An Australian bodybuilder and former Mr Universe who pulled out a knife and slashed the tyres of a man’s car he had just rear-ended has blamed his experience with car jackings in America for his attack.
Now a shadow of his former self, Calum von Moger, 31, pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court last month to a series of charges over the terrifying incident.
Von Moger, a three-time World Fitness Federation ‘Mr Universe’ winner and actor who once played Arnold Schwarzenegger in a film, on Wednesday escaped conviction and was released on a good behaviour bond with a $2,500 fine.
The former body builder had still been in peak form in January when he supposedly acted out of fear against his victim.
Von Moger played a young Arnold Schwarzenegger (pictured together) in the 2018 film Bigger and has been dubbed ‘Arnold 2.0’ in the bodybuilding world
Von Moger leaves court in Melbourne with him mum Ingrid last month. Gone are the gigantic muscles that made him a star
In May, von Moger shocked his legion of fans when he fell from a two-storey building.
Just weeks later, he appeared in court with his arm in a sling, where it was revealed he admitted to taking so many steroids he could no longer produce testosterone naturally.
He pleaded guilty then to possessing a variety of drugs, including testosterone, cannabis and about two grams of methamphetamine.
The star had been suffering severe depression at the time of the incident, which left him with injuries to his spine, face and neck.
On Wednesday, von Moger’s lawyer Bernard Campigli told the court his client had since been diagnosed with an adjustment disorder and post-traumatic stress.
Mr Campigli claimed von Moger had been anxious on the road after being involved in car jackings with firearms while living in the United States.
The court heard von Moger had ploughed his Ford Ranger into the back of his victim’s Kluger about 9.30pm on Millers Road in Altona North, west Melbourne.
When his shocked victim got into a verbal stoush with von Moger, he pulled out a knife and stabbed the man’s tyre before fleeing.
When police caught up with him a short time later, they found a treasure trove of weapons including a tomahawk, an axe handle, knuckle-dusters and a hunting knife.
They also found a dodgy number plate that had been covered in blood.
But Mr Campigli claimed von Moger was frightened when approached by his victim.
‘Mr von Moger was quite scared at the time,’ he said.
‘Mr von Moger was quite fearful of what the (victim) might do, so that’s why he stabbed the tyre and left the scene.’
The Aussie bodybuilder had pumped himself with so much testosterone over the years he can no longer produce it naturally
The home where Von Moger fell from the second storey of this home
Bodybuilder Calum von Moger, 31, reportedly fell through a window on May 6, injuring his spine
The court heard von Moger had another incident on the roads last November.
While no weapons were involved on that occasion, the court heard von Moger struck a car with his Harley Davidson motorbike in trendy South Yarra and took off.
He was only caught because his victim took chase, snapping a photo of him, which he plastered across social media in the hope he would be recognised.
The former body builder surrendered to police over that incident just days after he appeared in court on May 26.
Mr Campigli had asked the court to spare von Moger a conviction in the hope he could continue travelling to and from the United States, where he plans to work again.
While assault charges were dropped, von Moger pleaded guilty to damaging property, weapons and careless driving offences.
In sentencing, Magistrate Roslyn Porter accepted von Moger’s moral culpability for his offending had been reduced by his mental health issues.
But she condemned the former star for his outrageous behaviour.
‘Your conduct can only be described as frightening and unacceptable,’ Ms Porter said.
The magistrate warned von Moger if he returned to court again for any kind of offence he was likely to receive a conviction.
He had only been treated as a first offender on this occasion because the crimes were committed before he was dealt with in May over the drug matters.
During a previous hearing, the tragedy of von Moger’s desire to make it in the world of body building was revealed.
Cops had picked him up with an illicit stash of testosterone, needles, three containers of cannabis oil, another bag of white crystal powder and an assortment of prescription drugs, including Viagra.
Moger (pictured with a friend) released his own documentary titled Calum von Moger: Unbroken on Netflix in 2019
Von Moger was caught driving an unregistered car that was loaded with illicit drugs
During his interview, von Moger claimed one of his mates must have owned the meth.
‘I found that deal bag in the back and freaked out because I don’t use it. I knew it belonged to someone so I put it in my wallet to either give it back or throw it away,’ he said.
‘The shoulder bag isn’t mine. I was driving friends around all weekend and they were using drugs and left it. It’s not mine but I know I was in possession of it.’
But he admitted to using testosterone for the past 10 years.
‘I no longer produce it naturally and need to have it to be normal,’ von Moger told cops.
‘I use the testosterone weekly to keep my levels stable. I use the cannabis oil to help me settle and sleep.’
Von Moger claimed he also used Viagra – a prescription drug predominantly used to improve erectile function – while he was ‘competing’.
Slades & Parson’s Bernard Campigli (left) leaves court with von Moger and his mum last month. Campigli is a rising star in Melbourne legal circles
Von Moger’s love for bodybuilding began at the age of 14 when he started training with his brother in Victoria
The court heard von Moger spent a night behind bars following his arrest, which acted as a ‘sobering experience’.
But when news of his troubles became known within the bodybuilding community, von Moger’s mental health took another plunge.
‘There was a lot of online hate. If you Google Mr von Moger’s name it comes up with a number of YouTube videos of commentary on his supposed decline, which is very stressful for him and that didn’t help his substance use,’ Mr Campigli said at the time.
Von Moger was ordered to pay $500 to the court fund for those crimes.
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WHO IS CALUM VON MOGER?
The Australian’s first acting gig was in 2017 for the film Generation Iron 2, but he’s best known for his portrayal of a young Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 2018 movie Bigger.
The film was based on Joe and Ben Weider, the two brothers who co-founded the International Federation of BodyBuilders and put the sport on the map.
Moger then released his own documentary titled Calum von Moger: Unbroken on Netflix in 2019.
The film detailed Moger’s rise through the bodybuilding ranks to a point where he was dubbed ‘Arnold 2.0’ and how that came crashing down following a significant knee and bicep injury while abseiling.
The documentary also gave an insight into his childhood growing up on a farm in central Victoria with five siblings.
He said his love for bodybuilding started at the age of 14 when he and his brother found some old, rusty dumbbells at a warehouse to use.
He quickly rose to fame when he started uploading videos of his physique and training online, with Moger now having more than 3 million Instagram followers.