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Geoffrey Walter Edelsten (born 2 May 1943) is an Australian medical entrepreneur who founded Allied Medical Group. Edelsten, a general practitioner whose eccentric clinics and lifestyle attracted media attention in the 1980s.
He owned mansions, helicopters, and a fleet of Rolls-Royces and Lamborghinis with license plates such as Macho, Spunky, and Sexy.
His multidisciplinary clinics, the forerunners of modern corporate medical services, were open 24 hours, and were equipped with chandeliers, grand pianos, and mink-covered examination tables.
Edelsten and a business partner founded Allied Medical Group, which by 2010 operated 17 medical centers and recruited 250 general practitioners. He was jailed for perverting the path of justice and bribes Christopher Dale Flannery to assault a former patient.
Edelsten is not the founder or owner of the company, but he was not the first private owner of a major Australian football team, the Sydney Swans, which he purchased in 1985.
Edelsten was born in Carlton, a Melbourne inner suburb, on May 2nd. Linda Leigh, a lingerie store chain, was established by his parents, Hymie and Esther. Both his grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Edelsten attended Princes Hill Public School and matriculated at Mount Scopus Memorial College, Australia's first Jewish co-educational institution. He continued to study at the University of Melbourne, graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree in 1966.
Leanne Nesbitt, Edelsten's first wife, married him in the early 1980s. She was 19 years old and modeling as a model. During this time, his flamboyant lifestyle attracted media attention – he owned mansions, a football team, a fleet of Rolls-Royces and Lamborghinis with license plates such as Macho, Spunky, and Sexy, and was associated with a pink helicopter (although Edelsten and his wife in later interviews maintained that the helicopter was in fact blue and white). After three years of marriage, the couple was divorced.
Edelsten announced in January 2009 that he would marry Brynne Gordon, a 25-year-old fitness instructor from California. They were married in Melbourne's Crown Casino on November 29, 2009. The wedding was reported to have cost about $3 million, and featured a helicopter, a Bentley, 550 people, circus artists, and other headline acts, including Tom Burlinson and other headline acts. Guests received a pre-wedding DVD about Edelsten and Gordon, with narration by actor Jason Alexander, who gave an address at the wedding. Fran Drescher, an actress, was also present, although neither Alexander nor Drescher knew the couple.
Edelsten requested that guests attending his 2009 wedding not give wedding gifts but give their donations to charities including beyondblue, the Royal Children's Hospital, and Magen David Adom. More than three years later, many of the charities that had once linked to Great Expectations had no funds and, in at least one case, had to break links with Edelsten's foundation. According to a Fairfax Media report, at least three charitable and not-for-profit organizations had either never received funds from Edelsten's foundation or were unaware that their names were being used to fund-raise from the public and wedding guests. They include the Royal Children's Hospital, the Lighthouse Foundation, and the American Women's Auxiliary.
The robbers robbed luxurious vehicles belonging to Edelsten in June 2012, more than $1.4 million. Among them was a Lamborghini Aventador worth about $800,000, one of only a handful of Aventadors in Australia.
Edelsten's marriage to Brynne was over in January 2014. Brynne said she was unable to compensate "her media-obsessed husband" for a reported dalliance with another woman more than 18 months ago.
Edelsten planned to marry Gabi Grecko, who is 46 years old, in July 2014. On June 11, 2015, Edelsten and Grecko married.
Edelsten owned Hit Productions, a Melbourne-based record firm that worked with music publishers Festival Records in the 1960s. During the same period, his family owned the Edels record retailer chain.
Edelsten was awarded with co-writing "I Can't Stop Loving You, Baby" and "A Woman Of Gradient Decline" for the group The Last Straws, whose singles were released on his short-lived Scope label in 1966.
"Something Easy"/"Michael," Hit Productions' debut single in 1967, was released in Melbourne. Edelsten co-produced the single "Love Machine" for the studio group Pastoral Symphony in 1968, starring Glenn Shorrock and his band, Ronnie Charles of the Groop, and several other musicians.
Early medical career
Edelsten began working at the Royal Melbourne Hospital as a resident medical officer before coming to general practice. He worked in remote rural areas of New South Wales and Queensland, including the towns of Wauchope, Aramac, and Walgett, where he bought his first private practice. He obtained a private pilot's licence in order to provide medical services to rural areas, often at no cost to patients who could not afford to pay.
In 1969, he and a colleague founded a new medical clinic in Coogee, Sydney. Edelsten began to dedicate more time to the Sydney office, which soon expanded to Liverpool after training an assistant doctor to do the job.
Edelsten and a colleague, Tom Wenkart, founded Prencare, a Sydney-based company that provides diagnostic procedures and computerized history for doctors throughout Australia, in 1971, with new equipment from the United States that could quickly and cheaply process pathology specimens. Premicare incurred debts quickly because certain of its activities were financially poor, and because of patient payments' delays, patients' accounts owed much more than the company's debts. The Equity Court ordered a provisional liquidator to act as a temporary business manager to reorder the company's financial affairs in July 1971. Brian Wickens, Prescriptive Care's General Manager, announced that the company was on a healthy financial footing later this year. Morlea Pathology Services, Inc., was a company that operated under the new brand Morlea Pathology Services, in 1975, making annual revenues of $2.5 million to $3 million. Macquarie Professional Services is the successor to Preservicare. Edelsten and his associates established eight practices in the Sydney area, as well as medical obstetrics at three western Sydney hospitals. Edelsten returned to Australia in 1978 to restart his general practice, surgical, and obstetric duties.
Edelsten began to operate 24-hour medical centers in February 1984, which were the forerunners of modern corporate medical practices. The clinics were decorated with chandeliers, white grand pianos, and mink-covered exam tables, drew a lot of media notice. Edelsten's clinics were among Australia's first to Medicare bulk-bill patients so that they paid no upfront cost. Within four months of opening, the first clinic was seeing 2,000 patients a week. Edelsten had three medical centers before, in which approximately 20,000 patients saw 200 doctors every week.
Edelsten and a business associate formed Allied Medical Group in 2005. Allied Medical Group employs approximately 250 general practitioners and operates seventeen "Superclinics" in Victoria, three in Queensland and one in South Australia. The clinics also expanded opening hours and bulk-billing for patients to Medicare for the majority of services, so that the patient pays no direct cost. Edelsten protested the Department of Health's use of the term "superclinic" as a registered trademark of Allied Medical Group following the Australian government's 2008 decision to open "GP Super Clinics" in 31 clinics around the country. Allied Medical Group was sold to Sonic Healthcare in 2011 in a deal worth up to $200 million.
Edelsten filed for bankruptcy in the United States in January 2014. This was a way to "better understand the investments made in the United States," his Australian lawyers said.
Edelsten appeared in the fourth season of The Celebrity Apprentice Australia in 2015.