John Trimble, chief executive of Planet Platinum.
John Trimble, chief executive of Planet Platinum.

Ex-sex tsar fights bankruptcy bids

A FORMER brothel owner from the Gold Coast whose infamous uncle was portrayed in a series of the hit TV show Underbelly has been slapped with two bankruptcy notices, a court has heard.

John Dennis Trimble, 72, from Benowa, nephew of mafia crime boss "Aussie Bob" Trimbole, had his case against his former lawyers Lennon Mazzeo, from Melbourne, heard in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane before Registrar Michael Buckingham.

Robert “Aussie Bob” Trimbole.
Robert “Aussie Bob” Trimbole.

The court was told that another creditor, former licensed brothel receptionist Gabriella Rosa, had also slapped Mr Trimble, her former employer, with a bankruptcy notice, to be heard on Friday in Melbourne.

Lawyer Brendan Pitman, for Mr Trimble, told the court that Mr Trimble wanted the court to set-aside a bankruptcy notice Lennon Mazzeo issued him on April 24, demanding payment of between $106,254 and $111,943 of allegedly unpaid legal fees.

The bankruptcy notice was issued after Mr Trimble failed to pay $94,564 awarded by the Magistrates Court of Victoria in September last year, the court heard.

Lawyer Adam Lopez, from Lennon Mazzeo, told the court that his firm previously acted for Mr Trimble and his companies, but he failed to pay the invoices.

Mr Pitman argued the Lennon Mazzeo bankruptcy notice was invalid because it failed to include some payments Mr Trimble had made last year.

Lennon Mazzeo acted for Mr Trimble and Daily Planet Australia Pty Ltd, then in liquidation, in 2016 and 2017 when Ms Rosa succeeded in a case against them in the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne, court documents state.

The court ruled that Daily Planet Australia pressured Ms Rosa to give up her part-time job and make her a casual, and then dismissed her from her job when she wouldn't agree to become casual.

Notorious madam Heidi Fleiss in Melbourne for the launch on the Australian Stock Exchange of the Daily Planet. File picture
Notorious madam Heidi Fleiss in Melbourne for the launch on the Australian Stock Exchange of the Daily Planet. File picture

The court ordered Daily Planet Australia pay Ms Rosa $92,411 for threatening to alter her employment arrangements and then dismissing her, and Mr Trimble was found to be jointly liable for the $92,411.

Mr Trimble is the former owner of Melbourne's best-known brothel The Daily Planet, which closed last year after 44 years.

He famously brought Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss to Melbourne for the launch of his stockmarket-listed brothel and strip club Planet Platinum. Planet Platinum went bust in 2015.

His uncle, Bob Trimbole, was portrayed in the TV series Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities, and was described by a Royal Commission as a massive marijuana and heroin dealer in the 1970s and '80s and he is believed to have arranged the contract style killing of politician and anti-drugs campaigner Donald Mackay in 1977.

Bob Trimbole was never charged over Mackays death and died in Spain in 1987.

Ms Rosa's application to bankrupt Mr Trimble is set for hearing in the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne on July 1.

Mr Trimble's case against Lennon Mazzeo returns to court in Brisbane on June 26.

Neither party responded to requests for comment.