC raided her Dover Heights home in November 2020
Anthony Koletti said Melissa Caddick’s son chose to live with him, over his biological father who lives in northern Sydney
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO MELISSA
When asked what happened to Caddick after the consumer watchdog ASIC raided their home on November 11, 2020, while searching for proof of her fraudulent life as a fake financial advisor, Koletti said he didn’t know.
But two days later, Caddick left the house at about 5.30am. She was never seen again.
He blames the brutal ASIC investigation for leaving her ‘with no option’ other than to run away.
But he doesn’t know if she took her own life or not.
Koletti didn’t want to talk about whether he knew what his wife was up to before the raid – he has repeatedly insisted he had no idea.
During an inquest into her theft and disappearance in September this year, he said he now accepts that she was a fraudster, and that he too was conned into believing she was a legitimate financial advisor.
But on Wednesday, he said a silver lining to the tragedy has been looking after Caddick’s son, who was just 14 when his mother’s face was splashed all over the news.
The only-child, now 16, has chosen to live with Koletti despite his biological father living in Ryde, in Sydney’s northern suburbs.
‘It’s an honour to raise her son,’ he said.
When asked whether they’ve had deep conversations about Caddick’s dealings and disappearance, Koletti said they hadn’t because ‘we don’t need to’.
‘We both had a terrible time, that’s for sure, but we understand it because we lived it so there are no questions we have to ask each other,’ he said.
But he does put a lot of effort into looking after the boy, making sure his needs are met, and shielding him from the media.
‘It takes a lot more care to look after a child whose been through that – a lot more care than is otherwise required,’ he said.
‘Maybe that’s the reason he’s chosen to stay with me full time, he knows I can cater to that.’
MOVING OUT OF THEIR HOUSE
Over the past two years, liquidators have seized Caddick’s possessions – their eastern suburbs home, her designer clothes and jewellery, artworks worth tens of thousands of dollars – in a bid to pay back her investors.
Four artworks were auctioned for a collective $48,000 at Shapiro’s in Woollahra, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, on Tuesday night.
Anthony Koletti was married to Melissa Caddick for about ten years (pictured together) before she disappeared
The Dover Heights home where Melissa Caddick was last seen on November 12, 2020 before she vanished
Koletti said it wasn’t difficult to watch Caddick’s things go to the highest bidders.
‘The most difficult part is losing the love of your life, unnecessarily,’ he said.
‘Material objects come and go but love lost is very tough.’
And despite contesting the sale of their home, Koletti said he and Caddick’s son moved out voluntarily in the end.
The pair had lived in the luxury property, which sold for an estimated $10million in October, for about a year-and-a-half after she was presumed dead.
But Koletti said the decision to move out was made because he didn’t want the insolvency group to go after the Edgecliff apartment Caddick’s elderly parents are living in.
The place was partly bought with stolen funds, so liquidators wanted to sell it to recoup some cash and pay her investors back.
The future of the unit is still up in the air.
Anthony Koletti is pictured with Ms Bradshaw inside her salon, The Hair Angel. He is excited about his new job
A NEW BEGINNING
After two years of hell, Koletti says it’s time to look forward and is excited about relaunching his professional career.
His new boss, Ms Bradshaw, said she had warnings from people about hiring Koletti – some thought she’d lose business, while others simply didn’t like the idea.
But the salon owner said that, at the end of the day, she made a decision based on what she felt was right.
‘He’s done nothing wrong. He deserves to get a job and earn money,’ she said.
‘Of course I’ve read the news and I know the situation, but he’s a good hairdresser and, when he came in, I realised he was really talented and really lovely and my clients love him.’
‘His work is excellent, and that’s what I’m judging him on.
While some clients have recognised him, he’s grateful that no one has asked him any awkward questions.
‘Our team here and clients are so lovely,’ Ms Bradshaw said. ‘They’re all so supportive.’
Detective Inspector Gretchen Atkins and Detective Sergeant Michael Foscholo are scheduled to give further evidence on Tuesday as the coronial inquest into Caddick’s death draws to a close.
In September, Det Insp Atkins told the inquiry Mr Koletti was not considered a suspect.
‘There’d been searches at the house, there’d been conversations with Mr Koletti … there was no evidence of homicide,’ Det Insp Atkins said.
On Monday, the inquiry heard from Detective Sergeant Michael Kyneur, initially the officer-in-charge of the investigation into her disappearance, who said Mr Koletti ‘always appeared confused’.
‘He kept on telling me she was going to show up at court and that she had a lot of cash, I think he told me,’ Det Sgt Kyneur said.
The investigation ‘snowballed very quickly’ after a press conference held a week after Caddick was reported missing.
Det Sgt Kyneur notified the homicide squad the next day and was no longer the officer-in-charge shortly after.
Detective Chief Inspector Glen Browne, manager of the NSW missing persons registry when Caddick vanished, said on Monday he found out about her disappearance four days after the initial report.
In a conversation with Det Sgt Kyneur, Det Insp Browne reminded him to keep an open mind.
‘I got a sense from the conversation that the primary line of inquiry is that Melissa was avoiding being located,’ Det Insp Browne said.