As actor Craig McLachlan braces for a hefty legal bill from his failed defamation suit against The Sydney Morning Herald, the ABC and actor Christie Whelan Browne, he is at least partly cashed up thanks to the recent sale of his Potts Point home.
A well-placed source says about $1. 4 million was paid for the one-bedroom apartment with harbour views, ending his more than 20 years as a resident of the landmark art deco building.
Despite the sale coming at the tail-end of one of Sydney’s biggest property booms, the result won’t quite cover the estimated $2 million-plus in costs he faces from the media organisations alone.
McLachlan and his partner, Vanessa Scammell, were hoping to pocket more for the 1938-built, corner apartment when they were quietly shopping it to buyers last year for $1. 6 million to $1. 7 million.
All that remains of McLachlan’s property interests in NSW is the beachfront getaway at Blue Bay on the Central Coast that his family has owned since 1993, set next door to his brother Bruce McLachlan’s Werrina Parade house.
McLachlan’s family have owned the beachfront four-bedroom house on 650 square metres since 1993, and ownership was transferred to McLachlan in 2007. There is no mortgage on title.
Given the looming bills it is perhaps fortuitous for McLachlan that values on the Central Coast have soared in recent years, up locally by more than 26. 6 per cent in the 12 months to March, according to Domain figures.
Local agent Brian Whiteman, of Whiteman Property, said as a rough guide the McLachlan house would be conservatively estimated to be worth at least $3. 8 million, but we are selling houses that are not as good for a lot more, so you’d expect it to sell for more like $4 million to $4. 5 million.
McLachlan’s legal costs come less than a week after he abruptly abandoned his defamation suit against the media organisations and Whelan Browne, and just as 11 women were due to give evidence about sexual harassment, indecent exposure, indecent assault and bullying.
when Whelan Browne, Erika Heynatz and Angela Scundi spoke out about McLachlan’s appalling behaviour during The Rocky Horror Show to the Herald and ABC so that young women who were about to work with McLachlan on a new Rocky show wouldn’t be exposed to the potential of similar issues.
At the time complaints about McLachlan’s behaviour to the show’s production company, The Gordon Frost Organisation, were met with threats of defamation, and when complaints were made to McLachlan directly, he used his position as the star of the show to threaten the women that he would make sure they never worked again.
McLachlan is likely to need every cent from the sale of the Potts Point apartment to cover his looming legal bills because as part of the terms of his withdrawal from the case, .
The bill for the media organisations is estimated at $1. 1 million each, and his own legal bill would be about the same amount.