From being besties with Julie Bishop to Russell Crowe's date at A-list events: Meet the high-flying couple whose split got Australia talking when he left her for her close friend

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Ellie Aitken and Charlie Aitken were the toast of Sydney's elite social sceneCame crashing down; Mr Aitken now in relationship with her best friendCouple had business giants Twiggy Forrest and James Packer in their corner

A high-flying power couple whose split stunned Australia rubbed shoulders with 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 funds manager husband to her best friend Hollie Nasser.

The couple counted Australian business giants as friends, including WA mining magnate Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest and media tycoon James Packer.

The relationship has left many shocked as both couples had been friends for years (pictured, Ellie Aitken, in red, alongside former Liberal Party deputy leader Julie Bishop, centre, with Hollie Nasser, in blue, at Ms Aitken's 40th birthday party in 2019)

The relationship has left many shocked as both couples had been friends for years (pictured, Ellie Aitken, in red, alongside former Liberal Party deputy leader Julie Bishop, centre, with Hollie Nasser, in blue, at Ms Aitken’s 40th birthday party in 2019)

The 48-year-old’s Aitken Investment Management firm also attracted big names, such as Channel Seven’s billionaire owner Kerry Stokes.  

Until 2016, they lived in a spectacular $11million mansion in Darling Point before moving to a cottage in Bellevue Hill. 

Ms Aitken was also in high demand on the boards of charities and organisations including the Australian Ballet – making her one of the city’s finest 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 seen by Russell Crowe’s side 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 two decades and have two children together

Ellie Aitken and Charlie Aitken (pictured) were married for two decades and have two children together

Mr Nasser is a wealthy pub boss who owned Fairfield’s Crescent Hotel and is said to have pumped between $5million and $10million into AIM when it launched in 2015.

Newcastle-bred Hollie Alford, 36 – a former medical research associate – married Mr Nasser at a glittering ceremony in Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral in 2016 before the reception at Quay restaurant.

Together the best friends were feted as leading lights of Sydney’s social circuit, regularly photographed at functions and charity events.

Ellie Aitken (pictured left) shared a post to Instagram in which she gushed about her close friend Hollie Nasser (pictured right)

Ellie Aitken (pictured left) shared a post to Instagram in which she gushed about her close friend Hollie Nasser (pictured right)

They regularly posted snaps of themselves on social media, often in private jets, on red carpets or luxury yachts as they lived the high life.

Until it all started to come undone this year.

In June, Kerry Stokes is said to have pulled all his investments from Mr Aitken’s funds.

Soon after, questions are said to have been raised about the relationship between Mr Aitken and Ms Nasser.

Ellie Aitken (left) and Hollie Nasser (centre) were regularly seen together at social events

Ellie Aitken (left) and Hollie Nasser (centre) were regularly seen together at social events

Ms Aitken joined rival investment business Pallas in September, before the marriage splits were confirmed on November 12.

Mr Nasser stood down as a director of AIM the following day and was replaced by his brother, Damian. Ms Aitken also resigned as an executive that day.

Sydney’s social glitterati have been wagging their tongues about the awkward love split for over a fortnight but it was only confirmed publicly on Friday.

Ms Aitken is now nursing her broken heart alone with her daughter and son at the couple’s most recent marital home, reported to be a rental in Bondi.

Mr Nasser admitted his own marriage broke up but has remained tight-lipped about it.

‘While the affair has greatly impacted me and my children, it is a private matter and I do not wish to go into any detail about it,’ he said.

Mr Aitken is believed to have since moved out of the family home and is now living with mother-of-two Ms Nasser in a serviced apartment in Bondi Junction. 

Hollie Nasser is the wife of Mr Aitken's investment partner Chris Nasser (both pictured). They have also separated

Hollie Nasser is the wife of Mr Aitken’s investment partner Chris Nasser (both pictured). They have also separated

He warned investors he would be taking some time out from the company to deal with a ‘personal matter’ ahead of the affair becoming public.

He later admitted: ‘I can confirm I am separated from Ellie Aitken and am in a relationship with Hollie Nasser.

‘My sole focus is my children and I’ll make no further comment.’

The relationship has left many shocked as both couples had been friends for years.

Before the split was confirmed, Ms Aitken – a lawyer and at one stage a fashion designer – had shared multiple pictures of her and Ms Nasser, 36, together.

Ellie Aitken and Hollie Nasser pictured together left and right. 'I can confirm I am separated from Ellie Aitken and am in a relationship with Hollie Nasser,' Charlie Aitken said

Ellie Aitken and Hollie Nasser pictured together left and right. ‘I can confirm I am separated from Ellie Aitken and am in a relationship with Hollie Nasser,’ Charlie Aitken said

In a post to celebrate Ms Nasser’s birthday, she added:

‘Happy happy birthday to my beautiful (Hollie). So lucky to have you in my life. Here’s to sharing many more good times together in the years to come.’

Ms Aitken is a former corporate mergers and acquisitions lawyer at Clayton Utz and one-time director of the NSW Polo Association.

In 2011, however, she transitioned out of the legal sphere and into luxury lifestyle fashion with the launch of her label Aitken And Co.

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