Billabong boss' losses 'worse than affair'

Rachael Burnett
1 / 2

Billabong boss' losses 'worse than affair'

The ex-wife of a former Billabong boss says losing their home was worse than being cheated on.

The ex-wife of former Billabong boss Matthew Perrin says losing their luxury home was worse than him having an affair.

The couple allegedly made $33 million from their investment in the popular surfwear company in the late 1990s but had lost it all by 2009.

Perrin allegedly used their custom-built Surfers Paradise house as security for $13.5 million in credit from the Commonwealth Bank to fund his failing business investments.

His former wife Nicole Bricknell has accused him of mortgaging the $15 million property on Cronin Island behind her back.

"This man has taken from me and my children without my permission and knowledge, that's worse than having an affair in my opinion," she told the Brisbane District Court on Wednesday.

The former CEO is on trial for fraud and forgery after he allegedly faked her signature on bank documents in 2008.

Defence barrister Andrew Hoare said Ms Bricknell knew what her husband was doing and had given her authority for him to sign her name on financial documents.

"You're only denying the existence of that authority because you're afraid that it might make you poor," he said.

Ms Bricknell insisted she "never, ever" gave him permission to sign on her behalf.

"Matthew was never allowed to sign my signature on anything," she told the trial.

"I always protected my children and I never, ever would have allowed him to sign my name on anything - that was not the right thing to do."

Her father, Lawrence Bricknell, said his son-in-law handed him a written "confession" in 2009.

"He said to ensure Nicole saves the Cronin Island house, fights for it no matter what," Mr Bricknell said.

"He said to me: 'This is for you to use if you ever need to for Nicole'."

Ms Bricknell was quizzed about why she didn't use the $10 million she had in the bank to try and pay off the debt against the house.

She said the funds wouldn't have been enough as she had to write a $4 million cheque to repay a loan from former world motorcycle champion and Gold Coast identity Mick Doohan.

"He was a personal friend," she added.

Perrin is also accused of faking his brother Fraser Perrin's signature as a witness on the paperwork.

He denies nine charges of forgery and three of fraud.

The prosecution has closed its case and Perrin is due to give evidence on Thursday.