George Calombaris reveals he was ‘drinking a lot to deal with the pain’ before hitting rock bottom

Disgraced celebrity chef George Calombaris reveals he was ‘drinking hard to deal with the pain’ after being ordered to pay $7.8 million in unpaid wages: ‘I thought I was invincible’

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Disgraced celebrity chef George Calombaris has spoken out about being caught underpaying staff in a pay scandal.

The former MasterChef judge lost his Made Establishment hospitality company to liquidators in 2020 after he was ordered to pay $7.8 million in unpaid wages to 515 current and former staff members.

During an interview on Channel Ten’s The Project on Sunday, the 44-year-old said he was “drinking a lot to deal with the pain” after hitting rock bottom.

Disgraced celebrity chef George Calombaris (pictured) revealed he was “drinking hard to deal with the pain” on The Sunday Project after he was ordered to pay $7.8 million in unpaid staff wages.

“There were months of tears, anger and I was drinking a lot to take the pain away, but then I got over it and said ‘no,'” he said.

Calombaris admitted that he thought he was ‘invincible’ and that he ‘could overcome anything’.

“I thought I was invincible and could get through everything because I was taught as a kid, never say you’ve tried and work really hard,” he said.

“I probably needed good management as soon as I got into television.”

“There were months of tears, anger and I was drinking a lot to take the pain away, but then I got over it and said ‘no,'” he said.

MAdE, which had 22 companies, collapsed in February 2020 after the Fair Labor Ombudsman ordered it to pay workers millions in unpaid fines.

Calombaris was personally fined $200,000 for wage damages, but he always insisted that the underpayments were simply a mistake he blamed on inexperience.

The former hospitality chief said the payment error was caught after the company self-reported, but the publicity that followed made it impossible to keep his businesses alive.

His reputation was further damaged when he was caught on camera attacking a 19-year-old in an A-League grand final between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory.

Calombaris also admitted that he thought he was 'invincible' and that he 'could overcome anything'

Calombaris also admitted that he thought he was 'invincible' and that he 'could overcome anything'

Calombaris also admitted that he thought he was ‘invincible’ and that he ‘could overcome anything’

Calombaris was found guilty of assault and fined $1,000, but the damage to his name was so severe that his conviction was later overturned.

After hitting rock bottom, he moved his family to Arthurs Seat, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, in March 2020, where he has since embraced a new outlook on life centered around family and community.

Now, high-flying hoteliers and their glamorous wives have given the former reality TV star a fresh start in hospitality by hiring him as culinary director of their luxurious beachside venue, the Hotel Sorrento.

Calombaris joined the family business, owned by Rob and Anne Pitt and run by their children, Bridget, Marcus and Myles, who is married to model and Instagram influencer Brooke Hogan, after meeting a famous mutual friend, Eddie McGuire. .

The former MasterChef judge lost his Made Establishment hospitality company to liquidators in 2020 after he was ordered to pay $7.8 million in unpaid wages to 515 current and former staff members.

The former MasterChef judge lost his Made Establishment hospitality company to liquidators in 2020 after he was ordered to pay $7.8 million in unpaid wages to 515 current and former staff members.

The former MasterChef judge lost his Made Establishment hospitality company to liquidators in 2020 after he was ordered to pay $7.8 million in unpaid wages to 515 current and former staff members.

Timeline of Calombaris Troubles

MAY 15, 2014 – The Department of Health investigates after diners eating at the Hellenic Republic at Kew fell ill. It was later confirmed that the norovirus affected about 100 people.

APRIL 2017 – It was revealed that around $2.6 million in back pay was doled out to 162 workers employed by the Made Establishment due to payroll ‘discrepancies’ dating back to 2011.

MAY 10, 2017 – Calombaris is charged with assault over a fight with a 19-year-old in an A-League grand final between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory in Sydney a few days earlier.

MAY 16, 2017 – Melbourne man David Peter Schreuder sues Hellenic Republic restaurant and Made Establishment group over norovirus encephalitis outbreak

AUGUST 17, 2017 – Chef pleads guilty to assault in A-League incident

SEPTEMBER 8, 2017 – Surrenders his Melbourne Victory No. 1 ticket due to mugging

OCTOBER 20, 2017 – Calombaris fined $1,000 for A-League assault

FEBRUARY 1, 2018 – His assault conviction is overturned on appeal after a district court judge agreed with Calombaris’ attorney that he had suffered significant financial and personal loss, and was unlikely to reoffend

JULY 18, 2019: Fair Work Ombudsman fines MasterChef Australia judge and his Made Establishment company $200,000 for paying less than $8 million to their restaurant staff

JULY 22, 2019 – Western Australia government suspends tourism drive with Calombaris over Fair Work Obudsman fine

JULY 23, 2019: Calombaris and judges Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan leave MasterChef after contract negotiations failed

FEBRUARY 10, 2020 – It is reported that Made could fall into voluntary administration, putting the future of 500 workers at its 18 restaurants at risk.

MAY 2020: The Yo Chi Frozen Yoghurt chain, owned by George Calombaris, is called down, marking the end of the celebrity chef’s restaurant empire.

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