Neither Fisher nor the dealer – a moonlighting 19-year-old trainee beauty therapist from Merrylands who was convicted after appearing in court via video and pleading guilty – could explain why she was in the car or how they knew each other.
Fisher is a member of Sydney’s crop of social pages “It girls”, reaching her social – ahem – zenith as one of the bridesmaids at fashion darling Nadia Fairfax’s lavish wedding at Darling Point mansion Swifts this year and counting among her circle of “besties” the likes of popular social media influencers Rey Vakili, PR dynamo Montarna Pitt and wealthy heiresses Deborah Symond and Nicky Oatley.
But in recent months cracks have started to appear within the Instafamous tribe of privileged beauties. Relations had already cooled between Fairfax and Fisher well before she made news over the cocaine conviction. The pair apparently fell out over a social media product endorsement deal Fisher had inked against Fairfax’s wishes.
However, the darling of Double Bay eyebrows, who was the one who called PS this week after I inadvertently “liked” one of her Instagram photos, remains adamant: “I am not a bad person … for God’s sake I raised $250,000 for the bushfire victims, but no one wants to write about that.”
While her old girlfriends are distancing themselves, Fisher says her latest scandal – which has parallels to Melbourne’s Nadia Bartel and her recent run-in with a Kmart plate – has had little negative impact on her popularity: she was still taking “PR deliveries” (or product freebies showered on social media influencers) from admirers during our chat, in which she also revealed her product “sponsors” were sticking by her, though she declined to name them.
She also claimed the notoriety had resulted in new offers coming in fast.
But Fisher, who has been dating 27-year-old Jack Mann, said her life beyond the glamorous and confected image portrayed on social media was not easy.
“I’m just a small businessperson and it’s been bloody tough with no income in lockdown … and the bills keep coming in, rent is $30,000 a month which I still owe from last year, my general manager died this year, I’m a single mum … it’s a lot,” she told PS.
Fisher, who has been receiving emergency relief payments from the government, has also been venting her frustration over the lockdown and criticising government policies vociferously on social media. She has posted about the pressure of having “mouths to feed”, only to then share photos of lockdown gourmet luxuries such as truffled spaghetti.
So how could she afford bags of cocaine? “But I didn’t buy it,” she flatly responded, refusing to go into details as to why she was in the “dial-a-dealer’s” Kia or why there were bags of cocaine at her feet.
Fisher, who was last in this column just over a year ago when she was named as the mystery woman having liaisons with hunky Double Bay hairdresser Tom Cole – revelations which resulted in the end of both of their marriages – says hers is far from an isolated case.
“I’m not going to get all holier than thou, or throw anyone else under the bus, but I am far from being the only one,” she said.
Indeed, some of Sydney’s social set were joking that the thing they found most surprising was the revelation Fisher had been found in Kia rather than a Bentley.
Lost some gloss?
After barely a week on the newsstands the relaunch of Harper’s Bazaar Australia under new management has not gone quite as smoothly as the magazine’s global bosses in New York would probably have hoped.
PS has heard stories that would make even the Devil Wears Prada’s Miranda Priestly cringe, from senior executives’ alleged inability to pronounce the brand names of top luxury advertisers to heated personality clashes among staff amid a flurry of toxic email exchanges and resignations.
“I’ve been known to throw my coat on the desk like Miranda, but I’ve only ever done it as a joke!” assured Harper’s new publisher Maureen Jordan when quizzed about why the fledgling magazine had already lost its editor, lead writer and designer.
“I am so proud that our little team was able to get such a beautiful magazine out in the midst of a global pandemic … but no one wants to focus on that, they just want to talk about paper stock? Which, by the way, is almost identical to our key competitor’s [Vogue Australia].”
Three weeks ago PS revealed the magazine’s long-term editor-in-chief Eugenie Kelly had quit on the eve of the relaunch featuring playwright Nakkiah Lui on the cover. Kelly’s departure was downplayed by Jordan, who this week announced fashion editor Jillian Davison had been elevated to the editor’s role.
As for reports Hearst bosses never saw the magazine before it was published and that Jordan had pitched an unlikely cover girl for the luxury fashion magazine in the form of Macquarie Bank CEO Shemara Wikramanayake, Jordan maintains neither were quite correct.
“I never said Shemara should go on the cover, just that she would be an inspiring person to profile in the magazine … she is a successful businesswoman in Australia, women like her also read Harper’s, but that was twisted into something entirely different. Yes, we sent the cover and the pages that were ready to New York before we published … all this just feels so vindictive,” says Jordan, who added she had received overwhelmingly positive feedback from readers and advertisers.
So how have sales been? Jordan said it was too early to tell but some 20,000 copies had been printed, though retail closures and the fact she is yet to strike a supermarket retail deal means there is still work to do on the distribution front.
She also confirmed whispers the next issue had been delayed, but “only by a few days”, denying rumours it was due to the lack of a cover.
“We have two contenders, both are very striking covers, and we are just working through which one to go with,” Jordan said.
“And let me assure you, I am so proud to be associated with this masthead, Harper’s Bazaar Australia will be around for a very long time to come, that is my absolute commitment.”
Hacienda la vista for Packer in Mexico
He’ll soon be boatless, but troubled billionaire James Packer is already planning to drop anchor in the new year at his flash new digs in Mexico, which as PS’s images reveal are finally nearing completion after three years of construction.
And what a whopper it is.
The $50 million hacienda takes up one of the largest beachfront blocks in Cabo San Lucas, with tonnes of stone now wrapping around the new build occupying the sprawling, brutalist-looking compound located in a dress-circle position within the ultra-exclusive Palmilla Cove community.
Packer bought the site in 2018, reportedly paying nearly $10 million not long after leaving a Boston rehabilitation clinic where he sought treatment for mental health issues. No doubt his giant new swimming pool, complete with its own island and sunken lounge, will provide respite from the pressures of the world.
He had been introduced to the delights of the location at the bottom of the Baja California peninsula during his relationship with former fiancée Mariah Carey and has been a regular in the resort town ever since.
Packer’s slice of paradise has direct beach access and unimpeded views over the Sea of Cortez – though this week they were shielded by huge privacy screens which encase the new bunker as workers tended to his rolling lawns.
Meanwhile it’s a toss-up between the Jules Verne-style nightclub, complete with digital underwater fish movies screened on the portholes, or a beauty parlour that would make Joh Bailey green with envy when it comes to PS’s favourite part of Packer’s soon-to-be sold superyacht.
The huge IJE was by far the biggest vessel on display at last week’s Monaco Boat Show, heralding the start of the second-hand cruise ship’s marketing campaign after the embattled casino mogul put it up for sale last month.
And for many keel-kicking plebs it was the first time to gain an up close and personal experience on board one of the world’s most luxurious and expensive gin palaces, which yacht brokers Burgess has slapped a whopping $280 million price tag on – about $80 million more than Packer paid Italian ship builders Benetti.
Rebel with a get-out clause
What travel ban? While families remain divided by closed borders, unable to visit dying relatives and hug loved ones, Rebel Wilson’s no expense spared globe-trotting 40th birthday celebrations have left some of her Sydney-based mother’s friends a little underwhelmed.
Sue Bownds posted a volley of images from the Tahiti and Californian escapades on her Facebook page shortly after touching back down in Sydney, saying the only downside was the “14 days quarantine” she endured with her daughter Liberty and granddaughter Sovereign.
“Rebel’s dream finally became our reality. We all have special times but this has been a long time coming. Cancelled 4 times over the past two years, due to the pandemic, it finally happened,” she wrote, before basking in sweet memories including Rebel’s costume “Mermaid” party and a family VIP trip to Disneyland.
Sadly PS received no response to queries about the “compelling reason” Bownds gave to be rewarded with a travel exemption, but the photos she shared were certainly succour for sore eyes amid the gloom of the pandemic.
Flee? Fly? Not so fast, FLOM
PS’s favourite Despot Housewife, the former First Lady Of Malaysia Rosmah Mansor, is back in the news as her corruption trial approaches.
It’s been three years since Malaysian police seized 72 suitcases stuffed with jewellery, cash and handbags belonging to Mansor, who liked to be addressed as FLOM during her shopping expeditions to Sydney, including one which landed this column at the centre of an international diplomatic incident in 2012.
PS picked up on a report by fashion journalist Patty Huntington about FLOM visiting designer Carl Kapp’s Paddington boutique. She was so impressed he was invited to bring his wares to her and Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak in their luxury, $20,000-a-night penthouse suite at the then-new The Darling hotel atop Star Casino, during which the PM was dressed in a bathrobe.
The designer was paid in cash – from Mansor’s handbag – for the huge haul of gowns, at the time estimated to be worth about $100,000, while Huntington has since reported she also dropped $20,000 in cash on several Dior handbags at David Jones.
After the story appeared all hell broke loose in Malaysia, with FLOM later claiming the gowns were bought for a specialist boutique she was supplying for in Malaysia and accusing PS of “wildly exaggerating” her spending, despite all the details being confirmed by those involved.
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