A former NRL WAG who became a reality TV star and competitive boxer has entered a last-minute admission to stealing thousands of dollars from her former employer as she was supposed to front court to fight the charges.
Arabella Del Busso was convicted in her absence of stealing the hefty sum when she failed to appear earlier this year and successfully applied to have the convictions quashed.
The 33-year-old then pleaded not guilty and was due to face Sutherland Local Court on Tuesday for a one-day hearing.
But Del Busso was a no-show, with her lawyer Andrew Stewart telling the court that she was suffering concussions due to a boxing incident and instead entered a plea of guilty.
The former girlfriend of NRL star Josh Reynolds pleaded guilty to one charge of stealing $35,785 from her employer, Rheumatology Specialist Care at Kogarah, while working as a receptionist between September 2019 and February 2020.
A further count of stealing $16,565 from the company’s Randwick business will be taken into account at sentencing.
In a fact sheet tendered to the court, police say Del Busso told clients the eftpos machine was not working on multiple occasions between September 2019 and February 2020 and asked them to pay in cash.
On one occasion, she sent 18 messages to patients’ mobile numbers that read, according to court documents: “Appointment with Dr Joshua today 6/2 unfortunately our EFTPOS facilities are down so it will be a cash transaction today of $170 sorry for the inconvenience.”
She was the only receptionist working at the Randwick business at the time, with logs showing the eftpos was in use by other clients.
The lingerie model then deposited $18,215 into her personal accounts.
Mr Stewart told magistrate Jillian Kiely that his client had been “in and out of concussions”.
He told the court he had written instructions to enter the pleas and asked for the matter to be listed in 2024 to allow Del Busso to get a report from a psychiatrist.
At an earlier hearing, the court was told Del Busso could face years in prison.
Ms Kiely ordered that she be at the next court date in person.
Del Busso will return to court in January.
The 33-year-old previously had a prominent and rocky relationship with Reynolds that dissolved when it became known she had faked a pregnancy.
She admitted to the fake pregnancy when she appeared on the reality show SAS Australia only months after she was fired from Rheumatology Specialist Care.
Del Busso has continued her career as a lingerie model and has since become a celebrity boxer.