“Those were the worst years of my life.”
Eighteen-year-old Australia’s Next Top Model contestant Jess Thomas is one of the most captivating faces on this season of the reality competition. With red hair, a stare that would make Cara Delevingne self-concious and the most ridiculous eyes you’ve ever seen on a human being, Thomas is hard to forget.
But the aspiring model has spoken of the painful past her and her family experienced at the hands of her abusive father.
She told OK! Magazine that she was exposed to alcohol abuse and domestic violence from a young age, calling those years the worst of her life.
“I used to be frightfully shy and it was because of the environment I grew up in,” she said.
“Because of my father, I grew up in a family filled with domestic violence and alcohol abuse; those were the worst years for me and really affected me later on in life.”
Thomas left her father and moved to Perth with her mother and sister at the age of five, with police assistance. That was the last time she spoke to her dad.
He’s tried to reach out to me over the years, but I wasn’t ready,” she told the magazine.
“I actually walked straight past him one day and didn’t even notice. He was waiting out the front of my school, and when I got into the car Mum said, ‘That’s Dad, you know?'”
“I’m not angry anymore; I just don’t have anything to say. He can live his life and I’ll live mine.”
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The strong, resilient attitude that Thomas has become a distinctive part of her personality, and it’s paying off on the show. She’s one of seven models left in the reality show and has been dubbed the one to watch by judge Jennifer Hawkins.
“She’s so beautiful, like a doll, and she’s got great potential because she works really hard and is so passionate,” Hawkins told AAA.
You can watch Australia’s Next Top Model on Thursdays at 7.30pm.
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