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Where are they now? Australia's Next Top Model runner-up Cassi Van Den Dungen, 10 years on.

In 2009, Cassi Van Den Dungen – a self-proclaimed “boganista” from Sunbury, Victoria – was crowned runner-up on the fifth cycle of Australia’s Next Top Model.

At the time, Cassi was just 16 years old.

Just one day after losing the popular reality competition to fellow contestant Tahnee Atkinson, Cassi was immediately offered modelling contracts from New York City’s Elite Model Management and Priscilla’s Model Management.

Initially, Cassi turned down the contracts, controversially choosing instead to stay in Sunbury with her partner, Brad Saul.

But in the years that followed, her career skyrocketed, seeing her walking at Paris Fashion Week and appearing in campaigns for Australian designers such as Alex Perry and Zimmermann.

A decade on from Cassi’s time on Australia’s Next Top Model, this is what her life looks like now.

Cassi Van Den Dungen 2019
Adele Thiel and Cassi Van Den Dungen on the set of Australia's Next Top Model. Image: Getty.

She's still modelling.

In the years after ANTM ended, Cassi Van Den Dungen made her international debut walking for Calvin Klien in New York and Miu Miu in Paris.

She has also appeared in editorials in a number of magazines including Cleo magazine, Elle Australia, Oyster magazine, Australian Vogue and Russh magazine.

In 2014, however, Cassi's appearance on the Alex Perry runway during Sydney's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week led to a media storm when the model's frame was discussed on Australian breakfast television.

At the time, then-Marie Claire editor-in-chief Jackie Frank claimed that Cassi was too slim, leading designer Alex Perry to respond to the claims.

“That’s not the image that I think is a good one to put forward. It’s certainly not what I’ve presented my brand about," he said at the time.

Speaking to news.com.au last year, Cassi shared what it was like being scrutinised in the public eye.

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Thank you to @morningshowon7 this morning, Toretto and I had a lovely chat ????

A post shared by Cassi Van Den Dungen (@cassivandendungen) on

"I've grown up my whole life with people telling me I'm skinny, even though I was healthy and doctors and health professionals told me I was fine and it impacted me emotionally every time," she said.

"I wanted to gain [weight] because I'd had enough of people saying that I was so skinny."

Today, Cassi is signed to Silent Models New York.

She's still with her long-term partner.

While appearing on Australia's Next Top Model, the then 16-year-old was dating then 25-year-old bricklayer Brad Saul.

Today, the couple share two children and have been together for 12 years.

 

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She's a mother-of-two.

A decade on from appearing on the reality show, Cassi is now a proud mother-of-two.

In September 2011, Cassi and Brad welcomed their first son, Drake.

Several years later, in May this year, they welcomed their second child, Toretto.

 

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This week, the model was forced to respond to claims that she had named her children after celebrities.

"They were not named after celebrities," she told Channel Seven's The Morning Show.

"One of them has got a rapper's name [Drake] and the other has got a character's name [from Fast and Furious] but it wasn't chosen because of that," she continued.

"We spent a lot of time choosing the names for our children.

"We went through the process of finding something that was uncommon, and something that we loved the meaning of. So that's what we did."

 

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After seeing statements like these on more then one occasion, Brad and I would like to remind the journos writing the articles to fact check first. So here is the facts if you had of asked...... 1st Drake - Drake was not named after the rapper. Fact, we didn’t even know about him until after he was born and named. Brad and I actually are not fans of his music (nothing against the Rapper just don’t like his music). 2nd Toretto- Toretto is not named after a character in a movie. I’d like to ask, is every Clint named that because of Clint Eastwood? (Brilliant actor) Or every Jason named that because of the movie Jason Bourne?.... There are so many movies and so many names I’m sure that a lot of people have the same name as actors/singers/celebrities ect. That does not mean they were named after that person/character. This simple assumption is what almost stopped us from choosing a name that we both love and suits our son so well. 3rd and final- Brad and I chose the names for both of our children for 2 reasons, the unpopularity (uncommon) and the meanings of them. In future if we have another child, that name will be chosen for the same 2 reasons. Just remember assumption is the mother of all fuckups.

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She also shared an Instagram post, responding to the claims, writing: "Toretto is not named after a character in a movie. I’d like to ask, is every Clint named that because of Clint Eastwood? Or every Jason named that because of the movie Jason Bourne?"

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