Hotel bans socialite for acting like 'country bumpkin'

By Carolyne Meng-Yee

Lynne Carter faces court charges. Photo / Herald on Sunday
Lynne Carter faces court charges. Photo / Herald on Sunday

One of Auckland's poshest hotels has turfed out a high-profile socialite, saying her erratic behaviour has scared guests and staff and claiming she has left her $600-a-night suite uninhabitable.

Mollies boutique hotel - which has hosted the likes of Sean Connery, Shania Twain, Billy Crystal and Rachel Hunter - says it has changed its locks to ensure Lynne Carter stays away.

The eviction of Carter, who is facing methamphetamine and fraud charges in the Auckland District Court, is the latest twist in a sad fall from grace for the businesswoman who once boasted a $6 million waterfront mansion, a Ferrari and a booming property development business.

Mollies general manager Joanna Bourke outlined a string of problems with Carter, including slow payment of room fees, erratic behaviour in the dead of night and her omnipresent dog, Louis.

"She smokes and we don't allow smoking, and her dog pisses everywhere," Bourke said.

"We have chucked her out many times but she keeps coming back in the middle of the night."

Bourke said Carter had been staying in a $600-a-night suite "on and off" for the past six weeks. The hotel had now changed the locks to keep her out.

"She was smoking all the time and the dog was in the room. It was peeing everywhere.

"She would get up in the middle of the night ... She was out like till 3am, running up and down the hallways calling out 'Louis, Louis' and we had complaints from guests saying 'who is the woman running up and down the hallway screaming?'

"Or we would have functions on... It was horrible, it really was."

On another occasion, Bourke said Carter sat in the Herne Bay hotel's library, staring vacantly at the ceiling.

Bourke said that, in her opinion, Carter had "gone from someone who was well-dressed and well-spoken... and she has turned into a country bumpkin who walks around with no shoes and dirty hair".

Bourke said Mollies could not hire out her suite because of the stench of dog urine and stale cigarette smoke. "We have to air it a little bit longer to get rid of the smell."

Last Tuesday, police escorted Carter off the premises, and Bourke wants them to issue a permanent trespass notice.

"I am having lots of trouble trying to get the police up at Ponsonby to help me out to try and get a trespass notice out on her. They just don't want to have a bar of it. I mean, having her here is not good for our business."

Police Senior Sergeant Danny Meade, of Mt Wellington, said police did not have a record of the Mollies incident, but that there was a record of a "small incident" involving Carter at the Duxton Hotel on August 28. He said Carter had been asked to leave the hotel and was served with a trespass order.

Bourke said Mollies staff had been instructed not to allow Carter back. Her belongings are in Bourke's office, waiting to be picked up. Bourke suspected she had been staying at other hotels as well, judging by the tags on the three large pieces of luggage.

Bourke said Carter still owed the hotel about $600. She said she was always slow to pay - her credit card would be declined and she would explain that her children had maxed it to the limit. Days later, she would return with an envelope of cash to pay the debt.

Carter is due to appear in the Auckland District Court tomorrow for a status hearing on the charges of possession of methamphetamine and credit card fraud, allegedly for using someone else's credit card to buy lingerie. Carter told the Herald on Sunday in August that she planned to deny the charges.

She said the drugs were not hers, and had been placed in her bag, which was in Auckland, when she was visiting Queenstown.

Carter's lawyer, Paul Wicks, said he had not heard from his client since July.

The Herald on Sunday could not contact her.

Auckland Mayor John Banks has known Carter for 25 years. In August, he was horrified to hear of Carter's troubles. He said at the time that he had not seen her for about five years.

"She's an extremely interesting individual. She faced death with a very serious liver cancer and [fought] back from that very bravely.

"She comes from a very good family. She had a lot of spirit, a very good fun person who was as tough as it comes in business," he said.

"It is a tragedy I can hardly believe."

* Lynne Carter was incorrectly reported last week to have been married to Rod Haines. In fact, the two were in a relationship and lived together until 1999, but were not married.

- Herald on Sunday

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