Geoff Bainbridge: Businessman quits Lark Distillery after glass pipe video emerged, denies using ice

Multimillionaire Grill’d co-founder quits as CEO of major alcohol company after video surfaces of him smoking a glass pipe: ‘Let’s get high together baby’

  • Geoff Bainbridge has resigned as CEO of alcohol company Lark Distilling
  • Bainbridge claims he was the victim of an extortion attempt as glass pipe video leaks
  • Lark said Bainbridge, 50, quit to ‘handle a personal matter’
  • Bainbridge was co-founder of the famous Australian burger giant Grill’d

A high-profile businessman has resigned as chief executive of alcohol company Lark Distilling after a video appeared to show him smoking with an ice pipe.

Geoff Bainbridge, 50 – the co-founder of burger giant Grill’d – has quit his job at the whiskey distillery “with immediate effect to allow him to run a personal matter”, a statement said on Wednesday.

The Australian newspaper published a video of Bainbridge appearing to light the pipe on Wednesday.

Bainbridge, a father of four, told Nine newspapers he believed he had been the victim of an extortion attempt.

Video has surfaced showing Bainbridge appearing to light a glass pipe

Australian businessman Geoff Bainbridge quit as CEO of Lark Liquor Distillery as video showed him holding a glass pipe

“At the end of the day, I put myself in a situation that I shouldn’t have been in,” he said.

“I am a victim of extortion but this would not have happened without my poor judgment. I am deeply remorseful for my own actions.

Bainbridge told Nine that he was not a typical drug user.

The video was filmed after Bainbridge ended its association with Grill’d.

In the footage, believed to have been taken in 2015 in a Southeast Asian country, the former CEO was heard saying: “Let’s get high together baby”. I’d smoke meth and blow it on your c*** baby.

“I’m so high, I’m so excited.”

He was seen wearing just a pair of underwear while mumbling into the camera, in the video shared by The Australian.

Bainbridge told the Sydney Morning Herald he had been the victim of an extortion racket since December 2015.

He claimed he woke up after a night of partying to find two strange men showing him pictures of him with the pipe.

Bainbridge told Nine Newspapers he believed he was the victim of an extortion attempt.

Bainbridge told Nine Newspapers he believed he was the victim of an extortion attempt.

“I was just horrified. You’re like, ‘What else happened? What else can’t I remember? How am I going to explain this to anyone?’ he said.

He claims the two men then threatened to expose the footage and demanded money from Bainbridge to whom he gave them $3,000.

A few years later, they came back asking for more money. Bainbridge gave them an additional $9,000 over 14 different payments.

Whatsapp messages allegedly sent by the men to Bainbridge show them threatening to show the footage to his children and the media.

“You just have to negotiate and you’ll be fine,” said one.

‘Tik tok little man.’

Due to the alleged drug use, the former CEO did not take the matter to the police, but sought advice from a global risk consulting group.

He was told to either keep paying the men or hope they go, although they threatened to leak the vision to the Australian media.

A video has been edited to look like it was filmed last year instead of 2015.

Bainbridge was then contacted by Australian journalist Sharri Markson this week about the video which has now surfaced.

His lawyers told the newspaper that he was the subject of a ‘ongoing, sophisticated and recently escalated extortion attempt by people overseas using manipulated unverified images”.

The video was filmed after Bainbridge ended its association with popular burger chain Grill'd

The video was filmed after Bainbridge ended its association with popular burger chain Grill’d

“Mr. Bainbridge’s attempted extortion began years before he became involved with Lark Distillery; and Mr Bainbridge sought help from London-based professionals for the extortion attempt.

His lawyers also claimed that two additional videos showing pornographic material and seen by the Australian were fake.

The businessman runs several whiskey distilleries in Tasmania.

He had also helped run Grill’d since 2004 with chief executive Simon Crowe before the pair fell out in 2016 over ownership of the business.

Bainbridge was named chief executive of Lark in 2019.

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