Geoffrey Edelsten’s fixation with dating younger women saw him fall victim to a blackmail attempt on at least one occasion.
Leaked emails between Edelsten and a journalist from January 2018 reveal how a European prostitute known as ‘Sonja’ conned him out of thousands of dollars after they made contact on a sugar daddy website in 2016.
Despite never meeting in person, the prostitute convinced the ailing multimillionaire to send her money and fund her international travel – before she demanded €2,500 ($3,900) from him or she’d speak to the press.
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Geoffrey Edelsten’s fixation with dating younger women saw him fall victim to a blackmail attempt on at least one occasion. Pictured in Sydney on July 21, 2015
The extortion plot emerged this week after the flamboyant businessman died alone in his Melbourne apartment last Friday at the age of 78.
Edelsten fired off a rambling email to the journalist at 4am on January 11, 2018, after the prostitute attempted to blackmail him by threatening to sell her story.
He feared Sonja was trying to involve media outlets in her scheme to extort him out of even more money, after he’d already transferred thousands to her bank account.
He also worried Sonja’s plot would thwart his plans to reconcile with his estranged wife Gabi Grecko, whom he had married in June 2015 but split from months later.
The extortion plot emerged this week after the flamboyant businessman died alone in his Melbourne apartment last Friday at the age of 78. Pictured during his ’80s heyday as owner of the Sydney Swans AFL team
Edelsten provided a detail chronology of their interactions after making contact on the sugar daddy website two years earlier – including his cash transactions.
Speaking of his online relationship with Sonja around 2016, he said: ‘She asked repeatedly for small amounts of money saying she was broke and couldn’t pay her rent. I did help several times.’
But Sonja, who is believed to be from Eastern Europe, kept making excuses when Edelsten encouraged her to visit him in Australia.
Leaked emails between Edelsten and a journalist from January 2018 reveal how a European prostitute known as ‘Sonja’ conned him out of thousands of dollars after they made contact on a sugar daddy website in 2016
‘In both 2016 and 2017 she said she would come and visit me. She never turned up,’ he explained.
‘In [November] 2017, she said she was coming to Sydney and if I pay for a Sydney-to-Melbourne flight she will visit. I provided a ticket and went to the airport and waited for four hours. She didn’t turn up.
‘She never contacted me until the end of  when she told me she didn’t come because she met a guy in Sydney who offered her $10,000 a night for a week.
Edelsten’s emails reveal how the prostitute threatened to expose him in the press, and even said she would tell his estranged wife Gabi Grecko (right) about their relationship when they were on the verge of reconciling
‘This was the reason she gave for not coming to Melbourne in November 2017. She [then] said she wanted me to pay for her trip to Melbourne. I refused but said I would reimburse her. She didn’t reply.’
Edelsten then explained how, in December 2017, Ms Grecko renewed contact with him ‘and after intense communication we decided we would renew our marriage’.
They agreed to ‘renew our vows in a NYC synagogue before a rabbi and two witnesses’ and from this time onwards he had ‘no contact’ with Sonja.
However, after Sonja read about Edelsten and Grecko’s reconciliation in the press, she contacted various media outlets trying to sell her story in January 2018.
She then told Edelsten she was in contact via email with a reporter and demanded €2,500 for her silence.
Sonja also allegedly ‘threatened to tell Gabi’ about their online relationship, even though they only spoke when he and Ms Grecko were separated.
Edelsten bemoaned in the email about being fooled by another prostitute, saying: ‘It was only this week I found out. I didn’t know before this but should have suspected.’
He added: ‘I had nothing to do with her after Gabi and I reconciled. I would urge you not to give her story any credence. It is factually wrong and she is an evil whore. I am pursuing her criminal actions with police and Interpol.’
He signed off his emails ‘Dr. Geoffrey Edelsten’, despite the fact he’d been struck off the medical registry decades earlier.
Geoffrey died alone aged 78 at his Melbourne apartment on Friday, June 11 – which coincidentally was the anniversary of his wedding to Ms Grecko.
He was buried on Wednesday in a traditional Jewish ceremony, where one mourner remembered him as trusting man whom others would take advantage of.
Geoffrey died on Friday, June 11 – which coincidentally was the anniversary of his wedding to Ms Grecko. Pictured during his relationship with Gabi circa 2005
Edelsten was born in Melbourne on May 2, 1943 and spent most of his years surrounded by controversy.
Born in Carlton to Jewish migrant parents, he studied at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 1966.
After working as a resident at the Royal Melbourne Hospital he became a GP, and with a colleague established a practice in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
In the 1980s he set up a string of open-all-hours medical clinics that featured grand pianos and chandeliers in the waiting rooms. Patients, who were bulk-billed, flocked to the clinics.
He was deregistered in NSW in 1988 and later in Victoria.
He became, by his own description, a “white knight” of the Swans in 1985 as they faced dire financial pressure and concerns they couldn’t survive.
Edelsten is pictured with his third wife, Gabi Grecko, in Melbourne on September 22, 2014
He spent time in jail, found guilty in 1990 of soliciting a well known hit-man, Christopher Dale Flannery, to assault a former patient.
Edelsten claimed bankruptcy in both Australia and the United States in 2014, citing a number of bad business deals including “splurging” millions on ghetto estates going cheap during the U.S. mortgage crisis.
Even when his controversial career seemed to crash and burn, Edelsten always seemed to find a way back.
Always a colourful fixture of Melbourne’s social scene, his unconventional lifestyle demanded attention.
Edelsten is pictured with his second wife, Brynne Gordon, in Melbourne on November 5, 2013
Edelsten’s first marriage was to model Leanne Nesbitt in the early 1980s
He owned mansions, helicopters and a fleet of expensive cars with licence plates emblazoned with ‘macho’, ‘spunky’ and ‘sexy’.
He published a book in 2011 titled Enigma, covering his life as a musical entrepreneur, career as a country doctor and city businessman.
But it was his relationships with pretty young blondes that kept him in the spotlight.
He was buried on Wednesday in a traditional Jewish ceremony, where one mourner remembered him as trusting man whom others would take advantage of
He divorced first wife Leanne, a model, in 1988 after a three-year marriage, then married American fitness instructor Brynne Gordon in 2009 when she was 40 years his junior.
Again the nuptials didn’t last, with Brynne calling it off after four years.
Less than a year later he proposed to Gabi Grecko, 46 years his junior, at the Melbourne Cup.
Their on-again-off-again relationship received much attention following Ms Grecko’s outlandish social media outbursts and revealing photos.
The ever-romantic Edelsten got down on one knee dressed in his brashest yellow suit before the waiting media.
She’d already proposed to him months earlier, but he wanted to make it official.
Their love bubble burst not long after, with claims of infidelity on Edelsten’s behalf, and a range of public spats.
By 2016 a bankrupt Edelsten was being chased by more than 40 creditors in Australia and the US, including the Australian Taxation Office, for millions of dollars.
In 2017 he sought an apprehended violence order against ex-wife Grecko, though she was then back in the US, and in 2019 he escaped penalty after being nabbed by police driving through Melbourne in an unregistered car.