By Mathew Drogemuller and Ugur Nedim
In an extraordinary NSW Supreme Court case, a Chinese Businessman is suing North Sydney based escort agency, Royal Court Escorts, for $3.7 million.
Wealthy businessman Yu ‘Martin’ Xu has a penchant for sex with famous international A-listers. He allegedly paid millions to Royal Escorts to sleep with actress Megan Fox, Victoria’s Secret model Candice Swanepoel and Independence Day star Yang Ying aka ‘Angelababy’.
Mr Xu claims the agency breached the agreement by failing to provide access to the stars, and that it engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct by offering services it could not deliver.
He is seeking to recover the money from the agency’s parent company which, according to its website, offers escort services from local and international locations including London, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Mumbai and Dubai.
The company is disputing the claim.
Sydney Sex Scene
The allegations come at a time when Sydney’s vibrant night life is dying, while illegal brothels are reported to be thriving.
Sydney City Council has investigated dozens of illegal sex businesses that have sprung up in and around the CBD, imposing administrative and cost burdens on council resources.
Although sex work is legal in NSW, brothels must be licensed and are subject to regulatory oversight.
Unlicensed brothels are often advertised as ‘massage parlours’, while illegally providing sexual services. There are concerns these ‘parlours’ may pose health risks to workers and patrons, as they are not subjected to the same stringent checks and oversight as legal, regulated brothels.
NSW Health has issued a warning about the recent rise in sexually transmitted infections, saying rates of gonorrhoea have risen by 80%, whilst chlamydia increased by 70%.
Sex work is not illegal in NSW; indeed, research suggests the decriminalisation of sex work in NSW has been beneficial to workers and members of the general public. A 2012 study by the Kirby Institute found:
‘Decriminalisation of the NSW sex industry has resulted in improved human rights, netted savings for the criminal justice and health systems, enhanced surveillance and health promotion programs for sex workers’.
However, there are various laws governing how where and how sex work can take place, including restrictions on ‘street-work’.
For instance, section 19A of the Summary Offences Act (1998) NSW makes it an offence to solicit sex near a school, church or hospital. The maximum penalty is two years’ imprisonment.
A recent NSW government inquiry considered a licensing scheme for sex workers; a move strongly opposed by sex workers and health professionals, who are concerned it would lead to adverse health outcomes and police corruption.
Brothel owners also oppose greater regulation, pointing-out that the current rules are stringent and that NSW has one of the the safest sex industry in the world.
Back to Mr Xu…
Mr Xu won a small victory recently when the NSW Supreme Court dismissed the Agency’s application to have him deposit $50,000 to protect its legal costs.
However, it remains to be seen whether his dashed dreams will result in the reimbursement of millions.