RHOM’S epic diva clash!

They're baaack and bring­ing all the dramz! NW ropes The Real Housewives Of Mel­bourne in for the ul­ti­mate diva test...

NW - - Hot Shots -

It’s been around a year and a half since The Real Housewives Of Mel­bourne had filmed a scene to­gether, but that wasn’t a long enough break for some of the ladies.

That’s right, if you thought time off – and the de­par­tures of three trou­ble-mak­ing cast­mates Pet­ti­fleur Berenger, 52, Chyka Kee­baugh, 48, and Susie Mclean, 48 – would help old ri­val­ries fiz­zle, then fans of the hit re­al­ity show are in for a rude awak­en­ing.

When we ar­rive at our exclusive photo shoot with the ladies in Mel­bourne’s St Kilda, it takes no longer than a minute for the NW- ettes to no­tice a se­ri­ous divide be­tween re­turn­ing housewives Jackie Gil­lies, Janet Roach, Gam­ble Breaux, Ly­dia Schi­avello, Gina Liano and new kids on the block Sally Bloom­field and Venus Be­hba­hani-clark.

“It’s me, Venus and Gina against the other girls,” Ly­dia, 48, spills of the chaos set to un­fold in Sea­son Four.

“I think the other girls are quite delu­sional in a lot of ways,” she adds. “The new sea­son will [ex­pose] some of them like no-one’s ever seen them be­fore... and there [are] some ugly parts!” Ugly? How, we ask... Well, ac­cord­ing to Gina, 51 – who missed parts of film­ing early on in the new sea­son af­ter the dev­as­tat­ing loss of her fa­ther – ten­sions arose be­tween the ladies when her lawyer friend Lady Venus (yes, you read that right – she mar­ried a lord!) ar­rived on the scene.

“I’ve been friends with Venus for about eight years, so I gave her lots of warn­ing about what she was in for. I said, ‘Dar­ling, it will be an on­slaught,’” Gina spills to NW. “And, boy, did she suf­fer from the start... she copped a real thrash­ing!”

In fact, Gina tells us that Venus was so emo­tion­ally crip­pled by the whole ex­pe­ri­ence at times, she had to phys­i­cally look af­ter her.

“Venus is a beau­ti­ful, ed­u­cated woman with a lot of in­tegrity – and some of the girls re­ally took it out of her,” Gina re­veals.

“Trust me, it’s not easy hav­ing a bunch of old hats take swipes at you in the pub­lic eye. In fact, it can be quite desta­bil­is­ing and dis­tress­ing and hu­mil­i­at­ing! I had to pull her out of bed on more than one oc­ca­sion.”

“But I did warn her,” she adds. “I told her she was go­ing to get sav­aged! I told her she was go­ing to get tar­geted for [her] plas­tic surgery! I told her they were go­ing to target her poor hus­band [who in­her­ited his Lord ti­tle from his grand­fa­ther] – and the poor dar­ling cer­tainly copped it at times.”

When we spoke to Venus, 36, all she could muster was a warn­ing for RHOM fans!

“Hold on to your seats – and your tis­sue boxes,” she says. “It’s go­ing to be the most emotional sea­son ever!”

And no amount of prod­ding could get Venus – who freely ad­mits to breast im­plants, fillers, Bo­tox and a nose job – to say one neg­a­tive thing about the “old hats” who are set to make her life a mis­ery. God knows, we tried! “What I will say is that my en­trance into the show cer­tainly ruf­fles feath­ers,” says the new­bie, who some of the other housewives re­ferred to as “fresh meat”.

For­tu­nately, the sec­ond new re­cruit, former Harper’s Bazaar Mel­bourne ed­i­tor Sally, who re­cently re­turned to her home city af­ter five years in Bali, didn’t suf­fer the same fate. But she was given the heads up.

“I had been warned about one or two of the cast mem­bers,” says Sally. “But I pre­fer to make my own de­ci­sions.”

“I must say I am quite relieved Pet­ti­fleur left the show – she seemed like a pain in the ass!” she adds.


De­spite the fact she got what she wished for – catch ya, Pet­ti­fleur! – it wasn’t an en­tirely seam­less tran­si­tion from Bali babe to Real Housewife for Sal!

Gam­ble tells NW that Sally, who lost her hubby Ian Robert­son to can­cer just six months be­fore film­ing com­menced, cops her fair share of Housewife hell early on.

“Al­though Sally has a good vibe, we had some trust is­sues – mostly be­cause I thought she was try­ing to shag my hus­band,” con­fesses Gam­ble. “That all changed when I found out a lit­tle bit more about her.”

Gam­ble, 46, adds that while the two have their fair share of prob­lems, it’s noth­ing com­pared to the ri­valry that spec­tac­u­larly un­folds be­tween orig­i­nal cast mem­ber Gina and new­bie Sal.

“Gina seems to have a prob­lem with Sally that at times seems un­rea­son­able,” re­veals Gam­ble.

And don’t ex­pect Gina and Sally to be the only ladies to lock horns. One un­named housewife has cer­tainly left a bad taste in Gam­ble’s mouth, too...

“I’m not say­ing some­one on the cast is slan­der­ous, de­ranged, crazy and rude... I’m not say­ing a cast mem­ber is in court more than Judge Judy... I’m not say­ing some­one from the orig­i­nal cast needs a re­al­ity check... I’m not say­ing any of that!” spews Gam­ble. And with a purge like that, is it any won­der the diva-level drama was enough to get Janet, 58, to throw in her de­signer Valentino towel once and for all?

“To be hon­est, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do the show again af­ter last sea­son,” says Janet, who lets slip that this will be her last ap­pear­ance on the fran­chise. “I did my time, I’ve en­joyed it and loved it,” she says. So what on Earth has pushed her over the edge this time? “Look – the good ones are still the good ones and the try-hards are still the try-hards,” she says. “Some of the girls are so des­per­ate for fame at times, it’s nau­se­at­ing! It’s ba­si­cally an­other sea­son of women be­hav­ing badly!” Well, yeah! So let’s get down to busi­ness. Who’s the realest Real Housewife of the bunch and who’s let fame go to their head? NW de­cided to dish out the ul­ti­mate diva test to the ladies with hi­lar­i­ous re­sults... So sit back, grab a drink – and en­joy. You’ll need it once you see how the other half live.

Hands up, ladies! Who slaps on a full face of make-up for the gym?

Gina: I don’t ac­tu­ally go to the gym – I’m a bit naughty. I don’t do well with dis­com­fort, but when I do go, yes, I do wear make-up. Sally: If I were to ever grace a gym, I doubt I would wear make-up! Gam­ble: Don’t be ridicu­lous... the gym wears make-up for me!

Who’s re­spon­si­ble for the milk run at home?

Gina: I or­der it on­line, so me. Jackie: Um­mmm... me. Sally: I don’t know... It’s not just de­liv­ered by a milk­man?

When was the last time you put the rub­bish out?

Gam­ble: The last time I took the rub­bish out was when I ac­ci­den­tally mis­took [my step­son] Luke’s ex­pen­sive [ear­phones] for the rub­bish. It’s his job – and he is so much bet­ter at it than I am. Sally: That’s not very house­wifey! Luck­ily, I have a teenage son for this job!

Have you ever used your fame to skip a queue or get a good ta­ble at a restau­rant?

Sally: Not yet – but give me time! Gina: I don’t think I’ve done that de­lib­er­ately, but I tend to go to the same restau­rants. I’m a crea­ture of habit, so I think what hap­pens is, if I’m spot­ted in a queue... they’ll look af­ter me. Janet: Ab­so­lutely not! Jackie: Yep! Doesn’t ev­ery job have its perks?!

Do you know what a Shop-a-docket is?

Jackie: I was a teenager grow­ing up in New­cas­tle in the ’90s, and Shop-a-dock­ets were key for teens to get two cheap schnit­ties for the price of one be­fore head­ing into town on a Fri­day or Satur­day night! [Laughs]. Janet: I have no idea what a Shop-a-docket is. Gina: I mean, I have never, ever heard of one of those. What is it? Ly­dia: No, do you?



What about Fly­buys?

Sally: No, I don’t. Can I use them at Gucci? Gina: I use Fly­buys, yep. Well, not, like, Fly­buys, but like points I get on credit cards. Some­times when I book flights I’ll use them. Janet: No, I don’t use them, but I know what they are... Jackie: I did – they are use­less! Af­ter 10 years of gro­cery shop­ping, you might get enough points for a bot­tle of wine. Gam­ble: I know what they are – veiled com­mu­nism! I don’t use Fly­buys. I’m a lib­er­tar­ian. If it works for you, then fine. Free­dom of speech and pri­vacy are every­thing to me. It’s a sub­tle way to col­lect data and per­son­ally, I don’t like it.

Do you al­ways leave tips?

Gam­ble: I al­ways tip! Tip on the way in, tip on the way out. Stay at home and eat pop­corn if you’re a cheap bas­tard. Sally: Of course! I al­ways tip at least 10 per cent un­less the ser­vice is re­ally bad, then I stick my gum un­der the ta­ble! Venus: It de­pends. In Aus­tralia, al­though it’s not cus­tom­ary, I do tip reg­u­larly at restau­rants and bars.

OK, ladies. Time to dish! Can any of you spot a de­signer fake at 100 paces?

Venus: There are some re­ally good fakes out there these days, but I don’t re­ally look out for that sort of thing on peo­ple. Gam­ble: Well, there is a cer­tain per­son I met at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son that I would con­sider fake in more ways than 100... in­clud­ing In­sta­gram fol­low­ers! Ly­dia: You know, I did see this one bag... We were all on a shoot and I’d just come back from Dubai where I hap­pened to be look­ing at Chanel bags... Any­way, Gam­ble walked in with one that was so ex­pen­sive and she put it on the floor, and I just thought, “Oh my God. That has to be fake – I cer­tainly wouldn’t be putting that on the floor!” Jackie: They’re not hard to spot, but who cares if you have a good fakey? Just don’t try to tell me it’s real when it’s not. There are some guilty housewives here... Janet: The worst knock-off I’ve ever seen is on the show this sea­son!

Would you ever pur­chase a knock-off?

Gam­ble: Plead­ing the fifth on this one, guys!

Have any of you ever said, “Don’t you know who I am?!” to a com­plete stranger?

Janet: Never... Gina: No, I’ve never said that be­cause I’ve never for­got­ten who I am. I don’t need any­one to tell me or re­mind me, nor do I need them to know. Gam­ble: No, but I have said, “This is not a game of Who The F**k Are You!” Jackie: I would never say that to any­body! If some­one thinks they’re im­por­tant or spe­cial be­cause they have “fame”, they prob­a­bly have some deepseated is­sues. I’ve heard other cast mem­bers say, “Don’t you know who I am?” and it made me squirm in­side. I’d go as far as to say, if those words have ever come out of your mouth, al­most all Aus­tralians would call you a wanker! Venus: No. Hi­lar­i­ous!

Have you ever flown econ­omy?

Sally: What’s econ­omy? Please elab­o­rate! Gina: Yes. If you’ve got a his­tory of be­ing a lawyer, you’ve got a his­tory of be­ing a stu­dent. I don’t mind be­ing with the masses – as long as they have teeth and are groomed, oth­er­wise I start get­ting a lit­tle bit un­com­fort­able! Venus: Of course I’ve trav­elled econ­omy!

When was the last time you caught pub­lic trans­port?

Ly­dia: Would you be­lieve I caught pub­lic trans­port three months ago with my mother! We were in the city and we caught the tram. Gina: To be hon­est, I can’t re­mem­ber... Is fly­ing pub­lic trans­port? I trav­elled to Syd­ney 10 days ago... Sally: I caught a bus to the long-term carpark at the air­port the other day. Does that count? Venus: Last­month Last month I caught the sub­way in New York...

Crown it – who do you think is the big­gest diva in the cast?

Venus: Hmm... no com­ment! Sally: One guess! Gam­ble: Gina. Gina: I would say we’re all equally as diva-ish as each other! Ly­dia: I think we can all be di­vas to tell you the truth truth... Janet: The ones who act as di­vas are the most fake. I will leave the rest up to your imag­i­na­tion. Jackie: We all have our mo­ments! Trust me...


Story Ka­rina Rec­chi Pho­tog­ra­pher Kristina Soljo Styling Lat­ti­tia Tay­lor Hair & Make-up Mon­ica Gin­gold; Zoe Karlis

Gi na Ja ck ie

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