Kiwi bad boy's retreat to Bali

Author
Ricardo Simich,
Section
Spy News,
Publish Date
Saturday, 10 November 2018, 2:28PM
Former All Black halfback Byron Kelleher is the latest high-profile export to set up base in Bali. Photo / supplied
Former All Black halfback Byron Kelleher is the latest high-profile export to set up base in Bali. Photo / supplied

What is it about sun-drenched Bali that is attracting Kiwi sports personalities who have made headlines for the wrong reasons?

Former All Black halfback Byron Kelleher is the latest high-profile export to set up base in the popular Indonesian tourism destination.

The arrival of 41-year-old Kelleher to Bali — with his new partner, freelance make-up artist Yuliana Desta — comes on the heels of former Kiwis star Brent Todd, 53, and former sports broadcaster Tony Veitch, 45.

All three excelled in their chosen arenas, before being caught up in controversy. And now all three are enjoying the sun-soaked beaches of Bali.

Spy understands Kelleher and Desta have been dating several months. In September Desta posted about Kelleher on Facebook.

“Proud to call him my Man, kisses, hearts, emoticons ...  ”

On his Facebook page, 41-year-old Kelleher says he is tri-country living, citing New Zealand, Bali and France.

Kelleher, who famously dated an American porn star during his All Black career, was plagued by controversy after he quit NZ rugby for France following the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

In 2009, he was charged for driving under the influence of alcohol and assault, receiving a two-month suspended jail term and a fine. He was arrested again in October 2013 for driving on the wrong side of the road, while four times over the legal alcohol limit. And in 2016, he was arrested for destruction and domestic violence, later being fined $300.

Todd — who Spy revealed in July had set up tattoo studios in Kuta and Seminyak — was plagued with controversy post-career when he was convicted and sentenced to home detention for his part in a scam involving false invoicing and fraudulent use of pokie funds.

And Veitch — who pleaded guilty in 2009 to assaulting his ex-partner — revealed last month that he had quit New Zealand and had started a retreat in Bali.

Desta and Kelleher were back in New Zealand in October and were seen dining at the Java Room in Parnell. Last week, back in Bali, they posed at a Melbourne Cup event at Aussie ex-pat hotspot Da Maria.