Chantelle Barry breaks her silence and admits she stole from Sophie
It’s the disgrace that’s haunted her for 17 years. But now former Bardot member Chantelle Barry is coming clean, confessing exclusively to Woman’s Day she stole from Sophie before being promised a solo deal and offered “hush money” to leave the pop group.
“Sophie left her $100 weekly allowance in an envelope in my bedroom and I intended to return it on the weekend – we had plans to go to a gig together,” Chantelle, 37, remembers.
The former member was propelled to fame at age 19, alongside Katie Underwood, Belinda Chapple, Sally Polihronas and Sophie in the first series of Australian Popstars.
“In a moment of stupidity, being a teenager and thinking a pair of shoes was more important than the friendship I had with Sophie, I decided to keep her money for myself.”
Management soon discovered what had happened and confronted Chantelle, who confessed.
“I remember Sophie saying, ‘It’s OK Chan, my best friend stole from me and I forgave her and we’re still friends, and I’ll forgive you, too’, I felt terrible,” Chantelle admits.
In the following weeks, the story found its way to media and the ensuing furore was awful. Not knowing how to handle it, Chantelle was assured she had a future as a solo artist. Popstar’s production company also offered her $1000 hush money, under the condition she left the band quickly when filming wrapped up.
“I wasn’t allowed to have a representative with me during the meeting and I was led to sign a release agreement, which forbade me from speaking about it [the scandal]. I was young, naive and saw it as a way out,” she recalls.
When she was encouraged to do an interview, Chantelle was told to lie about what had happened with Sophie. “After the interview, I never heard from them again,” she says.
Leaving Australia in 2001, Chantelle made up her mind to forge a new life for herself in LA, scoring gigs on 90210, Entourage and upcoming action TV show Ninjak vs The Valiant Universe. She’s also released two successful albums, with a third one on the way in 2018.
Bardot, before Chantelle left in 2000. Moving to LA helped Chantelle’s career.