Claims high rise rooms ‘used for Asian sex workers’

A MESSY body corporate dispute in a Gold Coast high-rise complex which has resulted in five men being sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars in a defamation claim could enter a fifth year following salacious defence documents filed in court.

Long-time Surfers Paradise unit owner Peter Nissen claims he has been falsely painted as a liar, dishonest, corrupt, unethical, and perverted in various untrue publications dating back to late 2015.

Mr Nissen claims in documents filed with the Southport District Court that a website and flyers distributed in the lead up to a body corporate meeting accusing him of promoting Paradise Towers as a commercial brothel.

Peter Nissen at Paradise Towers. Photo: Richard Gosling
Peter Nissen at Paradise Towers. Photo: Richard Gosling

He is suing the former chair of the body corporate, Stephen Ridley; unit owners and recent committee members Steven McMaster and Clive Foster; and Mr Foster's son David Foster. Current body corporate chair Tony Kirby has also been added to the claim.

In their defence the men have filed a number written statements by unit owners and former workers.

A man claimed Mr Nissen confronted him "growling like a dog showing his teeth".

A former caretaker claimed at least nine units owned by Mr Nissen were rented to "Asian sex workers".

Mr Ridley and Mr Kirby claim Mr Nissen and sent them "300 vexatious emails" in a few months or "10-20 emails on average per week".

Paradise Towers is one of the first high-rises on the Gold Coast.
Paradise Towers is one of the first high-rises on the Gold Coast.

Pornographic advertisements for sex workers were also tendered to the court with claims Mr Nissen placed them in adult magazines.

Defence documents also claim Mr Nissen was a multi-millionaire who "unlawfully" used body corporate funds to "maintain, renovate his own personal units, apartments".

The defendants will be required to prove these allegations at trial in order to make out their defence.

Mr Nissen, who lives at Paradise Towers where he owns 37 apartments and spends his days managing his and his companies' units, says he has suffered mental anguish, distress and embarrassment.

Peter Nissen has lived in Surfers Paradise for more than 40 years.
Peter Nissen has lived in Surfers Paradise for more than 40 years.

He wants compensation for damage to his reputation and financial loss.

Court documents also appear to show that mediation between the two groups is not going well according to correspondence with Mr Nissen's lawyers in which Mr Ridley states his reluctance to attend because he had "every right not to be subjected to any further sexual innuendo or bullying from either of you".

Mr Ridley claimed in the letter he had a restraining order against Mr Nissen for "sexual and mental harassment" and said he would not be safe at a meeting because "I feel my soul is violated just being in the presence of Mr Nissen's disgusting, sleazy persona".

Lawyer Duane Williams of MBA Lawyers, told Mr Ridley there was no restraining order he was aware of.

In the email exchange he explained to Mr Ridley that he and Mr Nissen had signed conciliation agreement to limit contact with each other and to refrain from making disparaging remarks.

In a brief hearing last month, Southport District Court Judge Catherine Muir urged the parties to continue mediation and reminded them that a court date for a four week defamation trail might not be available until 2020. The matter is due to be mentioned in court again on March 15.