Press "Enter" to skip to content

Bob Hawke’s daughter Rosslyn Dillon is still living in ‘cockroach-infested’ flat and can’t pay rent

Bob Hawke’s youngest daughter is still living in a vermin-plagued flat three months after settling a claim against the long-serving Labor prime minister’s multi-million dollar estate.

Rosslyn Dillon had wanted $2.5million to buy herself a house in Sydney’s eastern suburbs so she could move out of her current one-bedroom flat. 

Ms Dillon described that unit, which is a 20-minute drive from the city, as infested with cockroaches and in need of repair.

The 59-year-old is on a pension and one of her two sons helps pay the $500 weekly rent. 

Ms Dillon claimed the $750,000 her famous father left each of his three children in his will was not enough money for her to live on. 

Her legal challenge, in which she wanted $4.2million to cover expenses for the rest of her lifetime, was settled out of court in May with the terms to remain confidential.

When Daily Mail Australia spoke to a frail-looking Ms Dillon this week she was still living at the old rented address. 

Mr Hawke and his second wife Blanche d’Alpuget sold their five-storey waterfront home at Northbridge on Sydney’s lower north shore for $9.2million, two months before he died there, aged 89, in May last year.

Ms d’Alpuget, who received the bulk of Mr Hawke’s estate, now lives in a city apartment in the luxury One30 Hyde Park complex on Elizabeth Street, bought off the plan for $3.36million in 2015.

 

Ms Dillon, who has had a sometimes fractious relationship with her stepmother, believed she was entitled to $2.5million to buy her own house in one of Sydney’s better suburbs. 

Her current home is on the top floor of a brick block of 12 apartments built in 1940.

The flat, which last sold for $480,000 seven years ago, has views to Sydney Tower and is described as having a northerly sunny aspect.

It has not been listed on the rental market since 2013 when it was leased for $450 a week.

In Ms Dillon’s claim for $2.5million to buy something more upmarket she had estimated she would need $60,000 to renovate the bathroom and kitchen.

Her affidavit listed further projected expenses of $50,000 for furniture, $16,000 for household appliances, $4,000 for linen and towels, $3,100 for kitchen appliances and $5,500 for other kitchen items.

She also wanted $6,000 for new clothes and shoes and $30,000 for a new set of teeth. 

Resolving the case before it went to hearing avoided a costly and lengthy legal process which would have publicly aired the Hawke family’s private business.

Ms Dillon had also alleged in her affidavit she was raped by Victorian Labor MP Bill Landeryou in the 1980s and that Mr Hawke covered it up to protect his political career.

Her claim was settled before it was due to be mentioned in the New South Wales Supreme Court on May 21 and final orders were made on May 26.

Ms d’Alpuget was a defendant in the matter along with the executors of her late husband’s will. 

The 76-year-old writer revealed in April she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre in Darlinghurst.

She has previously declined to comment on the court case. ‘I’m not well at the moment, I’m being treated for cancer,’ Ms d’Alpuget told The Australian. ‘I’m just focusing on my health now.’

Ms Dillon has also not commented on the settlement and her lawyers have not returned repeated phone calls and emails. 

Her youngest son Paul politely declined on behalf of himself and his brother David to discuss the court case, while their father Matt Dillon told Daily Mail Australia: ‘I have no interest in making any comment either now or in future.’

Ms Dillon’s affidavit, filed in the Supreme Court in December and obtained by The New Daily, revealed she was on welfare which did not even cover her rent.

‘I receive the government support pension,’ her affidavit stated. ‘It is my only income.

‘My current gross monthly income is $1,852.40. I struggle to meet my necessary day-to-day living expenses and live from fortnight to fortnight. 

‘The rent on my apartment is $500 a week. My son David pays the rent. He is on the lease as I am unable to secure or meet the cost of accommodation on my income.’

Ms Dillon suffers from depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia, which can feature a fear of environments such as open spaces.

She claimed the $750,000 set aside for her in Mr Hawke’s will was not enough to buy a Sydney home and would slash the pension that was her only income.

Ms Dillon’s older siblings Sue and Stephen, both aged in their early 60s, were left the same amount as her, as was Ms d’Alpuget’s son Louis Pratt. 

Ms d’Alpuget, who mentioned Sue but not Stephen or Rosslyn in a tribute at a public memorial for Mr Hawke in June last year, was left with everything else in the estate. 

An auction of Mr Hawke’s personal belongings including sporting memorabilia and cigar-smoking paraphernalia raised a further $671,630 in August last year.

Ms Dillon’s affidavit cited Australian Bureau of Statistics figures to estimate she would live 27.6 more years and would therefore need $1.2million to cover her expenses.

She had about $21,000 to her name including $6,000 cash and $14,000 in Ansett superannuation from working at a VIP airport lounge in Canberra in the 1980s. 

Ms Dillion wanted $30,000 for a full mouth of implanted dentures to replace the ones she has been wearing for the past five years.

‘I have no teeth of my own in my mouth,’ she said.

‘I had them all removed around five years ago at a cost of $8,000. I do have dentures, however they are uncomfortable and cause me pain. I cannot afford to have them replaced.’

Having made no plans for her funeral, she demanded a ‘reasonably priced’ $7,000 service, and a $14,400 burial plot at Eastern Suburbs Cemetery with a ‘modest’ $5,000 headstone or $4,400 memorial plaque.

Ms Dillon has no computer or access to the internet but wanted $1,030 to attend a computer course, and for her new home to have a sewing machine. 

Her mother, Hazel Hawke, died eight years after Mr Hawke married Ms d’Alpuget, his biographer and long-time mistress. 

Ms d’Alpuget previously dismissed Ms Dillon’s legal challenge as being fuelled by grief at her father’s death.

Mr Hawke’s oldest offspring, Sue Pieters-Hawke, told The New Daily her family knew of the rape allegations against Bill Landeryou and that they had distressed their father.

She insisted the family was supportive of Ms Dillon at the time but that it ‘didn’t involve using the legal system’.

Ms Dillon alleged in the affidavit she was raped three times in the 1980s by Mr Landeryou, a close friend of Mr Hawke. 

But as she turned to her father for comfort, she said she was met with a ‘shocking and hurtful’ response as he pleaded with her to stay quiet.

Ms Dillon said in her affidavit Mr Hawke feared the rape allegations could derail his political career when he was on the cusp of becoming Labor leader. 

‘You can’t go to the police,’ she claimed her father told her.

‘You can’t. I can’t have any controversies right now. I am sorry but I am challenging for the leadership of the Labor Party.’

Ms Dillon said she was ‘shocked and hurt that [my father] asked this of me’.

As a result of this alleged pressure from Mr Hawke, who had an approval rating of 75 per cent as prime minister in November 1984, Ms Dillon never went to the police.

She said she was still ‘haunted’ by the assaults as she was never able to get ‘closure’ because of her father’s demands.

‘I thought to myself, I could not make any bigger sacrifice to [my father’s] political career if I had tried,’ the affidavit said.

‘He asked me to let the matter go for him and I did so for him.

‘I am still haunted by the sexual assaults. I feel that I may have had a chance to get over these rapes if I was able to report the incidents to police.’

Mr Landeryou was an MP in the Victorian Upper House and one of Mr Hawke’s chief supporters in his bid to become prime minister. 

Ms Dillon had been using heroin in the early 1980s when her father intervened to get her a job in Mr Landeryou’s office. It was then the sexual assaults began, she claimed.

‘During the time I was employed there I was often alone in Landeryou’s office,’ she stated. ‘At some time he started to touch me in a sexual way.’

Mr Hawke was Australia’s longest serving Labor prime minister, winning federal elections in 1983, 1984, 1987 and 1991.

He married Ms d’Alpuget, with whom he had conducted a long-running affair, in 1995 after divorcing Hazel, his wife of 38 years.

Mr Hawke died on May 16 last year and a private cremation was held on 27 May at Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium before a public memorial service at the Sydney Opera House on June 14. 

Mr Landeryou, who died aged 77 on February 27 last year, had his own state funeral at St Monica’s Catholic Church in Moonee Ponds a week later on March 7.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *