(SYDNEY) — The international swimsuit model accused of being the mastermind of a worldwide drug ring run out of a Hollywood apartment has been arrested in Australia after skipping out on bail over a month ago.
Simone Farrow, who was once the face of the Ed Hardy brand of bikinis, used 19 different aliases to ship methamphetamine around the world by FedEx and even the postal service, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency and Australian police.
The 37-year-old, who was arrested in Queensland on Australia’s Gold Coast and extradited to Sydney last week, denied the charges and claims that she was in hiding after running for her life.
“The only reason I’ve done this is because someone was trying to murder me,” Farrow told Australia’s Sunday Telegraph. “I’ve been in … relationships with numerous underworld figures or whatever you want to call them and I feel that maybe they feel threatened by my situation.”
Farrow was first arrested in October 2009 after flying to Australia while the United States DEA was raiding her Sunset Boulevard apartment, allegedly seizing drugs and documents.
After having a friend post her $150,000 bond in February, Farrow skipped bail. Police in Australia finally caught up with Farrow last week, at a cheap Gold Coast hotel.
Under the stage name Simone Starr, Farrow was a bikini model, pin-up girl and a Penthouse magazine “pet,” while making FHM magazine’s Sexiest Women In The World list three times. Farrow was also promoting herself as a singer/songwriter, and on her website, as a would-be reality show star.
Australian authorities now insist that behind that high-fashion facade, Farrow was leading a double life trafficking high-grade crystal meth, hiding them in shipments of bath salts.
“It’s not uncommon in the modeling and entertainment industry,” former special agent Brad Garrett told ABC News. “If your skill set doesn’t take you any place else, where’s it going to take you? A quick buck would be distributing methamphetamine. It tells me that she was not that sophisticated, and she may be desperate for money.”
Investigators are saying that Farrow was the brains behind the “ongoing criminal enterprise,” which they purport involved at least seven people.
One of the members of the alleged drug syndicate committed suicide in a Hollywood motel after being contacted by U.S. authorities, the Sunday Telegraph reported.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Mohammed Tawfeeq and Gul Tuysuz, CNN
Kevin Liptak, CNN