Idols win­ner keen for fairy­tale end­ing af­ter trou­bled past

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - LYNNETTE JOHNS

GET­TING mar­ried to Shaun­dore Aspel­ing is one way Cape Town diva Karin Kortje is busy rein­vent­ing her­self.

The singer, who wowed the na­tion in 2005, has not had an easy life. Be­fore winning Idols she was an ap­ple picker by day and singer by night.

She had never imag­ined her ac­tions would be watched by all and sundry and that some of her de­ci­sions would end in a mur­der.

In 2006 her ris­ing star ap­peared to be fleet­ing as con­tro­versy dogged her.

Kortje ad­mits some of her mis­takes had ir­rev­o­ca­ble con­se­quences.

In 2006 her then boyfriend Ch­es­lin Wil­liams mur­dered Kortje’s friend, Re­nata Keller­man, while the cou­ple was booked into Keller­man’s Dur­banville guest­house.

What fol­lowed was a night­mare for Kortje. Al­ready bat­tling to come to terms with her new-found fame, Keller­man’s mur­der shat­tered her.

“I was heart­bro­ken. And peo­ple said nasty things about me, but no one knew how I felt.

“I blamed my­self. I was bro­ken. I felt so guilty that I had as­so­ci­ated my­self with him.”

Kortje says she knew Wil­liams had been in trou­ble be­fore but she thought every­one de­served a sec­ond chance in life. When Keller­man’s body was dis­cov­ered Kortje says she told the po­lice to in­ves­ti­gate Wil­liams.

“This (Keller­man’s mur­der) is some­thing I have to live with for the rest of my life.”

Wil­liams’s ac­tions al­most cost Kortje her ca­reer; her record la­bel backed away from her and scores of cor­po­rates can­celled on her.

The next three years were an up­hill bat­tle.

“But I man­aged to keep my head above wa­ter,” Kortje says.

She and Aspel­ing were friends be­fore they be­came in­volved. At the time she was dat­ing one of his friends and she says her life was filled with par­ties.

“I was re­belling in my own way and Shaun kept on telling me to slow down. He said it wasn’t do­ing me any good.”

Their friend­ship soon blos­somed into love.

Kortje gave birth to her sec­ond son Tobin 10 months ago and within the next few weeks she will give birth to her third son. Her el­dest son Cameron is from her re­la­tion­ship with child­hood sweet­heart Stan­ley Wit­booi.

This week, as she pre­pared for one of the big­gest days of her life, her eyes shone brightly when she de­scribed how “crazy” in love she was with Aspel­ing.

“I see my­self spending the rest of my life with him.”

Me­dia com­pany Hip Hop has planned much of the wed­ding for her.

This morn­ing Kortje will walk down the aisle of a quaint chapel at the Houw Hoek Inn near Grabouw.

She will wear an Er­rol Arendz cre­ation; a crème sunray pleated dress with an em­broi­dered bodice.

A wed­ding re­cep­tion for 120 friends and fam­ily will take place at the ho­tel and an af­ter­party in Grabouw.

Kortje has also been hard at work this year.

“I de­cided that this year was go­ing to be dif­fer­ent and it has been,” she said.

Backed by a new man­age­ment team she has just fin­ished a suc­cess­ful show at the Bax­ter; next month she will work on a new CD, due out later this year. She will also tour the coun­try in De­cem­ber.

PIC­TURE: JEF­FERY ABRA­HAMS

SWISH: Cape diva Karin Kortje at the fi­nal fit­ting for her wed­ding dress de­signed by Er­rol Arendz. The dress was de­signed to show off her bone struc­ture and beauty.

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