Successful entrepreneur and heiress Savannah Daisley was at risk of losing millions after she revealed her business was on the brink of collapse if she remained behind bars.
But the 45-year-old owner of Smart Cleanse and daughter of famed horse breeder Ross Daisley was on Monday released on bail in a Sydney court after she was charged in June with having aggravated sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old.
Police allege Ms Daisley engaged in unlawful sexual intercourse with the teenager on four occasions in May 2021.
The influencer had been in custody at Silverwater Women’s Correctional Center since she was arrested by the child abuse unit just before 11am on June 27 – a far cry from her life of luxury.
She was released on bail this week, meaning she spent less than a month in custody on remand.
However, it didn’t take long for Ms Daisley to miss her glamorous life.
A LIFE OF LUXURY AND SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS
The 45-year-old is the daughter of renowned horse breeder Ross Daisley, who bred and sold champion sprinter and sire Choisir.
Choisir became an international champion after winning at the prestigious Royal Ascot races in England and is one of only five horses to have won both the Golden Jubilee and King’s Stand races during a single meet.
Ms Daisley has garnered a horde of 41,000 followers on her Smart Cleanse account, which boasts her as a “naturopath and coach”.
The business was launched in 2014 on the back of a popular 14-day detoxification and weight management program focused on organic wellbeing.
It has attracted a legion of celebrity fans including Home And Away star Jodi Gordon, who last year declared the brand was her “health and beauty secret”.
Ms Daisley has also authored two books on health and wellness.
“Savannah has helped thousands of people detoxify their bodies, lose weight, reduce stress, and reverse the aging process through the benefits of detoxification,” the Smart Cleanse business website reads.
Despite the business’ success, the website details Ms Daisley’s struggles over the years.
The website includes an introduction penned by Ms Daisley that explains she was a “resident mojito girl” in her youth and had a childhood “wrought with junk food”.
A post on Instagram refers to a previous troubled relationship with alcohol, with a recent post declaring she had spent 223 days sober.
She said she destroyed her gut microbiome “with antibiotics and polluting my body with toxins”. Her food allergies worsened and her vitality and energy levels nosedived, leading to constant headaches.
After attending a lecture with cellular biologist Bruce Lipton of Stanford University Medical School, Ms Daisley had a “light-bulb moment” that inspired her detox empire.
She went on to develop the “14-Day Smart Cleanse” program.
Her products are now sold Australia-wide after she inked deals with Priceline and Mr Vitamin.
Ms Daisley was in a turbulent relationship with her partner James Langdon Wallis for years before she “walked away”.
During Ms Daisley’s bail application for the child sex charges, defense barrister Gabrielle Bashir SC said her client had been suffering from mental health issues as a result of trauma.
On June 15 this year, Ms Daisley told her Facebook friends that she had the strength to “walk away” from Mr Wallis in November 2021.
“If you can’t grow together, then it’s time to end – no matter how much you will miss the laughs, the other part wasn’t fun at all,” she wrote on the now-deleted account.
THE ALLEGED SEXUAL ASSAULT
Magistrate Alison Viney on Monday told Downing Center Local Court that Ms Daisley was highly intoxicated at the time of the alleged offending and often “blacked out”.
She said a “combination” of factors led to Ms Daisley being affected by alcohol.
The 45-year-old allegedly had sex with the 14-year-old boy four times in the 24 hours leading up to May 20, 2021.
The following morning, Ms Bashir told the court, Ms Daisley denied what had occurred and told the boy he wasn’t allowed to tell anyone what allegedly happened.
THE INTERCEPTED PHONE CALL
Police prosecutor Sergeant Kerry-Ann McKinnon told the court the alleged victim told his mother in June about the alleged sex acts, more than a year after they allegedly took place.
Three weeks later, police received a warrant to legally intercept a phone call from the boy to Ms Daisley on June 27.
Sergeant McKinnon told the court that it would be alleged that it was clear the act was not “spontaneous” and the ritzy detox business founder made “admissions” to some of the acts.
The transcript of the phone call cannot be released due to a suppression order.
The prosecutor said Ms Daisley allegedly made “certain disclosures” about “feelings” prior to the alleged sex.
However, after allegedly disclosing those feelings, Sergeant McKinnon said the entrepreneur “acted on them”, which was “concerning”.
Sergeant McKinnon told the court Ms Daisley allegedly tried to “influence” the complainant into silence and “shift the blame”.
“She then goes on in an attempt to shift the blame, she suggests that it was mutual, she seeks reassurance from the child, she accepts what the potential ramifications are going to be,” the prosecutor said.
“Now she’s guilty tripping this child.”
The court was told Ms Daisley allegedly told the child the matter was going to “go away” and “never come back while reminding him it was a “one-off” situation.
Ms Viney described the phone tap as a “very disturbing conversation” and said there was “no doubt” some of the comments made by Ms Daisley could “only be said to be of an acknowledgment” something took place.
BID FOR FREEDOM
Ms Daisley appeared via AVL during the bail application on Monday, looking glamorous with her long blonde hair out while wearing her prison greens.
Ms Bashir told the court her client’s mental health was “deteriorating” while she was in custody and offered up $100,000 in surety to be paid by her father, who was sitting in the front of the public gallery.
The defense lawyer argued prison conditions were the “worst it’s ever been”, with the current wave of Covid-19 affecting visitation and Ms Daisley suffering significantly from mental health issues.
The court was told the fitness influencer’s mother is suffering from ovarian cancer and further imprisonment would be a “substantial financial deterrent” to her wellness business.
If she were to stay in prison, the business would ultimately lose “millions of dollars” or go bust, the court was told.
“She is the only one who can work on her new products and rebranding, $300,000 will be lost immediately,” Ms Bashir said.
“Her whole livelihood and savings would be lost if Smart Cleanse does not continue to trade. The family lives a very modest life.”
Ms Viney granted bail, saying she was satisfied Ms Daisley would not be of significant risk to the community.
Ms Daisley jumped up from her chair in the AVL suite and exclaimed “thank you” multiple times as she clasped her hands together, while her father applauded from the public gallery.
Ms Viney told Ms Daisley she was not the only person in prison who felt they could deal with their mental health issues better if released.
“In courtroom after courtroom there are an extremely large number of people with enormously complex needs after a life of trauma,” Ms Viney said.
“The reality is if this would apply as a given, the system would break down and everyone one would be released.”
Ms Daisley must comply with strict conditions, including residing with her parents in the Southern Highlands and only leaving the home if in company with her parents or sister.
She must surrender her passport and have no contact with the alleged victim or any witnesses.
Ms Daisley must also report to Moss Vale police station three times a week.
Her lawyer told the court Ms Daisley vehemently denied the charges and would be fighting them at trial.
Sergeant McKinnon told the court the police facts coupled with the phone transcript made it a “strong prosecution case” against Ms Daisley, who was “likely” to receive a conviction.
Each offense carries a maximum of 12 years in prison.