After a lot of research and some assistance from others who know Andy, I have finally cracked the mystery brothel situation. Rather than edit the original post I feel it deserves its own explanation. And you can read the full story about Andy’s activities here.
Let’s start with what Andy told me and then we’ll move on to reality.
He told me that he had purchased a brothel in Kings Cross in Sydney for around $1.6 million in 2013, and still owned it. He took an 80% stake and another, silent partner had 20%. He said that he installed two former sex workers from Tasmania to run it.
He told me a number of things about running the brothel, all of which made me suspicious. The first was that they had managed to keep 90% of the original sex workers over that time. This is unheard of in the sex industry: it is not only quite transient as a whole but workers frequently move around looking for more money, due to clashes with other workers or management or because they have personal issues. Because there are no contracts there is nothing tying them to any one place.
The primary reason they had been able to keep these workers, according to Andy, was because of their tenacity doing the linen. He told me that when they had set up the brothel and he had asked the two sex workers what would be necessary to keep workers they had told him that having the linen done was the priority. This is laughable. Yes, the availability of linen is important, but that is hardly a challenge. Moreover, good rates and number of clients would be most sex workers’ primary consideration. I have never checked out a brothel and asked them about their linen. I doubt I would visit a place like that in the first place, because long before I saw the linen issues I would have ascertained that the rates were so low as to be insulting. Any place that is running out of linen is a dump.
Andy also told me stories about how the workers operated. These stories sounded much more like that of private workers than they did those of a brothel, unless it was a very new brothel just establishing itself and requiring the assistance of the sex workers to do that. They all involved workers finding clients for themselves and conducting services very different to the usual; the whole point of being in a brothel is so one doesn’t have to do that.
And, Andy said, all the workers operated on an honour system. As in, they charged their own rates and he took them at their word about what they were earning and took a 50% cut. No way, not unless you want to go out the back door fast……………oh, hang on. Not to mention that that would, again, not be a brothel, but rather a collection of private workers. It would certainly make any collective advertising and the development of the business as an actual brothel very difficult. He also told me the workers were charging around the $400/hour mark.
In September 2013, Andy and two associates, of the same names as the sex workers he said he had running the brothel, set up a company in Sydney called Cuzza’s Pty Ltd, of which they were all Directors with a 40/30/30 share split. On 4 September 2013 they then registered the business name Abella Mia. The registered address of these was 52 Kellett St Potts Point (not 25 as he helpfully told me).
52 Kellett St is a well known brothel premise with something in the vicinity of 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. Over the years brothels have operated there under the names Secret Desire, Studio 52 and Antonio’s Angels. It currently houses Aurorae Massage. None of these businesses are associated with Andy or his associates. Abella Mia is not a known brothel name at that address or in Sydney generally which means that, at best, it operated very briefly, a short enough time frame to fly under the radar.
Abella Mia does have a Facebook page that became operational in late 2013, shortly after the businesses were registered. Secret Desire was operating out of the premises in the middle of 2014. So there is an approximate 6-9 month window during which Abella Mia may have existed.
In Sydney, brothels are not licensed, which means there is no reason to purchase an existing brothel, unless you want one with an established name and reputation and fancy existing setup. If you are setting up a new one, which Abella Mia clearly was given the dates, there is no purchase cost, just the basic costs of setting up a business and the lease. Even if it had been set up previously, given the lack of any presence, the purchase price would have been very little, just based on the assets. The same is true of any sale of Abella Mia. Anyone wishing to take it over would not have offered much, and as the subsequent name of the establishment operating out of the premises was different, it is unlikely it was purchased at all. Indeed, in Sydney, aside from the major known establishments, many brothels start up independently and close down rather than being sold.
The buildings are sometimes owned by the same people, but are often just leased. 52 Kellett St was certainly leased. Prior to the existence of Abella Mia it was last bought and sold in 2006, and then it was on the market in 2011 and 2013 without selling before being listed again in 2014.
According to the Facebook page, Abella Mia was trying to attract girls for work and their rates were around $280/hour. Not exactly something that will “raise the bar of the industry” as they were claiming, and certainly not in the $400/hour vicinity.
So what we have here is at best an attempt at setting up a brothel that largely failed to get off the ground, or premises that were mostly used by private workers with some collectivity to make it attractive to them with the possible intent to evolve it into a brothel or perhaps a hybrid of both. Certainly to private workers who do their own advertising, attract their own clients and set their own rates, linen capabilities are one of the biggest considerations when determining premises from which to work.
Despite all that I have learned over the past 72 hours, it never ceases to amaze me how much Andy exaggerates, twists the truth and outright lies.
It has even come to my attention that when he had lunch with me he told people he was meeting a brothel madam. I am not. And, Mr Tchappat, if you persist with making statements like that you will REALLY be hearing from a REAL defamation lawyer.