A sad goodbye
A devastated Paula leaves Hillside after being forced to return baby Mika to her biological mom.
Weekdays SABC2 (*192) 19:00
“The viewers are definitely not going to be happy,” predicts Diaan Lawrenson about how her character Paula will be leaving 7de Laan. “If I had my way, I would have given her a happy ending.” After 13 years as the flamboyant and frivolous vlogger, writer and fashion enthusiast, we’re saying goodbye to Paula on Wednesday 20 July. And keep those tissues handy because after a rollercoaster of emotions – as intense as we’d expect from Paula – she flees The Laan by herself. Without a man and without baby Mika (Nevaeh Stander).
A FINAL FAREWELL
Paula had Mika for just a week and two days when attorney Xander (Theo Jantjies) told her on Wednesday 13 July that Mika’s birth mother had withdrawn the adoption offer and that Paula has to give Mika back. “It was too good to be true,” Diaan says of Paula’s latest heartbreak. “In a short period, she became really attached to the baby.” Paula’s best friend and housemate Aggie (Mimi Mahlasela) tries her best Wave goodbye to bubbly blonde Paula – she’s leaving The Laan. to console her BFF, but Paula’s made her decision. “She asks Aggie to take Mika to Xander on Wednesday 20 July and Xander will reunite her with her mom.” That’s also the last that we see of Hillside’s bubbliest blonde, because then Aggie breaks the news to Xander and Vanessa (Ingrid Paulus) that Paula has packed up her belongings and left town to be with her father Marthinus (Deon Lotz) in Caracas, Venezuela.
LIFE AFTER THE LAAN
Diaan’s final day on the 7de Laan set was actually in May and since then, she and her family – actor husband Jody Abrahams (Irvin in The Heist, 2016) and children Olivia-Rose (5) and Thomas (3) – have moved to Cape Town. Diaan started lecturing at AFDA (The South African School Of Motion Picture Medium And Live Performance) and she says that it’s been quite an adjustment. “It’s a whole new routine that I had to get used to. It’s only now that I realise how big of an impact Hillside had on my life. And it’s a bigger loss than I’d thought.” But she doesn’t regret her decision: “This is a new chapter in my life and for now, I’ve decided to take some time out from acting to focus on my academic career.”