By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
By Geoffrey Edelsten (New Holland, $32.95, softcover, 262 pages)
“The world is my oyster” is a phrase that sits favourably with celebrity business entrepreneur, innovator and medico Geoffrey Edelsten.
He reflects: “I’ve lost an eye to disease, suffered a brain haemorrhage, a heart attack and 12 months in prison. I’ve brought 20,000 babies into the world as a doctor, and owned ground-breaking clinics in two countries. I have lost and retrieved a luxury car collection and have probably supported more lawyers than most ... I’ve risen on more than one occasion from an abyss of corruption that would leave most people crumpled...”
However, Geoffrey Edelsten feels the world has a wrong opinion of him that has nothing to do with his buxom wife, Brynne, his proclivity for garishly-coloured spangled suits or his unbelievably dark, spiked hair.
The 68-year-old appears to lead a sparkling lifestyle, but admits to holding a grudge for more than two decades.
His concern stems from what he describes as his “wrongful conviction” in 1990. He says his year in jail was a ‘‘life-changing and shattering’’ experience. A Supreme Court jury found Edelsten guilty of soliciting a hit man. He was also convicted of perverting the course of justice.
Edelsten was struck off the medical roll in NSW in 1988 and deregistered in Victoria four years later.
The self-effacingly titled Enigma covers his life as a musical entrepreneur, his career as a country doctor, city businessman, a night club owner and when he bought the Sydney Swans in 1985. His ground-breaking medical clinics introduced computerised records to Australia, revolutionised pathology sampling processes and stayed open for 24 hours.
This “many times over millionaire”, who now realises that anonymity is far more precious, says he’s “back on the stage that ‘they’ dragged me down from”.
Instead of just setting the “record straight”, some would say that Edelsten had rewritten history.
Edition 297, 24 January 2012
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.