Two high-flying power couples who were once inseparable have been torn apart by a love triangle scandal that has captivated Australia.
Millionaire publican Christopher Nasser was close friends with investment banker Charlie Aitken and director of his firm Aitken Investment Management.
His socialite wife Hollie was also best friends with Mr Aitken’s partner and hotshot lawyer-turned-fashion-guru Ellie.
For years, the quartet were inseparable – taking luxurious international trips together and raising their young families as business partners and best friends.
The two couples mingled in high society and circles that included the likes of Julie Bishop, Russell Crowe and James Packer.
The two couples used to travel together and raised their young families as business partners and friends. Pictured dining at Eleven Madison Park in New York before the Covid pandemic
The Nassers and Aitkens were two of Sydney’s biggest high-flying power couples before a scandalous love triangle tore them apart (pictured, Hollie and Christopher Nasser)
Hollie regularly described her best friend’s marriage as perfect, telling them they were the ‘best couple’ and lavishing praise on their young family.
On Sunday, it became evident the friendships were damaged irreparably when Ellie shared a text exchange on Instagram accusing Hollie of ‘bullying’ her.
Last month, Mr Aitken revealed he and his wife of 19 years had separated, and he had struck up a relationship with Hollie.
Their former partners are ‘reeling’ from the revelation, with former friends saying they’ve all ‘distanced themselves’ and are ‘horrified with the nature of what’s gone on’.
But it isn’t just their personal lives impacted by the new coupling. Given their close business partnerships and standing within the community, the ramifications of the friendship split are reverberating throughout the eastern suburbs.
Their life of glitz and glamour suddenly came tumbling down after it was revealed Ms Nasser had been in a relationship with Mr Aitken (pictured, Ellie and Charlie Aitken)
The millionaire publican
Christopher Nasser was ‘totally blindsided’ when he learned of the new relationship between his wife of five years and business partner.
It’s understood he discovered the relationship via a baby monitor which was left on in his eastern suburbs marital home.
Mr Nasser is a millionaire publican who owned The Crescent, in Fairfield, Sydney’s west.
He was also an investor and director of the investment firm Aitken Investment Management – which was set up by Mr Aitken.
Mr Nasser reportedly funnelled between $5million and $10million into the firm since 2015.
He resigned from his role as director after the new relationship was made public in early November.
In his place, he appointed his brother Damien Nasser to take control of the family’s portfolio.
Hollie Nasser boasted of her picture perfect relationship after they wed in 2016
On Thursday, he sold down about $7.5 million from AIM’s global high conviction fund comprising a basket of high-performing international low to mid-cap stocks.
Friends have rallied behind Mr Nasser, describing him as an ‘upstanding guy’ who is struggling with the attention that has come with his relationship bust up.
Ms Nasser took out an apprehended violence order against him, which he plans to fight in court.
‘After being deeply hurt by the deception, choices and actions of other adult parties, I am disturbed that those actions have been followed by manufactured and dishonest claims now being made about me,’ he said.
‘I categorically deny the allegations. They are totally baseless. It is disappointing that others are choosing to make a horrible situation for me and my children, even worse.’
The two couples mingled in high society and rotated in social circles that included the likes of Julie Bishop, Russell Crowe and James Packer (pictured, Ellie Aitken, in red, alongside former Liberal Party deputy leader Julie Bishop, centre, with Hollie Nasser, in blue, at Ms Aitken’s 40th birthday party in 2019)
Hollie Nasser is the wife of Mr Aitken’s investment partner Chris Nasser (both pictured). They have also separated
The investment banker
Mr Aitken is the investor and former stockbroker who created Aitken Investment Management.
AIM has drawn in big names such as Channel 7’s billionaire owner Kerry Stokes.
In June, Mr Stokes is said to have pulled all his investments from Mr Aitken’s funds.
The 48-year-old businessman has held top roles at several firms including director and head of Sydney Sales Trading at Citigroup, executive director and partner of Southern Cross Equities and executive director and board member of the ASX listed Bell Financial Group.
He took a leap of faith in 2015 launching his firm alongside his wife, selling up their spectacular $11million mansion in Darling Point to help free up cash.
Dressed casually in a black t-shirt and khaki shorts, Mr Aitken smiled as he stepped out of the black Audi SUV with Ms Nasser in tow
Last week, Mr Aitken confirmed his marriage to Ellie had ended and he was now in a relationship with Ms Nasser.
‘I can confirm I am separated from Ellie Aitken and am in a relationship with Hollie Nasser. My sole focus is my children and I’ll make no further comment,’ he said.
He was spotted with his new lover for the first time on Friday, dropping her at her marital home before putting on a united front with his ex at a rugby union awards night for their son.
By Sunday morning, the façade had shattered, when he was seen having a tense exchange with Ms Aitken and collecting clothes from her home.
Mr Aitken and his wife Ellie had been long-time friends of the Nasser’s, and Mr Nasser was a director of the Aitken’s wealth management company
Ellie Aitken, 42, smiled for the camera alongside her estranged husband Charlie and their son (pictured) at a sports event
The glamorous lawyer
Ms Aitken is a former corporate mergers and acquisitions lawyer at Clayton Utz and one time director of the NSW Polo Association.
She also served as an executive director of the investment business she shared with her husband. The 42-year-old has since resigned but maintains her role as director.
In 2011, she transitioned out of the legal sphere and into luxury lifestyle fashion with the launch of her label Aitken And Co.
The fashion store says on its website: ‘Ellie Aitken provides classic, beautifully-made clothes and accessories for women, men and children, as well as a luxurious gifts and homeware’.
Ms Aitken is also in high demand on the boards of charities and organisations including the Australian Ballet – making her one of the city’s finest networkers and charity fundraisers.
She’s been spotted at star-studded events alongside former Liberal Party Deputy Leader Julie Bishop and attended a pre-Oscars party in 2016 with Russell Crowe.
Ms Aitken joined rival investment business Pallas in September, before the marriage splits were confirmed on November 12.
It marked an end to 20 years of marriage.
Ellie Aitken and Hollie Nasser pictured left and right in one of the many photographs taken together
Ms Nasser was once employed as a medical research associate.
The Newcastle born 36-year-old has two young daughters and has become a socialite in recent years.
She married Mr Nasser in a glittering ceremony in Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral in 2016 before the reception at Quay restaurant.
She was best friends with Ms Aitken and the pair were feted as leading lights of Sydney’s social circuit, regularly photographed at functions and charity events.
Ms Nasser shared an insight into her relationship over the years with pictures of international holidays and helicopter trips
Just five years ago, Mr and Ms Nasser were happily married in a lavish ceremony at St Mary’s Cathedral, the new bride happily announcing they’d spend the rest of their lives together
Ms Nasser constantly described Mr Nasser as ‘the best husband and father’ she and her children could have ever hoped for – sharing photos of extravagant holidays, helicopter trips and days at sea on luxury yachts.
‘The most amazing husband and dad,’ she wrote alongside a photo of Mr Nasser and his daughter. ‘You are our everything. We love you so much.’
Ms Nasser was simultaneously telling her best friend she had a ‘perfect family’ and that she and Mr Aitken were ‘the best couple’.
On one occasion, she described Ms Aitken as ‘the most beautiful soul’.
Ms Nasser emerged from the house again hours later wrapped up in a light knitted sweater
HIGH SOCIETY SPLIT – THE TIMELINE
Ellie Aitken, a lawyer-turned fashion designer, joins an investment business Pallas, which is a rival to her husband’s company Aitken Investment Management
October 16 :
Ms Aitken posts a gushing birthday message to her friend Hollie Nasser, saying she is ‘so lucky to have you in my life.’
It is publicly revealed the Aitken and Nasser marriages have both ended.
Mr Nasser, who is Mr Aitken’s business partner at Aitken Investment Management, resigns from his position as director of the board and is replaced by his brother Damien.
Ms Aitken also steps down as an executive from the company during the same weekend.
Police days later take out an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order against Mr Nasser on behalf of his estranged wife.
Mr Aitken confirms he is in a relationship with Ms Nasser.
‘I can confirm I am separated from Ellie Aitken and am in a relationship with Hollie Nasser,’ Aitken said.
‘My sole focus is my children and I’ll make no further comment.’
Mr Nasser speaks out about the AVO and announces he plans to fight the allegations when the case goes to court on December 15.
Mr Aitken is photographed running errands with Ms Nasser and taking items into her home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
Later that evening, Ms Aitken posts photos of her alongside Mr Aitken at their son’s Rugby awards night.
It is revealed Ms Nasser’s car has reportedly been vandalised, with someone scratching the word ‘slut’ on one of the doors
Ms Aitken leaks the heated messages between her and Ms Nasser as their friendship deteriorates .
Mr Aitken is later spotted at the family home, embroiled in a confrontation with Ellie as he picked up his clothes.
The Nassers are also spotted out together with their kids.