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Producer denies ‘grandstanding’ over alleged assault by gangland widow

Alleged victim Ryan Naumenko.

Alleged victim Ryan Naumenko.Credit:Seven News

Mr Naumenko claims he was told to meet the group at Cloakroom Media in Collingwood, but when he arrived the men locked the doors behind him, and repeatedly punched, kicked and threatened him

In a police summary released by the court, Mr Naumenko alleges that Ms Williams yelled at one point: “Kill the c—, he has no money, we have what we want” and “I’m the f—ing godmother, you f—wit.” She is also accused of choking Mr Naumenko with a power cord.

In court on Wednesday, Ms Williams’ lawyer John Desmond accused Mr Naumenko of lying about the events of that night and of “faking” his expertise and experience in the media industry.

Mr Naumenko disagreed, but admitted that a claim he made in his police statement last year – which said that he worked with Channel Nine – was not true. He said he had meant to say that he knew someone at the network who had expressed interest in Ms Williams’ reality show.

Mr Desmond said that Mr Naumenko had a criminal history which included “a series of dishonesty offences”.

“I’m putting to you that your entire story is a fabrication as to what occurred. And I’m putting to you, you are a man of no credit, you are a dishonest person,” he said. “I suggest you have been scheming and scamming people for much of your life and you continue to do so, is that true?”

“No, it’s not,” replied Mr Naumenko.

The court was played an excerpt from Mr Naumenko’s podcast, in which he boasts: “I’ve known and still know some of the biggest players in the Melbourne criminal underworld”.

Mr Desmond asked: “You have made a decision to be a grandstander over an event that did not happen at all the way you have described it. You have made yourself out to be the victim to promote yourself in social media and electronic media such as the podcast. What do you say?”


“I disagree,” said Mr Naumenko.

Mr Naumenko said on Wednesday the alleged assault was the “biggest beating I’ve ever copped”.

“There was a lot of blood,” he said. “I was told I was going to be killed multiple times that night.”

He claims that he couldn’t breath when Ms Williams came up behind him and started choking him with an electrical cord.

“I was pulling [on the cord] … I’m a lot bigger than Roberta, I overpowered her and she carried on screaming,” he said.

After the alleged assault he says he was driven to his apartment where he says he told his mother “they tried to kill me … they bashed me”

He did not go to the police initially as he “didn’t trust them”, he said.

Instead he contacted The Age’s senior reporter John Silvester in an email on July 11 in which he said he had been “beaten to an inch of his life” and “wanted to speak to someone trustworthy in [police taskforce] Purana”.

The email was forwarded to police, who contacted Mr Naumenko that afternoon. He gave a statement later that day.

Dr Gerald Murphy, who undertook a forensic medical examination of Mr Naumenko in the days after the incident, also gave evidence on Wednesday.

He said Mr Naumenko had told him he had been punched, kicked and struck with the butt of a gun by a group of five or six men with whom he was making a documentary about Ms Williams.

The doctor said in his opinion the injuries he saw were compatible with someone who had been assaulted.

The committal hearing to decide whether Ms Williams and the four men stand trial will continue on Thursday.

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