James Packer sued after a 'drunken assault on a casino staffer'

Wednesday 16th December 2020

A spokesman for Packer denied the allegations and said he'll defend the claims

A former security guard at Crown Towers Melbourne is suing James Packer over an alleged assault on New Year's Day in 2016.

Dr Iskandar Chaban failed to recognise the media mogul and senior executive Ishan Ratnam, and tried to block them as they approached the venue's main gaming floor, assuming they were drunk.

'The second defendant [Mr Packer] became verbally abusive and threatening towards the plaintiff [Dr Chaban] and ran towards the plaintiff, pushing him in the chest,' court documents obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald stated.

'The second defendant then verbally threatened the plaintiff, saying words to the effect [of] 'I will throw you out of your job'.

Dr Chaban claimed he was then taken to an office where he was allegedly 'abused, humiliated, intimidated, and bullied' by four of the casino's managers.

A former security guard at Crown Towers Melbourne is suing James Packer in the Supreme Court over an alleged assault on New Year's Day in 2016. (pictured: Packer and Kylie Lim seen at Club 55 beach in St Tropez in 2018)

The 64-year-old, who has a PhD from Melbourne University, was taken to hospital with injuries to his back and neck.

Dr Chaban's lawyer John Karantzis claims his client has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety as a result of the alleged incident.

Crown Casino said the incident as a minor misunderstanding, and claimed staffers had informed Dr Chaban that one of its 'most important VIPs' was arriving.

Dr Iskandar Chaban claimed he was then taken to an office where he was allegedly 'abused, humiliated, intimidated and bullied' by four of the casino's managers.

In a statement, the casino said he caused a 'collision' after blocking Packer from entering the gaming area.

A spokesman for Packer, who has a 36 per cent stake in Crown, on Wednesday denied the allegations and will defend the lawsuit in court.

Dr Chaban also named his then-employer MSS Security and Crown Resorts as defendants in a civil claim.

The sensational assault claims come after Packer admitted he sent threatening emails to a Melbourne businessman who was working on a privatisation deal with Crown.

Financial executive Ben Gray was leading talks for equity firm TPG Capital in 2015 about investing in Packer's casino business.

When he told Packer that TPG was not willing to cough up $1.5billion, the emails, which resulted in Gray hiring private bodyguards, were sent.

Packer was accused of using his connections to Israeli intelligence agency Mossad to threaten to harm Mr Gray.

Crown Casino said the incident as a minor misunderstanding, and claimed staffers had informed Dr Chaban that one of its 'most important VIPs' was arriving

During the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Commission inquiry in October, the 53-year-old said he suffers from bipolar disorder and takes medication that negatively affects his memory, saying entire months were a blur.

Counsel assisting, Adam Bell SC previously asked: 'How can the NSW regulator have any confidence in your character or integrity in light of your communications in these emails?'

'Because I'm being treated now for my bipolar,' Packer replied. 'I was sick at the time.'

'You accept that your conduct in these emails reflects adversely on your character, don't you?' Mr Bell asked.

'My medical state is what it reflected most on,' Packer said.

Meanwhile, the Crown Casino is set to be investigated by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation amid admissions of money laundering.

Crown made a submission to the Bergin inquiry about criminals laundering cash through Crown in Melbourne and Perth.

Crown's counsel Robert Craig, SC, told the inquiry: 'Crown accepts that there were funds deposited into the Riverbank and Southbank accounts ... indicative of 'cuckoo smurfing' -- it is indicative of a form of money laundering.'

Source
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