Celebrity chef George Calombaris is said to be selling his five-bedroom, four-bathroom $4.75 million Toorak mansion in a bid to keep afloat in the wake of his wage theft scandal, which saw him pay a $200,000 "contrition payment" after admitting to underpaying staff at his Melbourne restaurants nearly $8 million.
Sources close to the embattled star – who also recently lost his lucrative gig on Ten's top-rating cooking show MasterChef – have told Woman's Day that George is worried about his future.
"The pay scandal has cost George and his family enormously, not only in a dollar sense but reputationally, too. It's all come crashing down on him. They're looking at selling the family property because of this," our source reveals, adding that George was given poor advice in regards to handling media in the wake of the storm.
"George came out of this looking worse than when it started. What was he thinking, what were his advisers thinking?"
In July, George made an impassioned TV appearance begging people not to abandon his restaurants after diners started boycotting his establishments.
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George, 41, and his wife Natalie Tricario are now in "damage control", with Natalie working to change the direction of their multimillion-dollar business.
"Had George realised this monumental mistake was more about the workers instead of him, he may have come out the other side with little reputational damage, but it's the complete opposite and he's going to have to pay in some way now."
Despite falling on troubled times, the father-of-two won't be homeless – the family still has their $2.2 million weekender on the Mornington Peninsula, as well as his $580,000 townhouse in Safety Beach.
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Australian Women's WeeklyToday 11:49am