Bankrupt reality TV star Terry Serepisos says he is "flabbergasted" after being arrested and taken to court over child support for his 19-year-old son.
Serepisos was arrested on arrival at Wellington Airport from Greece last night.
"It's just a storm in a teacup really," he said outside Wellington District Court this morning. "The silly thing about it is, my son lives with me, and his mum, and I don't believe there is child support owing."
Serepisos said he visited Greece to look after his mum. He said he stopped paying child support because he went bankrupt in 2011.
No papers have been served and no charges laid, but police arrested Mr Serepisos before releasing him on bail.
"I was a bit flabbergasted when I turned up at the airport and suddenly I got taken away and arrested for child support," Serepisos said.
He said his son, who had lived with him for five or six years, was shocked at the arrest too. "He's quite taken aback and upset about it."
Serepisos said Inland Revenue believed "a few thousand dollars" were owing.
Yet he said the department had his contact details and could have easily got in touch with him, instead of arresting him.
Inland Revenue declined to comment.
Police spokesman Nick Bohm confirmed a 51-year-old man was arrested yesterday on an outstanding warrant, then taken to Wellington Central police station, where he surrendered his passport.
Serepisos, who will reappear on October 24, said he was focussed on rebuilding his life. "I'm just trying to get on with my life and rise from the ashes, as they say."
But he faces another obstacle -- the Official Assignee today confirmed it was objecting to Serepisos' release from bankruptcy.
Serepisos was expected to be discharged from bankruptcy next month. The Official Assignee's objections would delay that.
Serepisos made his fortune in property development and once owned the Wellington Phoenix football club.
Known for his love of flashy cars including a rare "sharknose" Ferrari F430 F1, Serepisos hosted the Donald Trump-inspired local version of reality show The Apprentice.
Three years ago, he owed creditors about $203 million when he was declared bankrupt.