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3The Independent Weekly
news March 5 - 11, 2010
He had the finesse of a
barista, not the mad glint
of a psychopath. Do not be
fooled. Despite the devious
host making his guest feel welcome,
life is in peril.
"Rampaging Rick Phillips!"
screams a website run out of
Melbourne by a blogger called
Andrew Landeryou. "A vicious
attack," it called Mr Phillips
assault on a man who, Mr Phillips
suspected, had had an improper
relationship with his wife. That the
"frenzied, terrifying and vicious
attack" consisted of a few slaps
across the face with a rolled-up
magazine made little difference to
Other posters joined the
character assassination. Phillips
was accused of beating his wife,
of being a domineering thug
used to getting his own way.
Psychologically mad. Others called
for him to be jailed.
"Danger! Danger!" Class M-3
robot warns those Lost in Space. "As
soon as there is life there is danger,"
cautions Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Luke Skywalker against the Dark
Side, Mowgli against Kaa. Coffee
from the espresso machine, warm
sun in a two-storey showcase home,
creek at the front and kids swing
out the back.
A malevolently well-adjusted
18-and-a-half-year-old comes from
the hallway, makes a cold chicken
sandwich and talks about bike
riding and deferring his commerce
degree for a year to see the world.
His crazed thug father beams with
Anton echoes his dad s easy man-
nerisms and his ready smile reflects
his mother s face -- not that she s
been smiling a lot lately. Michelle
Chantelois is unenvied by every
woman who s ever been attracted to
a man other than her husband.
The story starts simply. Ms
Chantelois, a mother of two young
boys, had given her husband reason
to suspect she d been having an
affair. The husband, Rick Phillips,
had tried to phone, write and meet
the man, man on man, without
success. Four years later they
chanced to be in the same building.
Mr Phillips hit the alleged para-
mour with a rolled-up magazine,
was charged with assault, and
then -- and only then, to help her
now estranged husband -- did Ms
Chantelois publicly reveal her
claims of a sexual affair.
This was of interest because
the man she named as her partner
in the tryst was in the public eye,
holding a commission from his
Excellency the Governor. That man,
she says, was Premier Mike Rann.
The Premier denies the friendship
was sexual. It was, he says, merely
"flirty" and "funny".
So the violent dangerous psycho
pours a coffee with his son chat-
ting in the kitchen, and into the
courtyard takes his guest, who fears
Rick Phillips talks for the first
time since October, 2009.
"I ve had to deal with the destruc-
tion of my marriage and how my
children have had to deal with it,
and how Michelle s had to deal with
it." He measures his words like a
pastry chef measuring flour. He is
considered. He has had five months
of self-imposed silence. He looks
across the table, and begins with a
question. It is not about himself, nor
about Michelle. It is about Sasha
Carruozzo, the wife of Premier
"How s she coping?" he asks with
"How much pride and how much
spin does she have to swallow
through this whole thing? She s
probably the only person who s
doing it tougher than me."
Mr Rann was Opposition Leader
when he met the attractive blonde
working in the Parliamentary
dining room. "From what she s told
me," Mr Phillips said yesterday,
"she d worked there for quite some
time. She said it was weird that she
was always sent to the Labor Party
table to serve drinks and food but
never to the Liberal Party table.
And he would always come back to
her late at night and ask her when
she was leaving."
Last year Michelle Chantelois put
it like this: "Sometime after June
2003 I remember meeting him in
the hallway one day and we had our
usual friendly chat. He pulled out a
business card and wrote his mobile
number on the card and gave it to
me. He said: Call me, call me .
"I started feeling that there was
a bit of chemistry between us. It
was a mutual thing. I was aware
of it and I knew it wasn t healthy.
It wasn t healthy because I was
Chantelois claims that late
one evening in November 2003,
while she was working on her
own cleaning up, Mr Rann came
into the dining room. "During the
discussion he invited me to go to
his office." She claims Rann said to
her: "I d like you to come back to my
office for a kiss".
The friendship took root, and Ms
Chantelois says it blossomed and
The most dangerous
man in South Australia
Continued Page 4
Rick Phillips gives his first interview. Photo: Kate Elmes
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