Trigger warning: this post contains violent language and graphic video material.
Controversial Sydney figure Salim Mehajer appears to have deactivated his social media accounts following the release of damning video evidence showing of him violently abusing his estranged wife, Aysha Learmonth.
The former Auburn deputy mayor also released a statement claiming his wife was “betrayed” or “set up” in her decision to leak the footage.
Aysha and Salim on their wedding day last year. Source: Facebook.
Airing on Monday night's episode of Channel 9's A Current Affair, the self-filmed footage shows Mehajer screaming into the camera threatening to harm Aysha's parents, and repeatedly referring to Aysha as a "f**king slut."
“Aysha you’ve got five minutes to give me a call,” the 30-year-old is seen shouting at the camera.
“If you don’t call me in five minutes I’m going to rape your mum. Your mum and your f***ing dad. Call me now," he says in one message, following quickly by another in which he screams, "Aysha I hope you die you slut. I swear on the Koran. I swear to God. I'm not leaving today. I hope you die you f***ing slut."
Aysha Learmonth and Salim Mehajer. Source: Facebook.
The reporter behind the story, Alison Piotrowski, told the Today Show team that in her eight years of working at A Current Affair the videos of Mehajer were some of the most troubling footage she's ever witnessed.
"I’ve seen some very confronting stuff — some we’ve shown on camera, some we haven’t," Piotrowski said, continuing, "I do have to say, this is the most confronting video I’ve seen in my eight years on the show."
A pre-wedding video of Salim and Aysha Mehajer. Post continues...
In a statement released on Monday night, Mehajer said: “Aysha is a beautiful, warm, amazing individual, whom I believe was betrayed, or set-up by someone who supplied A Current Affair with these out of context videos to make a sensationalised story."
Addressing Piotrowski directly in the statement, Mehajer continued, “No offence, Alison, you are a talented reporter who needs to spend more time getting shaken up by the ‘real’ stories that need ‘real’ awareness, not by an individual yelling into their personal phone camera.
“Which is the exact reason why I never took any requests to participate or be interviewed for that story seriously — because I don’t believe it’s classified as credible news.”
Salim Mehajer in his pre-wedding video. Source: A Current Affair / Channel 9.
Married in a lavish ceremony last year, rumours that the pair had split were rife for months before Learmonth eventually lodged an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) against Mehajer last month.
The AVO prevents Mehajer from approaching or contacting Learmonth by any means and from going within 50 metres of her home or workplace.
At the time of lodging the AVO, Learmonth is believed to have told police that despite being estranged, Mehajer would often appear unannounced wherever she was.
Salim Mehajer and Aysha Learmonth on their wedding day last year. Source: Facebook.
Within minutes of the footage airing last night, Mehajer began to receive a stream of counter-abuse and backlash online, deactivating his Facebook page overnight.
Ms Learmonth is yet to comment on the videos or her relationship with Mehajer.