Geoffrey Edelsten, who made a name for himself as a flashy doctor, helped the AFL team save the Sydney Swans from extinction and had a string of young wives passed away at the age of 78.
Edelsten died Friday at his home in Melbourne, the ABC and local media reported.
Victoria Police confirmed that a report would be prepared for the coroner following the discovery of a man’s body in an apartment on St Kilda Road on Friday afternoon. The death was not considered suspicious.
Edelsten was born in Melbourne on May 2, 1943 and spent most of his life with 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 general practitioner and set up a practice in Sydney’s eastern suburbs with a colleague.
In the 1980s, he established a series of medical clinics that were open all day with wings and chandeliers in the waiting rooms. Patients, billed in bulk, flocked to the clinics. He was deregistered from NSW in 1988 and later in Victoria.
He became, by his own description, a ‘white knight’ of the Sydney Swans in 1985 when they faced significant financial pressures out of concern that they would not survive.
He spent time in prison after being found guilty in 1990 of inciting a known hit man, Christopher Dale Flannery, to assault a former patient.
Edelsten filed for bankruptcy in both Australia and the United States in 2014, citing a number of bad business deals, including the “bleeding” of millions in ghetto estates that were cheap during the US mortgage crisis.
Even when his controversial career seemed to crash and burn, Edelsten always seemed to find a way back.
His unconventional lifestyle, a colorful part of Melbourne’s social scene, demanded attention. He owned mansions, helicopters and a fleet of expensive cars with license plates decorated with “macho”, “spunky” and “sexy”.
He published a book in 2011, entitled Enigma, detailing his life as a musical entrepreneur, career as a rural doctor and urban businessman.
But it was his relationships with young blond women that kept him in the limelight.
He divorced his 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 marriage didn’t last long, and Brynne called it off after four years.
Less than a year later, he proposed to American model Gabi Grecko, 46 years his junior, at the Melbourne Cup.
Their on-again, off-again relationship drew a lot of attention after Grecko’s bizarre social media outbursts and revealing photos.
The always romantic Edelsten got down on one knee, dressed in his boldest yellow suit for the waiting media. She had proposed to him months before, but he wanted to make it official.
Their love bubble burst not long after with claims of infidelity on behalf of Edelsten and a series of public squabbles.
In 2016, a bankrupt Edelsten was chased for millions of dollars by more than 40 creditors in Australia and the US, including the Australian tax office.
In 2017, he requested a warrant for violence against ex-wife Grecko, even though she was back in the US at the time, and in 2019 he escaped punishment after being caught by police from Melbourne in an unregistered car.