Eliza Szonert: Former Neighbours actress allowed to leave Malaysia with son after video of her taking him from estranged partner

The former actress spent a night in jail amid the dispute

Olivia Blair
Thursday 31 December 2015 16:30 GMT
Szonert pictured in 2008
Szonert pictured in 2008 (Lucas Dawson/Getty Images)

The former Neighbours actress Eliza Szonert has been allowed to return to Australia after being held in Malaysia for allegedly snatching her son.

Szonert, who played Danni Stark in the popular Melbourne-set soap opera, is currently involved in a custody dispute with her former partner Ashley Crick.

Szonert, 41, was previously embroiled in criticism after video footage of her taking her son from a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, with the help of a controversial ‘child recovery agency’, circulated online.

She then refused to hand the child over to Malaysian authorities or reveal his location so spent a night in jail, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

However, the actress has now been permitted to leave the country with her son and will not face charges after adhering to police requests to allow her son to be visited and examined by a doctor.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Tajuddin Mohamad Isa said: “She can leave Malaysia for home with her son. We have investigated the case and the deputy public prosecutor has decided that there will be no prosecution against her,” reports the BBC.

According to the Herald, Szonert and Mr Crick separated in 2012 but then begun to live together in Malaysia. Following a dispute between the pair, Szonert alleges she was locked out of their accommodation without passports.

The actress then enlisted the help of ‘Child Recovery Australia’ who took the child from Mr Crick while the pair ate breakfast.

On Wednesday, Szonert posted a statement on Facebook thanking people for their support, saying: “We’re coming home at last. After a few months I wouldn’t ever want to relive, it’s finally over. Thank you everyone for your love, support and assistance during this exhausting ordeal.

“More than anything I’m just looking forward to getting home and spending time with my son again.”

Following the incident, Mr Crick, a businessman, said it was a parent’s worst nightmare and expressed fears for his son’s safety.

He is now believed to be in Australia to seek custody of the child through the country’s legal system.

Szonert played the teenage character in Neighbours between 1993 and 1996. She also featured in the 2000 film The Dish.

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