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...
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.
I AM PRETTY STRONG, BUT THERE ARE TIMES THAT I CAN’T QUITE KEEP IT TOGETHER – SALLY
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?
MY PERSONAL ASSISTANT HAD ALREADY MET VENUS AND DESCRIBED HER TO A TEE – JANET
‘SOME GIRLS ARE SO DESPERATE FOR FAME’
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...
‘I WOULD CONSIDER HER FAKE IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE’
Story Karina Recchi Photographer Kristina Soljo Styling Lattitia Taylor Hair & Make-up Monica Gingold; Zoe Karlis
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