The bare cheek of it

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page - ERIN McWHIRTER

ON THE Hol­ly­wood scan­dal scale, leaked nude pho­tos no longer rate as highly as they once did.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t have the power to rat­tle stars who find them­selves snapped without their gear.

Au­d­rina Pa­tridge, 23, from the US re­al­ity show The Hills, knows that feel­ing of hu­mil­i­a­tion af­ter se­cret pic­tures of her pos­ing nude emerged in the me­dia last year.

The Or­ange County res­i­dent had let a fe­male pho­tog­ra­pher friend take the pic­tures four years ago. They sur­faced when Pa­tridge’s ris­ing sta­tus made her a favourite with the gos­sip mag­a­zines.

‘‘When those pic­tures came out I was dev­as­tated,’’ the ac­tor says.

‘‘Those pho­tos were never meant to come out. I was only 18 and had come to LA and a pho­tog­ra­pher friend said she could help me get comfortable in front of the cam­era.

‘‘She promised me they would never get out and deleted the ones I didn’t like. Then years later we aren’t friends any more and I’m in The Hills and she re­leased the pho­tos.

‘‘At the time I was so naive, I be­lieved what she said and that it was nor­mal to do this type of shoot.’’

With a fifth sea­son of The Hills hav­ing started, Pa­tridge has had time to wise up to the ma­nip­u­la­tive ways of Hol­ly­wood.

‘‘I’ve learned not to trust every­one and peo­ple are kind of out for them­selves,’’ she says.

A spin-off of MTV re­al­ity show La­guna Beach, The Hills doc­u­ments the lives of Lauren Con­rad and her friends who are liv­ing it up in Hol­ly­wood af­ter leav­ing La­guna Beach be­hind.

In the past five years, the pro­gram has chron­i­cled the cat­fights be­tween Con­rad and her for­mer best friend Heidi Mon­tag, and Con­rad’s last­ing friend­ship with Whit­ney Port.

Pa­tridge was dis­cov­ered pool­side by show pro­duc­ers scouting her real-life apart­ment block for a new home for Con­rad.

She ac­knowl­edges her re­la­tion­ship with Con­rad and her posse was man­u­fac­tured in the beginning, though she says they have since be­come friends.

The an­tics and emo­tional plights of The Hills’ play­ers makes for ad­dic­tive view­ing and Pa­tridge ad­mits her life was much more sim­ple be­fore the show.

‘‘For a few months into the first sea­son I was like, ‘What have I got­ten my­self into?’ ’’ she says.

‘‘In high school I was a guys’ girl and had so many more guy friends and I was friends with every­one. I didn’t have en­e­mies. I was the girl every­one knew but I never had any drama fol­low­ing me around.

‘‘I was never a gos­sip or any­thing and then I started film­ing The Hills and I feel like I’m in school again.’’ The Hills, G Chan­nel 9, Satur­day (re­turns May 2), 12.30pm Hol­ly­wood high life Du­ra­tion: 30 min­utes

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