Trouble followed property tycoon Albert Bertini all the way to his wedding on a tropical island, write Tim Barlass and Tom Reilly.
It is a boutique island in the shape of a footprint surrounded by pristine white beaches and the aquamarine waters of the South Pacific. Fiji's Vatulele island, with its 19 secluded bures, is a magnet for lovers seeking privacy and romance.
But paradise is only as good as the people you have to share it with, as four couples flung together on the island discovered last month. There was the Melbourne pair celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary, who soon befriended the doctors from Michigan on honeymoon.
They bonded with a third pair, also honeymooners, Vincent Jackson, of the San Diego Chargers gridiron team, who stood out among the intimate gathering at 1.96 metres and weighing 104 kilograms - and his new wife, Lindsey.
Things were going well when another couple arrived on the island - Albert Bertini, a multimillionaire property dealer, and his fiancee.
A friend of actor Russell Crowe, Mr Bertini's $400 million Trivest heritage building company refurbished South Sydney Leagues Club. The 49-year-old, born in France, also made the newspaper columns when he revealed plans to build a $1 million lift down to the boatshed at his Mosman home. The house set a record for the area when he bought it in 2007 for $22.5 million.
To many he will also be familiar for featuring on Crowe's Secret Millionaire show on Channel Nine.
Word spread around the island that, upon arrival, Mr Bertini had asked the resort to do two things - organise a wedding in the village church the next day and for him to buy the island resort.
''We were with the American doctors after dinner outdoors,'' the Melbourne wife, who did not want to be named, said, ''and they were videoing the outdoor dining area and panning the room and he [Mr Bertini] was in the room at another table.''
What happened next is hotly disputed.
''Then randomly he came up to my husband and said: 'I am going to f***ing have you,' '' the Melbourne wife claims. ''He said, 'Come over here', and stormed out of the door to an outside area. My husband felt he wanted a biffo. He wanted confrontation.
''Mr Jackson then went over and stood to break up the potential fight. It was at this stage that the camera got smashed. He [Bertini] picked it up and said to the doctor he was a diplomat and didn't want his photos all over the place. He accused him of filming with no authority.''
Mr Bertini is alleged to have offered to buy the damaged camera. The Melbourne wife says the doctor declined because his wedding pictures were on the hard drive. When The Sun-Herald tracked down Mr Bertini to seek a response to the claims, he asked us not to reveal his whereabouts but confirmed he had married on Vatulele, though he would not reveal the name of his bride.
''I think we got married on the fourth day,'' he said. ''It was spur of the moment - we were getting married in the next two months and I thought let's do it here.''
Asked if he was negotiating to buy the resort, he said: ''No, I don't do that for a living, you know what I do for a living. Not at all. Not at all.''
He did not accept that he broke the camera and said Mr Jackson had not had to intervene to stop what was about to be a fight.
''I thought it was my wife that stopped … I mean what's all this about?'' he said. ''That's bullshit. Why don't you ring the resort. It's all nonsense. I deny all of this, that's wrong.
''Maybe they are jealous that I am better looking and they are threatened with their wives. Maybe I am a better colourful character. People sell stories about people. I never get myself in public and I look for small places to go to. When the Aussies are involved that's what always happens. When the guy is better looking, he's got character, charisma, charm. He's French or Italian and he's hot, as I am, guess what, they'll feel threatened and they've got to start some stories.
''Anyway, I am just a simple guy at the end of the day.''
The manageress at the resort declined to discuss the matter.
''We have a policy in place on the island that whatever happens here and with our guests, remains confidential,'' she said.
The island is understood to be owned by a New Zealand property developer but the deputy chief executive of that company said that it was in receivership and may change hands soon.
''At this stage it's definitely not owned by Mr Bertini,'' he said, but declined to say whether the flamboyant property tycoon was in discussions to buy the island.