A high-flying power couple whose split stunned Australia shrugged under some of the country’s most influential figures until their 20-year marriage imploded in spectacular style.
Ellie Aitken, 42, and Charlie Aitken, 48, were the toast of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs social set until the lawyer lost her fund manager husband to her best friend Hollie Nasser.
The pair counted Australian business giants as friends, including WA mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest and media mogul James Packer.
The relationship has shocked many, as both couples had been friends for years (pictured, Ellie Aitken, in red, alongside former Liberal Party deputy leader Julie Bishop, in the center, with Hollie Nasser, in blue, on the 40th birthday party of Mrs. Aitken in 2019)
The 48-year-old Aitken Investment Management firm also attracted big names such as Channel Seven billionaire owner Kerry Stokes.
Until 2016, they lived in a spectacular $11 million mansion in Darling Point before moving to a cottage in Bellevue Hill.
Ms Aitken was also in demand on the boards of charities and organizations including the Australian Ballet, making her one of the city’s top networkers and charity fundraisers.
The top politicians she has been pictured with at star-studded events include former Liberal Party deputy leader Julie Bishop.
In 2016, she raised eyebrows when she was spotted by Russell Crowe at a pre-Oscars party in Los Angeles in 2016.
Hollie Nasser, meanwhile, is the wife of Mr Aitken’s business partner Chris Nasser, who has now stepped down from Aitken Investment Management amid the fallout from the split.
Ellie Aitken and Charlie Aitken (pictured) were married for 20 years and have two children together
Nasser is a wealthy pub owner who owned Fairfield’s Crescent Hotel and reportedly pumped between $5 million and $10 million into AIM when it launched in 2015.
Newcastle-bred Hollie Alford, 36 – a former medical researcher – married Mr Nasser in 2016 in a glittering ceremony at Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral, before the reception at Quay restaurant.
Together, the best friends were celebrated as leading figures of Sydney’s social circuit, regularly photographed at events and charity events.
Ellie Aitken (pictured left) shared a post on Instagram gushing about her good friend Hollie Nasser (pictured right)
They regularly posted pictures of themselves on social media, often on private jets, on red carpets or luxury yachts living the high life.
Until this year it all started to come undone.
In June, Kerry Stokes is said to have withdrawn all his investments from Mr Aitken’s funds.
Shortly afterwards, questions were said to have arisen about the relationship between Mr. Aitken and Ms. Nasser.
Ellie Aitken (left) and Hollie Nasser (center) were regularly seen together at social events
Ms Aitken joined rival investment firm Pallas in September, before the marriage divorce was confirmed on November 12.
Mr Nasser stepped down as director of AIM the following day and was replaced by his brother Damian. Ms Aitken also resigned as Executive Director that day.
Sydney’s social glitterati have been wagging their tongues at the awkward love-break for more than a fortnight, but it wasn’t publicly confirmed until Friday.
Ms Aitken now nurses her broken heart alone with her daughter and son at the couple’s most recent marital home, which is reportedly a rental property in Bondi.
Nasser admitted that his own marriage was on the rocks, but continued to talk about it insistently.
“While the affair had a major impact on me and my children, it is a private matter and I do not want to go into detail,” he said.
Mr Aitken is believed to have since left the family home and now lives with the mother of two, Mrs Nasser, in a serviced flat in Bondi Junction.
Hollie Nasser is the wife of Chris Nasser, Mr Aitken’s investment partner (both pictured). They are also divorced
He warned investors that he would take some time off the company to deal with a “personal matter” before the affair goes public.
He later admitted: “I can confirm that I am divorced from Ellie Aitken and in a relationship with Hollie Nasser.
“My only focus is my children and I won’t comment further.”
The relationship has shocked many as both couples had been friends for years.
Before the split was confirmed, Ms Aitken – a lawyer and at one point a fashion designer – had shared multiple photos of her and Ms Nasser, 36, together.
Ellie Aitken and Hollie Nasser pictured left and right together. “I can confirm that I am divorced from Ellie Aitken and in a relationship with Hollie Nasser,” Charlie Aitken said.
In a message to celebrate Ms. Nasser’s birthday, she added:
“Congratulations on my beautiful (Hollie). I am so lucky to have you in my life. On to many more fun moments together in the coming years.’
Ms. Aitken is a former corporate mergers and acquisitions attorney at Clayton Utz and a former director of the NSW Polo Association.
However, in 2011, she moved from the legal sphere to luxury lifestyle fashion with the launch of her label Aitken And Co.