Man ‘believed’ he was dating Sophie Monk
A Sydney man claims to have been duped by online scammers into thinking he was in a romantic relationship with television personality Sophie Monk.
Brian Anthony Rapley, 49, did not appear before Gosford Local Court on Tuesday after NSW Police took out an apprehended violence order when he showed up outside Monk’s Central Coast home.
The court was told the father of two was seen on CCTV placing a red rose at the reality TV star’s door about 7.30am on Anzac Day this year before returning shirtless to remove the flowers 12 hours later.
After warning the lovestruck Mr Rapley against returning, police swooped after he reappeared at the former Bachelorette star’s door. He was later served a restraining order at Gosford police station.
Mr Rapley, who lives out of a shack, claims to have been misled by an online con artist posing as Monk who sent him romantic texts and direct messages for four months before later scamming him out of $7000.
“I felt like such an idiot,” Mr Rapley told The Daily Telegraph.
“But I thought we were in a relationship.”
Mr Rapley said the scammer latched onto him after he left comments under one of Monk’s Instagram posts.
Soon after, Mr Rapley began receiving messages from an account with the same image as the TV star.
The user claimed to be Monk who had used a different account because “my manager reads my official account, so this is better”, Mr Rapley told reporters earlier this month.
Mr Rapley said he only spoke to the scammer online, with the fraudster insisting “(their) phone was broken”.
He said he was contacted by a company claiming to be a legal firm urging him to sign a temporary marriage certificate with Monk, as she was already married to businessman Joshua Gross.
Mr Rapley said he was also instructed to sign several documents as well as send photo ID and money.
Although he questioned the repeated requests, Mr Rapley said he was “lonely and believed (them)”.
He said he was later asked to attend Monk’s home in messages seen by police and The Daily Telegraph, with the scammer even providing the Love Island star’s residential address.
Monk’s neighbours alerted the TV starlet’s manager when Mr Rapley yelled out for the 43-year-old, who has since told police she had never been in contact with, or known, Mr Rapley.
In a statement to police, Monk said: “I do not know any person by the name of Brian Rapley. I am not in a relationship with anyone by the name of Brian Rapley. I am currently happily married to my husband Joshua Gross.”
Mr Rapley has not been charged with any criminal matters.
He will reappear before Gosford court on June 27 for mention.
The final details of the order are expected to finalised on that date.