Last scientologist quietly leaves the court of James Packer



 Nearly a decade since PS first revealed James Packer had walked away from the Church of Scientology, the billionaire has expunged the last Scientologist from his inner circle.

PS has confirmed that former high-profile Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis, who was hired by Packer in May last year, has quietly parted ways from Packer’s CPH investment company.

Private Sydney: Packer parts ways with Scientologist

Nearly a decade since PS first revealed James Packer had walked away from the Church of Scientology, the billionaire has expunged the last Scientologist from his inner circle. Andrew Hornery investigates

Insiders have assured PS it was due to Packer’s withdrawal from the US gaming market, having pulled out of his multibillion-dollar ambitions to build a giant casino in Las Vegas.

Davis was also enlisted to oversee Packer’s investment in the RatPac film-making venture with Brett Ratner, which the billionaire gaming mogul sold out of two months ago, effectively killing off Davis’ involvement.

Old friends: James Packer in 2005 aboard Arctic P with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (right) and Tommy Davis (shirtless, far left).

Old friends: James Packer in 2005 aboard Arctic P with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (right) and Tommy Davis (shirtless, far left). Photo: Wade Laube

Davis, the son of American actor Anne Archer, came to international fame when he appeared on a BBC documentary in 2007. He was on the receiving end of a shout-down from British journalist John Sweeney who accused Davis of meddling with his work as a journalist covering the controversial church.

But Davis was well known to Packer before that, having been photographed aboard the billionaire’s superyacht the Arctic P on Sydney Harbour with Tom Cruise and his then partner Katie Holmes, who had flown to Australia for the late Kerry Packer’s memorial service in 2005.

More recently Packer’s former fiancee, Mariah Carey, has reportedly accused Davis of being one of the main causes in their relationship breakdown, which led to the couple breaking off their engagement. Carey’s “people” accused Davis of “poisoning” her relationship with Packer.

Eighteen months ago, as Packer started dating Carey, Davis was photographed with Packer’s second ex-wife, Erica, in Hollywood, another indication of just how intimate he had become with the billionaire’s inner sanctum.

It is not clear if Davis will be attending Erica Packer’s 40th birthday celebrations next month in Aspen, which PS previously revealed.

However, planning is well underway for the three-day affair, with a guest list including Collette Dinnigan and Karl Stefanovic, along with Erica’s former mother-in-law Ros Packer and ex-sister-in-law Gretel.

PS has also confirmed that ex-husband James Packer is also on the guest list and is due to be there, while one name that has been noticeably absent is her most recent former boyfriend, Seal, who is now rumoured to be dating fellow Australian, Delta Goodrem.

Packer and his ex-wife have remained close since they split in 2013 after six years of marriage and three children.

Prince Frederik to take helm of Wild Oats

It seems only fitting that the King of Hamilton Island would allow the future King of Denmark to use one of his thoroughbred racing yachts at next month’s Race Week regatta.

And so it will be that Crown Prince Frederik has chartered billionaire Sandy Oatley’s Wild Oats 66 yacht to compete in a few weeks time, bringing with him a crew of his sailing buddies from Europe and picking up a few locals too, including America’s Cup legend Ian Murray, who has signed on as tactician.

Sandy Oatley has also given him his son-in-law, Sydney to Hobart sailing veteran Troy Tindill, husband of Oatley heiress Nicky, to join the royal Danish crew.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 12: Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark gives the thumbs up to the crowd during a visit to the Aquatic Centre during the swimming on day three of the 2009 Sydney World Masters Games at on October 12, 2009 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark is heading Down Under to indulge his love fo sailing and compete in the Race Week regatta. Photo: Mark Kolbe

But is not clear if Princess Mary will be joining Fred on the Coral Sea, the racing action coinciding with school commitments for their four children, though a few days on the Whitsundays would be hard for her to turn down.

Prince Frederik is a keen sailor, being a competitive Farr 40 skipper as well as an accomplished Dragon boater.

In 2005, Prince Frederik learnt that Australian girls played to win when his then new bride beat him 2-1 in a series of 20-minute yacht races on Sydney Harbour.

Princess Mary allowed Prince Frederik a best-of-three rematch after she had won a race before their wedding in Copenhagen.

SYDNEY, NSW - FEBRUARY 27: Prince Mary of Denmark sails her yacht during a friendly race against 'Suntzun', his wife's, Princess Mary's, yacht, on 27 February 2005 on Sydney Harbour, 2005. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

Prince Mary of Denmark was in winning form when she raced against her husband Prince Frederik in 2005. Photo: Daniel Berehulak

Dressed in black shorts and a white windcheater, Princess Mary joined forces with sailor Chris Meehan on board a Farr 40 class yacht, to win the first and third races against her husband who skippered his own yacht Nanoq.

Chris Meehan was Prince Mary’s old boss when she was simply Mary Donaldson who worked at Belle Property. Meehan, a keen sailor, is said to have been instrumental in getting Prince Frederik to Hamilton Island for Race Week.

He will be competing with 200 other boats that have entered this year’s event, a much needed boost for locals still recovering from the devastation of Cyclone Debbie.

Barber brothers preserve piece of past

The linoleum is worn-through around the barber’s chair, but it’s spotless. So too are the faux marble benches that are in pristine condition. As is the flocked wallpaper and the shelves neatly filled with 1960s Italian pop records, an array of vinyl singles capturing the sound of another era that hair maestro Angelo Perri and his “baby” brother Tony still crank up occasionally on the timber-panelled sound system.

“Scissors and comb… never go out of fashion,” says Calabrian-born Angelo, 65, neatly turned out in his fitted barber’s smock and tie as he works his mastery on yet another client, his 10th for the day and it’s yet to reach noon. Indeed, it has been the same routine for the past 50 years, having started at the salon as an apprentice in 1967.

Barber Angelo Perri - short sleeve and his brother Tony, in their barber shop, Paris Style Hairdresser, in Cabramatta which they have run for over 50 years. Photographed Thursday 27th July 2017. Photograph by James Brickwood. SMH NEWS 170727

Barber Angelo Perri keeps busy at Paris Style Hairdresser, which looks like a perfectly preserved time capsule from the mid-1960s, in Cabramatta. Photo: James Brickwood

Today, PS’s spotlight shines on the Paris Style Hairdresser shop, tucked away in the back streets of Cabramatta, a perfectly preserved time capsule from the mid-1960s that has survived, frozen in time, while the suburb around it has experienced an extraordinary physical and cultural transformation.

“I’m the kind of person who likes to leave some history behind. I still got my first car, an Austin,” Angelo explains when asked why he resisted the urge to change his ordered little shop.

But his 58-year-old little brother Tony suspects when people come to visit the shop they “think we’re dinosaurs”.

Hardly. What the Perri family has is a unique piece of Sydney’s suburban history, one of the last remnants of an era that has been comprehensively bulldozed in the name of supposed progress across the city.

Barber Angelo Perri - short sleeve and his brother Tony, in their barber shop, Paris Style Hairdresser, in Cabramatta which they have run for over 50 years. Photographed Thursday 27th July 2017. Photograph by James Brickwood. SMH NEWS 170727

Angelo Perri (left) and his brother Tony run a special piece of Sydney’s suburban history. Photo: James Brickwood

“I think I made a mistake when I bought this place,” Angelo sagely admits. “There was a block of land for sale next door for $6000, the same price as the business. But I thought I would always have an income from the shop … the land is worth millions now.”

Nowhere is the change in Cabramatta more evident than in the customers who visit Angelo six days a week. In the 1960s they were named Gino, Luigi or Boris, their accents still echoing their European roots. Today those customers are named An, Bao and Lap, many of them men from the first wave of Vietnamese migration to Australia.

“Cabramatta was once filled with European barber shops, delicatessens and European cafes,” says Tony, as he surveys the shops around him, selling steaming pho, karaoke machines and blinged-up phone accessories.

“In the 1980s when the drug trade was at its height business suffered. But today it is a very vibrant community. I think there are more people out there on John Street then in half the shopping malls across the city. We’ve survived it all.”

DJ’s big plans have staff jumpy

As David Jones forges ahead with plans to recreate its flagship Elizabeth Street store with a $200 million makeover following the sale of the men’s store on Market Street, PS hears murmurs that not everyone is enamoured with the mooted changes.

Indeed some long-term staff have been left wondering what their future at the retailer will be as plans for a new mega luxury department store are hatched featuring an entire floor, level seven, dedicated to luxury women’s footwear.

PS hears the retailer, which is now owned by South Africa’s Woolworths, is keen to ensure the staff have the right “look” to go with their bold new retail space. Meanwhile next week the store will unveil its new Neil Perry-inspired food hall at Bondi Junction, our first taste of things to come for the grand dame of Sydney shopping.

Roxy’s rings are all the talk

Roxy Jacenko’s new diamond engagement ring – her second from former jailbird husband Oliver Curtis – is an impressive six-carat whopper, worth about the same amount as the Bentley she parks so conspicuously around the streets of Paddington.

Roxy jacenko engagement ring. Photo: @roxyjacenko on Instagram

Roxy Jacenko’s engagement ring has been getting a serious airing. Photo: @roxyjacenko / Instagram

The rock has been getting a good workout on social media, with the sort of hand modelling that would put a New Price Is Right model to shame. But what has has happened to the $50,000 eternity ring, fashioned from a diamond pendant her former boyfriend Nabil Gazal jnr gave her while Curtis was cooling his heels at Cooma prison?

It appears to have vanished as have the embarrassing paint blotches, which recently adorned her offices in Paddo, courtesy of someone who clearly had an axe to grind with the one-woman publicity-seeking missile. And still no word on who the culprit was. Interesting.


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