A catfisher caught a Home And Away star in the act of duping women into believing they were in a relationship with him.
Two women, who have not been identified, believed they were dating hunky blonde actor Lincoln Lewis.
They texted and exchanged messages on social media on a regular basis. They would schedule to meet up, but the soap star would always have an excuse not to hook up.
Then one of them made the decision to contact the actor.
“Have you and I been dating for the last couple of months?” she asked Mr. Lewis.
The star was taken aback by the phone call.
“Not at all – His response was, “What are you talking about?”
During the appeal of Melbourne woman Lydia Abdelmalek, who was accused of impersonating the star, the star took the stand in the County Court of Victoria.
In 2019, the Melbourne woman, 31, was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for six counts of stalking in connection with the sophisticated plan.
She was given free ahead of the trial and immediately challenged the sentencing and conviction for duping two women into believing she was the popular actor.
During the protracted appeal Home And Away star described in September last year how he found out someone was impersonating him online.
He was approached by one of the woman’s alleged victims, who inquired if they were going out.
Mr. Lewis told the court, “That really threw me.”
During his testimony, he stated that the woman on the phone sounded scared and inquired whether he was lying to her.
“At the time, it was a huge shock to me — it seemed to come out of nowhere,” he added.
However, she became skeptical of her relationship when the person posing as an actor – who had previously featured on Dancing with the Stars – consistently found excuses not to meet, according to the court.
On Monday, Mr Lewis added, “That’s where she grew dubious about the whole affair.”
According to the actor, the woman had no idea who the person posing as the star was and was anxious because they had personal images of her.
Following the chat, he warned followers about the false account on his public Instagram and Twitter accounts and later discovered another woman was connected with the alter ego.
The singer was also requested to identify images of himself, as well as whether or not they were public or had been “doctored.”
A photo of a driver’s license with a photo of Mr. Lewis was one of the images shown.
“Obviously, it’s my face, but it’s not one I’ve ever had on a driver’s license.” He informed prosecutor Angela Moran, “What should be a signature is actually my autograph.”
“That isn’t mine in any way.”
Another photo showed the actor relaxing at the beach.
Mr Lewis said of the photo, “I wish I had pushed my shorts up a little higher in that snap.”
Others were naked with the actor’s head overlaid, but they were not shown at the hearing.
Mr Lewis stated that he advised the woman to report the incident to the police since he was unprepared to handle the issue.
However, the woman’s police testimony was read to the court, and she claimed that the actor pulled out of a meeting with her in Sydney to discuss the incident.
“He later told me that he didn’t want anything to do with filing a police report because of his reputation and his career as an actor,” she stated in the court statement.
He didn’t want his future prospects to be harmed if he filed a lawsuit, she added.
“I was astounded that he would not back me in filing a police report,” she stated, later explaining why they had ceased being friends.
Mr. Lewis admitted that he did give a statement, but that it was six years later.
When queried about the delay, Mr Lewis answered, “It was critical at that moment, sure.”
However, a male friend of one of the claimed victims, who did not want to be identified, said he and the lady ran into the Tomorrow When the War Began actor at a shopping center after their relationship was proven to be a lie.
“Lincoln kind of blanked her, didn’t glance over, but his companion did,” the man testified in court.
According to the witness, Lincoln’s friend approached them and informed them that he didn’t want “anything to do with this” and that they should not contact him since he was concerned about his profession.
The man remarked, “I thought that was a little bit immature and a little bit irresponsible.”
The lengthy court also heard hours of recorded interviews with Ms. Abdelmalek conducted by police when the alleged stalking allegations surfaced.
She began to giggle during some of the interrogations when she was asked about Instagram accounts, phone numbers, and specific emails.
She said, “I think I don’t know why I would create these emails.”
During the appeal, she was also quizzed about phones seized from her residence and who they belonged to.
This month, the appeal will be heard again.
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