Embattled celebrity fashion designer Johanna Johnson has agreed to quarantine hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of personal assets after a New South Wales liquidator took her to court.
The designer’s Alexandria-based company was placed into liquidation in April, owing more than $1 million to the Australian Tax Office.
But Johnson, whose gowns have adorned a bevy of celebrities including Madonna and Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks, has not been found liable for her company’s debts.
The court-appointed liquidator Tim Cook, represented by lawyer David Armstrong, applied to freeze Johnson’s personal assets in the Federal Court on Friday, after learning she had sold her Vaucluse home.
The ABC understands the house was sold for about $3.2 million.
Johnson’s assets were temporarily frozen over the weekend following a court order on Friday.
However, on Monday the order was lifted, after Johnson and her husband agreed the net proceeds of the sale of the house, which total almost $665,000, be preserved in a solicitor’s trust account.
This means the designer and her husband cannot access the money without advising the liquidator.
‘Extremely challenging time’ for designer
A spokeswoman for Johnson said it had been an “extremely challenging time” for the designer.
“An attempt to freeze the assets of Ms Johanna Johnson by Balance Insolvency was on 18 July 2016 determined by Court Order to be unsuccessful,” a statement said.
“As this matter is active before the court, no further comment will be made at this time.”
The statement went on to thank the designer’s clients.
“Her focus continues to be on the wellbeing of her young family and maintaining the commitment she made to her brides to ensure they receive their wedding dresses as promised.
“Johanna would like to thank all loyal Australian and international clientele for their support through this process.”
The case will return to the Federal Court on August 30.
Dresses go under the hammer
The ABC understands about 100 of Johnson’s dresses have been sold on auctioning website Grays Online for a total of about $50,000.