Reynolds’ ex in $10k funeral scam: ‘She’s an evil genius’
The twisted world of NRL star Josh Reynolds' former partner Arabella Del Busso has been laid bare by a former lover who revealed she conned him out of $10,000 by faking four funerals - including her mother's - and feigning poverty for loans she never repaid.
Mechanic and nightclub owner Michael Hayes branded the buxom 30-year-old "an evil genius" whose modus operandi is to simultaneously target eligible and wealthy men to fund her luxurious lifestyle.
Mr Hayes, along with four other men, have given key statements to Reynolds' lawyers who are defending him against charges related to an alleged domestic violence incident involving Ms Del Busso last year.
The five men told Reynolds' defence team about having handed over thousands of dollars for various reasons to Ms Del Busso.
"I fell for her lies because I admit she's beautiful and she knows it, she uses her looks and her massive fake tits to get what she wants," Mr Hayes told The Saturday Telegraph.
"We had dated for six months and the whole time I was with her (she claimed) four people died. She said her mother had died and she didn't have money for the funeral - I paid it. Months later another uncle died and another relative, I paid for that funeral too.
"Then she said she did not have the money for a bond for an apartment and, like a fool, I lent her the money.
"I felt something was suss, she lies through her teeth, she's compulsive. In the end my lawyer and I set up an elaborate sting to catch her out.
"I found out her mum is still alive and so is the relative she claimed died suddenly of cancer."
Ms Del Busso - whose real name is Donna Preusker - has a history of deception and false aliases and has accused former boyfriend Reynolds of assault.
He maintains he was the subject of a calculated plot by his ex who faked multiple pregnancies and even lied about suffering from cancer - claims she vehemently rejects.
Reynolds' defence also claims she digitally manipulated images to give the illusion she was pregnant.
A witness has also provided a statement to Reynolds' legal team alleging Ms Del Busso, a former receptionist at a Melbourne IVF clinic, asked them to help her inject fertility drugs to bloat her stomach so she appeared pregnant.
Mr Hayes, a 36-year-old father from Sanctuary Cove in Queensland, successfully sued Ms Del Busso for fraud and obtaining money by deception and was awarded $7866 via a Queensland tribunal in 2019.
He said they first connected over Facebook and she flew from Melbourne to the Gold Coast to meet him.
"I picked her up at the airport and we went for dinner. I thought she was a weapon, she was attractive, extremely confident in what she does, she believes confidence is king," he said.
"We dated for about nine months but the last two were about me setting her up to catch her out, she's smart but not as smart as me.
"I was the last guy she dated before Josh and when I heard she was taking him to court, I gave him my court papers to use for his defence.
"I feel sorry for the guy, he's not as bright as me and took longer to suss her out."