Australian Olympic golden girl Sam Riley reveals the horrible toll her ‘nightmare’ five-year legal battle took on her family
- Swimming legend Sam Riley break her silence over her five year legal battle
- Dragged through the courts over a former swim schools sold to Alex Brown
- Swim school went bust shortly after Brown took over, who later launched lawsuit
- Brown lost Supreme Court case and ordered to pay $70,000 counterclaim
- Dual Olympian broke silence after Brown’s failed business went into liquidation
Former swimming world champion Samantha Riley has opened up about the emotional and financial nightmare a lengthy legal battle has had on her family.
The Gold Coast-based dual Olympic medallist has spent the last five years being dragged through the courts over a former swim school operation at Capalaba, southeast of Brisbane.
The Summer Swim facility, which traded as Capalaba Swim Stars, went bankrupt just four months after Ms Riley sold it to swim coach Alex Brown in September 2014.
Mr Brown claimed in court Ms Riley agreed to train the new owner and staff for six months after the business changed hands.
Sam Riley has broken her silence over being dragged through the courts for five years
Despite Ms Riley helping run the school while Mr Brown was seriously ill in hospital with meningitis, he later launched a $1.5 million lawsuit against her company Sam Riley Promotions, claiming it had failed to provide training and support.
It was also alleged a senior employee quit two months after the business changed hands because Ms Riley poached her for another business she owned, a claim she denied.
The former Australian breaststroke champion finally broke her silence after Mr Brown’s failed Summer Swim School business was placed into liquidation this week.
Samantha Riley won two gold medals at the 1994 world swimming championships
She said she finds it hard to comprehend the insanity of being dragged through the courts for so long and said the ordeal had put her and husband Tim Fydler through emotional and financial turmoil.
‘Everyone deserves to have their day in court, but this has just been a nightmare,’ Riley told the Courier Mail.
‘He (Brown) has lost case after case but he just keeps lodging these ridiculous applications that have taken a huge toll on us financially and emotionally. It’s like there’s no stopping him.
The legal stoush was over a failed swim school (pictured), which was eventually brought back by Ms Riley’s company before it was sold and rebranded by new owners
Robson Cotter Insolvency will handle the winding up of the company.
Brown lost his lawsuit in the Supreme Court in March, where he was also ordered to pay Riley’s $70,000 counterclaim.
He applied to the Federal Court to set aside the Supreme Court demand notice to dispute the debt, which was dismissed last month.
Further action by Brown in the Supreme Court is pending.
Ms Riley said she once felt sorry for Mr Brown but has now had enough.
Samantha Riley (pictured) said the legal battle had taken an emotional and financial toll on her and her husband Tim Fydler
‘What happened to him was unfortunate, but it wasn’t our fault,’ Ms Riley said.
‘His company was obviously insolvent, and putting it into liquidation was not the path we wanted to go down, but he just kept kicking the can down the road.’
Ms Riley’s business brought back the failed facility after it went bust in early 2015.
It was eventually brought by triple Olympian Ashley Callus later in 2015 and renamed Aqua Champs Swim Schools.
Ms Riley was Australia’s swimming golden girl in the 1990s with a silver and two bronze medals at two Olympic Games in 1992 and 1996.
She also won two gold in the 100 and 200 metre breaststroke events at the 1994 world championships in Rome.