An epic defamation trial that saw an IT guru’s sordid sex life aired in public has ended a year after it made international headlines.
Constantine Arvanitis, 49, had accused his ex-partner Selina Holder of defaming him after she branded him a sex-addict in documents shared with his fiancee and her high flying doctor sister.
Victoria had been within the grip of the Covid 19 pandemic, which saw the state’s justice system effectively grind to a halt.
Ms Holder’s barrister Barrie Goldsmith told The Age her client and Mr Arvanitis had mutually agreed to settle the case and that there was ‘an intention to read a document in court’ announcing it.
A smiling Mr Arvanitis was seen leaving the courthouse on Monday hand-in-hand with his fiancee Melanie Thornton – the sister of respected cancer surgeon Dr Chantel Thornton.
It is understood Ms Holder, who lived in Sydney, was not physically present in the court on Monday.
The last time she faced-off with Mr Arvanitis she ended up storming out of the courtroom in disgust.
Mr Arvanitis had been under cross examination for five days in their ugly defamation trial at the time.
‘That’s a lie. You’re a pathological liar,’ she exclaimed from a position seated behind her barrister.
‘Sorry, I’m leaving.’
The incident followed a claim by Mr Arvanitis that Ms Holder had embarked upon a mission to destroy his relationship with Ms Thornton.
Mr Arvanitis had denied he had maintained a sexual relationship with Ms Holder while sleeping around with anywhere up to half-a-dozen other women.
The offending document she had shared alleged Mr Arvanitis broke her foot, that he was a prescription drug dealer, was mentally unstable, a criminal and a ‘sex addict’.
Letter To Mr Arvanitis’ fiancé Melanie Thornton
Court documents allege Selina Holder shared a document with Mr Arvanitis’ current fiancee that stated:
‘He is dangerous and violent and sex addict (sic).
He goes to Sydney and cheats on you.
He will beat you up. (redacted)
We have the police investigating him.
We want to warn you.
We are the sisterhood.
We have to expose him.
He will take all your money.
He has to be stopped. We have evidence of his abuse.
We are trying to save you.
You must contact us so we can protect you from this evil person.
We all want to help you.
We are in Melbourne together so please meet with us.
Mr Arvanitis further claimed a letter outlining similar allegations was also received by his current fiancee.
While the IT specialist’s other two ex-girlfriends apologised and made retractions, Ms Holder proceeded to court to face-off with her ex-boyfriend.
It was a decision she likely lived to regret as media across the country picked-up on the public stoush.
Ms Holder had been advised on the first day of the hearing that Mr Arvanitis would end his legal action if she consented to an order that she stop making defamatory statements, an acknowledgment that what she had written was false, and $5000.
That offer was rejected and the trial quickly descended into a full scale slanging match between the angry ex lovers.
Mr Arvanitis had met Ms Holder via a dating app in September 2012.
But the relationship quickly soured and by 2015 it ended after the birth of their child.
Mr Arvanitis claimed Ms Holder had cheated on him from the beginning of their relationship and had once found a raunchy photo message on her phone that he claimed she had sent to her secret lover.
When questioned about the image, Mr Arvanitis claimed Ms Holder would become violent and lash out.
Among a swag of allegations, Mr Arvanitis claimed Ms Holder repeatedly punched him in the face and whipped him over the head with a phone charging cable.
An image of Mr Arvanitis’ battered face was tendered to the court in support of his claims.
The father of two claimed Ms Holder had not only consumed alcohol while pregnant, but would do so while breastfeeding their own child.
‘I didn’t think it was right,’ Mr Arvanitis said.
‘If you were a female I’d have no hesitation in slapping an intervention order on,’ the office allegedly told him.
Mr Arvanitis was issued with an order of his own later that evening after the argument escalated, the court heard.
By 2015, Mr Arvanitis claimed Ms Holder would attack and incite him to respond and then record him with threats to go to police.
As the relationship continued to sour, Mr Arvanitis claimed his ex-partner threatened to ring his boss and tell him he was a drug addict.
Audio of Ms Holder allegedly making the threat was played in court.
Mr Arvanitis, who claimed to have kicked a rampant cocaine habit that threatened to consume his life, said he had continued to pay all of his child maintenance responsibilities in addition to paying off Ms Holder’s credit card debts.
Ms Holder, who denied she sent the letter, filed a defence claiming Mr Arvanitis spent $220,000 on cocaine, took meth and sold Viagra to colleagues while working at ANZ.
She had alleged Mr Arvanitis was having sex with at least two other women – and her – and possibly more during the same period.
The court heard a series of raunchy text exchanges between Mr Arvanitis and Ms Holder during the period he was ‘hooking up’ with sex partners he had met on Tinder.
The couple had already broken up and Ms Holder had moved to her hometown of Sydney with their young daughter.
Mr Arvanitis denied continuing a sexual relationship with Ms Holder and claimed the text messages – some of which contained references to the ‘morning after pill’ and ‘getting pregnant’ – were a form of long-distance role playing.
Mr Arvanitis admitted he had been having unprotected sex with the two women while dating Ms Thornton.
Several of his ex-girlfriends were set to enter the witness box on behalf of the defence when the trial was prematurely adjourned.
Mr Arvanitis had told the court those women were all simply ‘hook-ups’ that he had met on the dating app Tinder under the full intention of having meaningless sex.
Again Mr Arvanitis claimed the jilted women – now numbering five – were conspiring to destroy him.
Mr Arvanitis had brought on the legal action after Dr Thornton received a separate defamatory document from Ms Holder.
Dr Thornton – the wife of luxury car dealer Srecko Lorbek – was expected to be subpoenaed to court to outline exactly who she shared that document with.
Mr Arvanitis had been embraced by the Thornton clan until late 2018 when he claims the document made its way into the hands of Dr Thornton.
He was dropped like a hot potato when Dr Thornton received the disturbing document and has never returned to the fold despite his ongoing relationship with her sister, who had received a hand-delivered letter all of her own.
The letter had been signed-off by Ms Holder and two other of Mr Arvanitis’ ex-girlfriends – aka ‘The Sisterhood’.
She hadn’t been the first to see it, Mr Arvanitis claimed, with his two previous ex-girlfriends also receiving a copy.
In ending the case, the pair asked for the proceedings to be dismissed and requested there be no cost orders made.
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