Australian Defence Force veteran and aspiring politician Heston Russell has denied a charge he allegedly punched a man at a Sydney pool party.
The 36-year-old retired major is the founder of the Australian Values Party. He’s vying for a Queensland Senate seat in this weekend’s federal election.
The alleged incident dates back to early January this year. NSW Police have confirmed they charged the Queensland Senate candidate following a months-long investigation.
Russell has received a notice to attend Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on June 21 to face one count of common assault, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
In January, the Queenslander was in Sydney and attended the private rooftop pool party in an inner-city apartment building.
Russell allegedly hit the man during an argument at the party. A witness earlier told the Sydney Morning Herald the incident occurred after Russell allegedly made “unwanted advances”.
“He was told it wasn’t cool and was asked to leave the guy alone as his boyfriend was there watching it all and getting very upset,” a witness alleged.
“Heston responded that he ‘had no idea’ and became very angry, very quickly.”
He then allegedly threatened to throw one of the men over the third-floor balcony, prompting the alleged victim to tell Russell to leave.
But Russell then allegedly struck him on the left-hand side of his face, leaving the victim “seeing stars,” he claimed. Security then escorted Russell from the party, the witnesses claimed.
NSW Police said this week they had obtained CCTV footage from the building and witness statements from the alleged victim and two bystanders.
Heston Russell denies ‘unfounded’ allegation
But in a statement, Russell confirmed the police investigation but has denied the allegation.
“The allegations are completely unfounded, which I have no doubt the police will discover in due course,” he said.
“This is another poor attempt at smearing and an attack on my character to deter voters in the week leading up to the election.”
Heston Russell is vying for a Queensland Senate seat under his Australian Values Party banner at the federal election.
Last year, Russell made headlines over his OnlyFans account, which he used to raise money for a veteran’s charity.
At the time Russell was accused of misleading the charity over the account’s content and the donations.
He denied any wrongdoing. Russell later lodged a criminal complaint against the ABC for publishing blurred explicit images of him without consent.
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