On New Year’s Day, a photo of conman Eddie Davenport cuddling up in bed with a nightclub impresario called Tommy Mack was posted on Facebook.
The image, apparently taken several months earlier, showed Mack brandishing a placard bearing the word ‘Slave’.The 52-year-old Davenport is waving one that reads ‘Master’.
‘What goes on at Eddie’s stays at Eddie’s,’ read the caption. ‘Oh la laaa!’
All just a harmless social media prank, no doubt. Though whether mirth was appropriate is open to debate, given that Davenport’s New Year’s Eve celebrations had been interrupted, less than five hours earlier, by the tragic and violent death of a doorman guarding the exclusive Mayfair venue where he’d been seeing in 2019.
Edward Davenport (right) cuddling up to Tommy Mack (left) who runs a topless nightclub
Tudor Simionov (pictured above) died after the attack outside the Mayfair club
Also open to debate is the exact nature of the ill-fated bash, staged at a £12.5 million three-storey basement apartment on Park Lane, which can be rented by the night.
Neighbours, who saw large numbers of women, scantily-clad in high heels and lingerie, coming and going, believe it was a VIP sex party.Eye witness reports suggest that scores of male guests were charged up to £800 to attend — many paying via a handheld credit card reader.
As to the identity of the organiser, that, too, is currently shrouded in mystery.
On Wednesday, Mack was busy telling reporters that proceedings had been overseen by Davenport, a convicted fraudster nicknamed ‘Fast Eddie’, who, has devoted much of his professional life to the lucrative business of hosting orgies.
‘Fast Eddie is a great guy and runs the best parties,’ Mack declared.‘He organised it. It was a private party but word got out and the bad element turned up . . . It’s absolutely terrible what happened to the doorman.’
Davenport sees things differently, however. Barred as a company director, and still banned from many commercial activities under the terms of a five-year Serious Crime Prevention Order, following his imprisonment for orchestrating a £40 million loan scam, he insisted through solicitors yesterday that he had no official role.
Fast Eddie (pictured right on Halloween) has been a fixture on the London party scene since he was young
The truth will, doubtless, emerge over time.But while we must for now take Davenport at his word, not everyone who has passed through the ageing Lothario’s orbit over the 30-something years of his career would be so charitable.
A fixture on the London party scene since he was a teenager, the self-styled aristocrat (who often uses the title — Lord Edward Davenport — that he bought) has a reputation for dishonesty which leads many to doubt whether he’s capable, as the old saying goes, of sleeping straight in a bed.
He’s clocked up at least three criminal convictions, been accused of ripping off a string of business partners, and presided over a variety of companies which have gone bankrupt owing tens of millions to creditors.
Edward Davenport (right) and Monthira Sanan-Ua (left) with their dog (centre)
A man who is possessed of great charm, he’s also staged some of the most debauched and decadent parties in modern history, travelled in supercars, luxury yachts and private jets, and rubbed shoulders with a Who’s Who of modern celebrities.
On his website, he ludicrously declares himself ‘one of London’s most flamboyant and best-known entrepreneurs as well as a true English gentleman from an established British family’.
It also shows him comparing Rolex watches with rapper 50 Cent, flexing biceps with actor Jean Claude Van Damme, and hugging everyone from Prince Albert of Monaco and the Duchess of York to Mick Jagger, Kate Moss, Jude Law, Hugh Grant, Simon Cowell and, bizarrely, former Blair spin doctor Alastair Campbell.
Portland Place (pictured above), the home of Edward Davenport
Some of his events have allegedly seen dinghies being rowed in a swimming pool filled with Cognac.Few have been particularly ordinary.
Fast Eddie’s story begins in the mid-Eighties. The son of Chelsea restaurateur Ormus Davenport, and raised in a Victorian townhouse in Fulham, Edward Ormus Neville Davenport attended Frensham Heights, a minor public school near Farnham, Surrey, whose alumni include actor Jon Pertwee and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.
Having clocked up just one O-level (ironically in law), he was preparing for re-sits at a London crammer when he spotted a fast buck to be made by hiring out clubs and staging ticket-only parties for frisky teenagers from single-sex public schools.
His first event, in 1982, was attended by 700 paying guests.By 1987, when he was just 21, he was laying on 40 of the events, known as ‘Gatecrasher Balls’, a year. Each attracted up to 2,500 guests paying around £15 a ticket, giving him an annual turnover of about £1 million.
Soon, however, the bacchanalian Gatecrasher events began to attract negative scrutiny.In 1988, a reporter from The Times smuggled herself into one and recalled: ‘A young chap stands on a chair, drops his trousers and demands to be photographed . . . a girl in a heavy clinch unwittingly bares her bikini line.’
Soon after, another newspaper told how: ‘By midnight, every square foot from the edge of a dance floor was a mass of groping bodies.Suspender-clad legs waved in the air and everyone seemed to be snogging.’
The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire (pictured above) is one of the venues that Davenport had previously dined at
Harpers & Queen magazine informed its readers that the balls were attended by ‘girls who do it, really do it, under the table’.
Though Davenport liked to be complimented for his ‘film star looks’, the Mail reported that in person he ‘reminds you of a microwaved corpse: all wrinkly, with a high forehead and gaunt cheekbones’.
As the reputation of the Gatecrasher events dwindled, parents stopped allowing their children to attend, and by January 1989, Davenport had placed his company into liquidation.