Find­ing the real BRYNNE

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - Cover Story - – Deb­bie Schipp

She has been pil­lo­ried for her star­tling red- car­pet out­fits, la­beled a “be­daz­zled sack of pota­toes” for a per­for­mance on Danc­ing With The Stars, mocked for hav­ing a hus­band 40 years her se­nior, and has sur­vived the me­dia cov­er­age of that same hus­band’s al­leged af­fair.

So why on earth would Brynne Edel­sten, the buxom blonde 29-year- old wife of con­tro­ver­sial busi­ness­man and celebrity high-flyer Geoffrey, 69, want to star in her own re­al­ity show?

Iron­i­cally, be­cause the re­al­ity show which mocked her danc­ing gave her the con­fi­dence to show her true self.

“Danc­ing With the Stars was a good ex­pe­ri­ence for me,” Brynne says, in her girl­ish Amer­i­can twang. “The sup­port I got from view­ers and peo­ple in the street gave me the con­fi­dence to be open with my en­tire life.”

Brynne Edel­sten has been firmly in the gos­sip col­umns and pa­parazzi spot­light since ar­riv­ing in Aus­tralia in 2010 as the mil­lion­aire busi­ness­man’s lat­est wife.

The girl from Ari­zona and her hus­band with the pen­chant for gar­ish suits quickly set tongues wag­ging as much for their dress sense as their lav­ish life­style.

But in Danc­ing With The Stars, view­ers saw an un­fail­ingly po­lite and slightly vul­ner­a­ble woman. So from Au­gust 2011 un­til Au­gust this year, she let the cam­eras into her life. The re­sult is My Be­daz­zled Life. She signed up with just one aim: to show the Brynne be­neath the bling.

Speak to Brynne and you dis­cover a woman who is hu­mor­ously self­dep­re­cat­ing, misses her fam­ily, and some­times gets a lit­tle lonely.

Her clos­est com­pan­ion is her beloved mal­tese/shih tzu cross Judd, and she des­per­ately wants a baby.

Brynne hasn’t seen a fin­ished episode of the show show­cas­ing what has been a tu­mul­tuous year.

That in­cluded sus­pi­cion her mar­riage was in trou­ble af­ter it emerged ear­lier this year that Geoffrey had a se­cret adult child, an in­ci­dent in March when he show­ered an­other woman with gifts on a three- day get­away in the US, and po­lice re­spond­ing to an emer­gency phone call from the cou­ple’s Mel­bourne apart­ment.

At times like these, Brynne says, she re­ally wanted the cam­eras turned off.

“Ob­vi­ously, there have been some re­ally dif­fi­cult things in my mar­riage and stuff that I would have pre­ferred kept per­sonal, but when I signed up to do this show I didn’t put re­stric­tions on what

Even though I have all these sparkly ac­ces­sories

in my life, I’m re­ally down-to-earth

they could and couldn’t film be­cause I wanted it to be gen­uine,” she says.

One of the low­est of those mo­ments is when she finds out about her hus­band’s trip over­seas with a com­pan­ion.

“I just wanted to hide in my apart­ment, or hide some­where and not talk to any­one,” she con­fesses. “You see my re­ac­tion to find­ing out about it – which wasn’t the pret­ti­est. It was dev­as­tat­ing. I think it was shock, to be hon­est.” The pair have weath­ered that storm. “Ev­ery day we’re work­ing on our mar­riage, like any other cou­ple, and I guess time will tell if we’re strong enough or not,” she says.

My Be­daz­zled Life may show­case its hero­ine on lav­ish spend­ing sprees ( try $ 250,000 on clothes in 20 min­utes), pri­vate jets and an over­flow­ing shoe closet ( “I do love my shoes,” she con­fesses al­most shame­facedly), but an over­rid­ing theme is her des­per­a­tion for some­thing money can’t buy. A baby. “I want a baby so bad,” she says. “I have the time to look af­ter one re­ally well, and I think I’d be a good mum.”

She spends plenty of time putting the case to her ini­tially re­sis­tant hus­band and now that the cam­eras have stopped rolling she says he has come around.

“We’re try­ing. We’re def­i­nitely prac­tis­ing. He has de­cided that he is ready, and I’m ready, and un­for­tu­nately that hasn’t hap­pened yet, but hope­fully, soon,” she says.

Brynne’s self- dep­re­cat­ing hu­mour shines through in lighter mo­ments of the show. At her first act­ing les­son, she re­alises she is out of her depth.

“There’s one prob­lem in the room and that’s me,” she says of her act­ing abil­ity.

In a post-mortem with a buddy, she ad­mits: “Luck­ily I was play­ing a des­per­ate char­ac­ter be­cause I was just des­per­ate to get out of there.”

Brynne knows she won’t win over ev­ery­one with the show and is ready to deal again with the crit­ics.

“Of course you hope ev­ery­one will just love it, but ev­ery­one has an opin­ion and that’s OK,” she says. “It will prob­a­bly be more dif­fi­cult be­cause I’ve opened up so much, but ev­ery­one has a right to an opin­ion.

“I just hope peo­ple will see that even though I have all these sparkly ac­ces­sories in my life, I’m re­ally downto- earth and like al­most any other girl in Aus­tralia I’m deal­ing with my mar­riage, try­ing to have a baby, my fam­ily, the highs and lows, and can re­late to that.”

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