TV infomercial queen Rozz Switzer-Hewson is embroiled in one of Australia’s long-unsolved crimes after testifying at the trial of her former ex-lover.
Former TVSN host Roberto de Heredia stands accused of sending a parcel bomb in 1998 to a Penthouse model that resulted in permanent and life-changing injuries to his former friend Brett Boyd.
And after originally supporting 49-year-old Roberto, Rozz changed her statement in March, saying she that was frightened of her former flame when she gave the original one in September 1998.
The blonde star – a familiar face across Australian TV screens – now believes that her ex was involved in the attempted murder, and had gone out for hours before the explosion on that fateful night.
‘When he came back he was visibly upset, distressed, crying, and he made mention of saying there’d be some big news tomorrow,’ Rozz, 44, testified.
Pleading not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to murder, Roberto is alleged to have sent the parcel bomb to Simone Cheung, a former model and the girlfriend of Brett.
It exploded in Brett’s face, resulting in the loss of an eye and thumb, and serious head injuries, and he eventually took his own life in 2008.
After nearly two decades – having left Australia in 1999 on a friend’s passport – Roberto was arrested in the UK last year and extradited to Sydney.
And despite claims that his DNA was found on stamps on the parcel bomb, and that a confession letter to police was discovered on his computer, Roberto maintains his innocence.
He claims he fled the country in fear of his life, stating: ‘I had been threatened by Brett.’
The former TV personality couple met in 1997 while working at Channel Ten and became romantically involved, with Rozz describing Roberto as ‘charming, very charismatic, always the life of the party and everyone wanted to be his friend.’
Roberto has dismissed his former girlfriend’s claims as ‘absurd... absolute rubbish’.
UPDATE: After five days, the trial has ended in a hung jury. The case will return to court next Friday. De Heredia remains in custody.
This story originally appeared in this week's New Idea - Out now.
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