Cricket great Stuart MacGill has fired up when questioned the legitimacy of explosive claims that he was abducted and held at gunpoint, as police revealed a trip to Bunnings by two mystery men could hold the key to what really happened.
The retired leg spinner was allegedly confronted by three men in Cremorne, in Sydney’s lower North Shore on April 14, bundled into a car and driven 60km to a two hectare property in Bringelly in the city’s south-west.
He was allegedly stripped naked and beaten until he blacked out in a decrepit shack by captors who threatened to cut off his fingers if he didn’t hand over $150,000 in what police say was a botched cocaine deal that MacGill had nothing to do with.
On Monday evening, the former cricketer appeared shaken and reeling on A Current Affair in his first interview since his alleged nightmare ordeal.
In the explosive interview, host Simon Bouda asked MacGill if he had been ‘totally truthful’ when relaying the kidnapping story to police.
Pictured: Two men caught on CCTV camera walking in to Bunnings, two hours before MacGill was allegedly kidnapped, are now being sought by police
Pictured: Stuart MacGill, who was allegedly kidnapped and held at gunpoint in April
For the 50-year-old, the question harked back to a court hearing in May when a lawyer for the defence told Sutherland Local Court, ‘One wonders, Your Honour, whether there was indeed a kidnapping’ – sparking a media frenzy.
Mr Bouda asked: ‘Have you been totally truthful, all the way along?’
MacGill, who said he spends about 20 hours each day dwelling on the ordeal, breathed deeply and said: ‘I’ve got to caution you not to push me too hard on this.’
‘I’m not even going to answer that and I’m disappointed that you’d ask the question.’
‘I’ve got to ask the question,’ Mr Bouda said.
‘Okay, well I’ll answer it this way: I’m disappointed that you’ve asked the question,’ MacGill repeated.
McGill is pictured with his partner, Maria O’Meagher. The pair ran a Greek restaurant together, which has since closed down
Four men have been charged over the alleged kidnapping, including Marino Sotiropoulos, 46, the brother of MacGill’s girlfriend Maria O’Meagher, but two others are still at large.
The program also released CCTV footage of two suspects who walked into a Bunnings hardware store two hours before the alleged kidnapping.
A detective said the pair ‘bought some items we believed are associated with the incident’, but police have not managed to track them down.
A computer generated image of a street-level drug dealer believed to be at the heart of the case, known only as Sonny or Zac, was also revealed on the program.
‘We’re still continuing our inquiries, attempting to identify and confirm his identification and locate him,’ the detective said.
MacGill was allegedly kidnapped near his Cremorne home and driven about 60km to Bringelly before being released in Burwood Road, Belmore after a four-hour ordeal on April 14
He is described as a Middle Eastern male with a full-face beard, and brown eyes.
Authorities believe he has been driving a white Toyota Camry with an Uber sticker in the window.
MacGill says he introduced Sonny to Sotiropoulos at the Greek restaurant he ran with Ms O’Meagher in Neutral Bay, Aristotle’s.
‘We consider ourselves to be the innocent parties in this one. Part of hospitality is making sure the room works. We introduce people to other people all the time,’ he told the program.
‘We introduce people to other people as a matter of building, generating a bit of heat around the venue and that’s pretty much all you need to know.’
Stuart MacGill was allegedly held at gunpoint at this Bringelly home (pictured) on Sydney’s south-western outskirts on April 14
Walls and floors inside the vacant property (pictured) were covered in filth and grime
When asked how he knew Sonny, MacGill said: ‘He was somebody we met through the restaurant and that’s all I’m pretty much prepared to say about that.’
Mr Sotiropoulos allegedly tried to supply Sonny with 2kg of cocaine, worth about $660,000, but there was an argument over the payment – which allegedly prompted Mr Sotiropoulos to demand $150,000 in payment from MacGill for introducing them.
Court documents say that Mr Sotiropoulos told an undercover cop that MacGill ‘vouched for Zac, even benefiting from exchange,’ but police have repeatedly insisted that the cricketer is a victim and has not been involved in any wrongdoing.
He has told police that Sonny was 34 years old, 188cm (6′ 2″) tall, heavily built, of Lebanese appearance with little hair, a beard and an Australian accent.
Stuart MacGill is the general manager of the Greek restaurant Aristotle’s at Neutral Bay. His girlfriend, Maria O’Meagher, is the owner. It is not suggested she had any role in the alleged kidnapping
‘I initially met him when he came in making inquiries about buying a restaurant,’ MacGill told police in a statement tendered in court.
‘I’ve known Sonny for about three to four years, he’s friends with some of my friends. He would even give me Christmas presents and buy Maria flowers.
‘Sonny was also a drug dealer and had said on occasion, “There’ll never be any problems when I’m around”.’
MacGill said he never had anything to do with Sonny’s drug dealing and could no longer find him.
Four men were arrested and charged after Stuart MacGill was allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint
MacGill (pictured, sitting in the back seat)was driven away from his home at Cremorne to give a statement after four men were arrested in relation to his alleged kidnapping on May 5
‘I considered Sonny a friend but I didn’t know his surname,’ he said in his police statement.
After his alleged four-hour kidnapping ordeal, MacGill was released and caught a taxi back to the lower north shore and spent five days staying in hotels before going to the police.
‘I was scared for my safety,’ he told the program.
‘I was in pain, and and also it fell over the weekend so i couldn’t get advice from police or lawyers, and I wasn’t thinking clearly in those first couple of days.’
MacGill, who has two teenage children with ex-wife Rachel Friend, has been in a de factor relationship with Ms O’Meagher for five years, but the couple does not live together.