John Ibrahim’s family misery has helped make his recent memoir a non-fiction bestseller and among those to benefit are the drug addicts of Kings Cross.
Ibrahim’s book has been reprinted four times as his younger brothers Fadi and Michael sit in Dubai prison cells after their arrest on international drug trafficking charges last month.
The former Sydney nightclub boss has barely done any publicity for Last King of the Cross but his family’s recent troubles have kept the Ibrahim name in the headlines for the past five weeks.
That unwanted attention has helped drive sales of the book and Ibrahim says he has donated all of his six-figure advance – and more – to charities, including the Wayside Chapel at Kings Cross.
John Ibrahim and girlfriend Sarah Budge, a Kings Cross bar owner and model, pictured enjoying a day by the sea in Ibiza while on holiday with Kyle Sandilands and Imogen Anthony
John Ibrahim was reading his own book, Last King of the Cross, when pictured by Daily Mail Australia on the balcony of his Dover Heights home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs last month
John Ibrahim’s memoir Last King of the Cross, detailing his rise from lowly driver and doorman to nightclub baron, has been reprinted four times since it was published on July 25
Nightclub identiy John Ibrahim has made a ‘very generous’ donation to Sydney’s Wayside Chapel from the advance of his best-selling memoir Last King of the Cross, published in July
The Wayside Chapel provides practical support for Sydney’ disconnected and disadvantaged including those addicted to drugs.
Wayside spokesman Lee Cooper confirmed Ibrahim made a ‘very generous, major donation’ to the charity from his advance for the book – well before Fadi and Michael’s arrests in Dubai.
Since the book’s release on July 25, four of Ibrahim’s five siblings, his son, girlfriend and mother have all made news after police attention involving guns, cash and drugs.
Son Daniel was arrested in Sydney on August 8 – the same day Fadi and Michael were arrested in Dubai – and charged with handling bags containing $2.25 million said to be part of an illegal tobacco importation.
Girlfriend Sarah Budge was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon when a loaded Glock pistol was allegedly found in her home at Double Bay in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
A semi-automatic rifle and a loaded 9mm handgun were allegedly found at mother Wahiba’s home at Merrylands, south-west of Sydney, in separate searches last month.
Michael (left), John (centre), Fadi (right) and Wahibi (front) Ibrahim have all been making news since the publication of John’s memoir about his rise from the streets of Kings Cross
John Ibrahim reads his own book Last King of the Cross last month while sunning himself on the balcony of his luxury home at Dover Heights, which was searched by police on August 8
John Ibrahim, pictured at a 2010 fashion show, writes in Last King of the Cross that he has retired from running nightclubs and that ‘an era has passed and me along with it’
Sister Jazz Dior, formerly Maha Seyour, has been sentenced over a firearms supply racket to 18 months jail to be served as an intensive corrections order in the community.
And big brother Sam, who has been in prison on remand for more than three years, was in court on Thursday awaiting sentence for his role in a broader gun-running conspiracy.
Meanwhile John, who was not arrested or charged after a raid on his home in August, has been staying quiet while book buyers lap up his version of the Ibrahim family’s affairs.
Daily Mail Australia even photographed the author – whose nightclub career was dramatised in the Underbelly television franchise – sitting shirtless on his Dover Heights balcony reading Last King of the Cross late last month.
A spokeswoman for Pan Macmillan Australia said the publisher did not release sales figures but the book was ‘selling very well’ and had been reprinted four times.
Nightclub boss John Ibrahim was not arrested or charged with any offence when his brothers Fadi and Michael were picked up in Dubai over an alleged drug trafficking syndicate
The Wayside Chapel in Sydney’s Kings Cross offers support to the most marginalised members of the inner-city community under the banner ‘Love Over Hate’ and a place to just drop in
John Ibrahim’s sister Jazz Dior, formerly Maha Sayour, arriving at Downing Centre District Court on August 3 to face sentencing for her role in a Sydney gun-running racket
A spokeswoman for Dymocks said Last King of the Cross debuted at No 4 on its best-seller list in its first week of publication and remained in its top 30 until a fortnight ago.
Among the winners out of those sales have been Sydney’s disadvantaged. Ibrahim writes in a note at the start of the book that all proceeds due to him are going to ‘various charities’.
One of those charities was the Wayside Chapel, spokesman Lee Cooper confirmed to Daily Mail Australia.
‘I’m more than happy to confirm that John has made a very generous donation to the Wayside Chapel,’ Mr Cooper said. ‘A very generous, major donation.
‘As with all of our major donors it’s something that we are eternally grateful for. It certainly set the financial year off to a really positive start.’
Nightclub king and author John Ibrahim pictured with girlfriend Sarah Budge, who has been charged with possessing a Glock handgun in her home at Double Bay in Sydney’s east
Ecstasy and cocaine seized in The Netherlands in a police operation that targeted John Ibrahim’s brothers Fadi and Michael, both of whom are awaiting extradition in Dubai
Onetime nightclub doorman John Ibrahim with a copy of Last King of the Cross on the balcony of his Dover Heights home which was raided by Australian Federal Police on August 8
And it seems Ibrahim has been a long-term supporter of the charity’s work.
‘I do know that he does love the work of the Wayside,’ Mr Cooper said. ‘We’re part of the Kings Cross fabric as much as John is and we have a special place in his heart.’
When an Ibrahim memoir was first publicly mooted eight years ago a spokeswoman for the nightclub boss said he planned to donate all his profits to the children’s ward at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH).
That donation was to be in recognition of the RNSH team that cared for Fadi after he was shot five times in his Lamborghini outside his home at Castle Cove on Sydney’s north shore in June 2009.
Ibrahim also said he would donate the cost of police guarding his brother while he recovered – at once point estimated to be $46,000 – to the emergency department at RNSH.
John Ibrahim (left) with his bookkeeper Margaret Staltaro, younger brother Michael (third from left) and former soldier son Daniel (far right) at Bondi Icebergs in August last year
Profits from Last King of the Cross due to John Ibrahim are going to various charities including the Wayside Chapel (pictured) which provides help to many of Sydney’s disadvantaged
John Ibrahim’s older brother Sam, pictured outside the Downing Centre court complex in 2011, has been in jail three years while awaiting sentence over his role in a gun-running ring
The book’s strong sales come despite – or because of – large tracts being run in various media over the past couple of months.
As well as documenting Ibrahim’s rise from driver and doorman to nightclub baron, Last King of the Cross features tales about Ibrahim’s love life, partying and celebrity friends.
Ibrahim writes of trying ecstasy and cocaine, police finding his ‘fun cupboard’ filled with sex toys during a raid on his home and of keeping a ‘double-ended dildo’ in his car as a weapon.
Elsewhere Ibrahim details a $100,000 bet he had with businessman John Singleton over a boxing match between Garth Wood and Anthony Mundine. Ibrahim backed Mundine, who won, and donated $84,000 to charity.
Other passages describe his encounters with celebrities including Stevie Wonder, Leonardo DiCaprio, Beyonce, Jay Z, Snoop Dog and Chris Brown.
The book also reveals Ibrahim’s charitable intentions date back at least two decades to when his reputation thwarted a bid by him to help starving children in Africa.
‘I resigned myself to donate 12 months of my time to UNICEF for starving children in the Ethiopian famine,’ he wrote of his 1998 plan. ‘They rejected my application due to unflattering publicity.’
Last King of the Cross, by John Ibrahim, published by Macmillan Australia, $34.99.
Australian Federal Police officers search the home of nightclub identity and former Kings Cross doorman John Ibrahim at Dover Heights, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, on August 8