‘Gay guys don't do graffiti’: Roxy Jacenko AVO bid fails
PR queen Roxy Jacenko has lost a court bid to keep a Bitcoin trader away from her after she accused him of calling her clients "fat bushpigs" and spray painting "Roxy is a c …" on the wall of her office.
Anthony Hess was called "puerile" and "juvenile" by a magistrate but cleared of intimidating and harassing Ms Jacenko after he told a Sydney court he was innocent because "gay guys don't do graffiti".
Mr Hess, a 39-year-old entrepreneur, masseuse and online clothes retailer bounced from the courtroom smiling on Thursday after Magistrate Allison Hawkins threw out Ms Jacenko's request for an apprehended violence order against him.
"The only crimes made today were Roxy's abuse of fashion and abuse of self-tanner," he told reporters outside court.
Mr Hess said he would celebrate his win at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras this weekend, before he hugged The Daily Telegraph's reporter.
Ms Jacenko, who had rushed from the court moments earlier in tears, had accused Mr Hess of a verbal clash with her clients at a $500-a-head speaking event at Sydney's The Ivy ballroom in February last year.
The mother-of-two previously told the court she was about to walk on stage at The Ivy to address 500 guests when Mr Hess began verbally abusing her.
But the magistrate would ultimately describe her evidence as "hollow" and "unpersuasive" after watching CCTV and footage from the event.
Mr Hess took the witness stand at a hearing on Thursday, when he told a different version of events than Ms Jacenko.
He said he had been targeted by two of her clients while downstairs earlier that evening.
"They came at me, they yelled out things, one about me having AIDS, one about me being a gay prostitute … I put my hands up and said 'Not now this is Roxy's event'," he told the court.
Mr Hess said the "homophobic" confrontation continued upstairs after Ms Jacenko's "disorganised" staff falsely told him he and his business partner would not be sat near the women.
When Mr Hess and his business partner found their seats the women, two sisters, were sitting right behind him - they flicked drink and called him a "f......" he told the court.
"I said (to Ms Jacenko's staff) 'They go or we go'. Would you want to be in a situation where you're being attacked by two women behind?" he asked Ms Jacenko's barrister, former Supreme Court judge Greg James QC.
Mr Hess denied Mr James' assertion he called the women "fat bushpigs", but admitted he said he had fallen out with them after his ex-boyfriend gave them access to a $14,000 Las Vegas hotel room which they had "trashed".
The cryptocurrency trader told the court he was deeply upset by the slurs and was leaving when Ms Jacenko came at him "like a steam train".
Mr James said Mr Hess was "resentful" after he was booted from the event and was expecting an apology and refund from Ms Jacenko.
When the PR queen offered up neither, Mr James alleged, Mr Hess vandalised her property.
Mr Hess denied the accusation saying vandalism is "not his style".
"I'm more of a fun, jokey, outgoing, comedy sort of guy," he said.
"I'm not violent, I'm not a criminal doing graffiti - I'm your typical friendly gay guy.
"Gay guys don't do graffiti. Gay guys are known to have fun."
Mr James showed the court printouts of Mr Hess' Instagram account in which he made fun of a woman's dress and asked his followers if he should "abuse" an ex-boyfriend he'd run into.
Mr Hess shot back at Mr James saying they were jokes and he simply wasn't "in touch" with modern meme culture.
"You're not in the age of Instagram, in the age of memes and joking around … I think you're just not in touch with what's going on," he said to the esteemed legal practitioner.
The magistrate said she was familiar with the emojis and animated GIFs Mr Hess claimed were part of his comedic repertoire but said his posts were offensive and he appeared to lack social graces, dignity or decorum.
She said she believed Mr Hess had made the "bushpig" comment to the sisters but did not accept Ms Jacenko's case he was overly aggressive.
She also found there was not enough evidence to pin the graffiti on Mr Hess and refused to make an AVO against him.