‘I wish this was not happening’: Inside Ultra Tune boss’s break-up
The ex-partner of Ultra Tune franchise tycoon Sean Buckley has opened up on their bizarre three-year relationship.
Jennifer Cruz Cole has detailed the whirlwind romance which started mid-2017 with them "inseparable" living a "lavish lifestyle".
As Mr Buckley is locked in a legal fight to stop the release of tapes Ms Cole made of their conversations, she has given an exclusive interview with the Saturday Herald Sun revealing her former high-flying lifestyle, how she was made to take a lie-detector test and her sadness over their break up.
She said the former couple lived at Crown in Melbourne for a large chunk of 2020 but now have no contact - after breaking up over a month ago - despite being parents to a two-year-old daughter.
She described a rollercoaster 2020 which shifted from talk of engagement and shopping for a ring to breaking up and feeling she's now "drowning" as a single mum in a legal minefield without a lawyer.
She says she genuinely loved and was "fascinated" by the wealthy Ultra Tune owner whose roadside assist and car repair operation numbers 300 franchises. The then working elective surgery nurse says they became an item in July 2017 after meeting at Melbourne's Crown casino years after she first starred in one of Ultra Tune's infamously controversial TV ads, with Pamela Anderson.
Early in the relationship, Ms Cole said they "were inseparable".
"We just got along really well. He was fun to be with, it was easy, obviously there was the nice luxury part of life."
Ms Cole said she prefers older men: "There is less bullshit and I find their stories fascinating - they have been through life.
"Hot guys who are young and cool are good to look at but I like being courted. It was a lavish lifestyle. I was completely delusional these kind of people existed - I had never been exposed to that kind of money.
"I actually was fascinated by Sean - the part he showed me. We had some amazing times together which I definitely know were genuine."
Asked how she feels now, she replied: "Nothing. I loved him … but now I don't feel anything. I wish this was not happening but I have tried everything for this not to happen so at least I can stand there and say I have tried and you are not going to let me go.
Ms Cole says their messy break up is "not about money" but reveals she has gone from a weekly "allowance" of $1750 to $1250 then $1000 - which will now become $463.
Her overwhelming emotion is "sad because I didn't want this … an eye for an eye doesn't work like that."
She says she has only decided to speak out due to the recordings saga being made public against her wishes earlier this week and has revealed she was made to take a lie-detector test to confirm she had been faithful - which Mr Buckley, via a lawyer, has confirmed.
She has also revealed she did several weekends helping fill in for COVID-impacted medicos during the height of the pandemic lockdown in Melbourne.
But due to Mr Buckley's fears about being in his 60s and getting the virus, she was discouraged from doing so and he offered to pay her double what she was getting not to do it, she claimed.
Earlier this week it was revealed Ms Cole had made recordings in the latter part of their relationship - and lawyers for Mr Buckley had asked for signed undertakings from her and former senior Ultra Tune staffer Anthony Swords to destroy them by 2pm last Friday.
Neither has done so and a legal representative for Mr Buckley says an application for injunctions to stop dissemination of them will be lodged in the Federal Court.
Ms Cole said she recorded some interactions due to things in the relationship which she wanted proof of as "no one is going to believe me".
Mr Swords had been a general manager of GattoCorp - a debt collection agency using the surname of underworld identity turned businessman Mick Gatto.
But he more recently says he worked for Ultra Tune as a senior risk manager and running Ultra Tune Thoroughbreds.
He said he had no fear of Mr Buckley.
"I'm not scared of him, his cheque book and I'm not backing down," Mr Swords said. "She is alienated from everyone. She has no friends she can trust. I feel for her."
Mr Buckley's lawyer acknowledged the lie detector test was "to check her fidelity".
"He had bought a ring. They were going to get engaged. (But) the test was void because her heart rate was too high. It's just a normal request. It may sound quirky but people do that."
Mr Buckley's lawyer said he would pay what he was legally required to for their child: "Sean says he has spent $300,000 on her rent, hand bags, jewellery. She has done very well. The relationship has broken down and he is not meant to pay for everything in her life any more."
Originally published as 'I wish this was not happening': Inside Ultra Tune boss's break-up