At 22, Dannii Minogue wed Julian McMahon. Their divorce left her broken-hearted and in debt.


When Dannii Minogue started dating Julian McMahon, actor and son of former Australian Prime Minister, Sir William McMahon, it was clear that the relationship was not going to be smooth sailing.

From the very beginning, Dannii’s mother-in-law, Lady Sonia McMahon, did not like her. Not one bit.

It was a constant dilemma that ended up plaguing the couple’s relationship right up until their divorce.

Speaking to Anh Do on tonight’s episode of Anh’s Brush with Fame, the actress opened up about the frosty experience she had while dating her Home and Away co-star.

Dannii Minogue opens up about being compared to her sister Kylie on Ahn’s Brush with Fame. Post continues after video…

“His family were quite intimidating. His mum did not like me,” she said.

“I guess there’s a certain social pecking order, and I definitely was not in that scene,” she explained.

“She only spoke to me a couple of times, she wouldn’t let me go to the family house. Sometimes he had to go round and collect something, and I was waiting in the car out the front.


“It was as if I had done something wrong to the family – but I hadn’t done anything wrong.”

Danni Minogue and Julian McMahon in 1995. Image: Getty.

At 22 years old, in January 1994, Dannii and Julian married in Melbourne.

The couple's wedding photos appeared exclusively on the front cover of Woman's Day. But behind the scenes, their wedding day was filled with drama.

"On the actual day of the wedding there was drama," the mother-of-one told Anh Do.


“She had said she wasn’t going to show up, so that’s quite stressful," she explained.

"So then she did end up coming and was causing a scene, it wasn’t the greatest. It was hard. I tried to stay away from it because I just wanted to enjoy the day.”

Dannii's interview on Anh's Brush with Fame wasn't the first time she's opened up about her relationship with Lady McMahon, who passed away in 2010.

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Julian McMahon and his mother, Lady Sonia McMahon. Image: Getty.

"I was never accepted. It was never made clear to me why things were taken out on me. In my mind I'd done nothing against her. But simply being with Julian was, in her mind, the wrong thing to do," she told Glamour magazine.


"It shaped me... it definitely wasn't easy for anyone - not for her, not for Julian, not for me. Nobody was having fun," she continued.

"Things really did come to a head. There was an unease that had been going on for a long time, but I caused some kind of explosion."

After they were married, Julian headed to New York to kick start his acting career in the United States.

While in New York, Dannii supported Julian entirely.

But just over a year later in 1995, the couple divorced and Dannii found herself alone in London – broken-hearted and in debt.

"I had been very good with my finances up until the point where I got married," Dannii told BBC Radio 2 in 2010.

"I was living in London and working in London. [Julian] was living and working in America, but he had only just started working there and I was financing both of our living costs in both countries at 22. London and New York are expensive cities, we had nice things. And then every two weeks I flew back and forth, so that I could see him, get back to work, earn some more money, get back there again."

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Dannii Minogue and Julian McMahon. Image: Getty.

Speaking to Anh, Dannii shared that following her marriage and the financial woes that came with it, she was offered to do a shoot with Playboy. The offer would get her out of debt.

"It was actually really liberating," she explained.

"It's one shoot and then all of your problems are solved.

"They offered me this amazing situation to get out of this problem I got myself into and I don't regret it one bit.

"It was an amazing experience."

In 1999, Julian married Baywatch star Brooke Burns. They had one child together before they divorced in 2001. He married for the third time in 2014.

Dannii also has a child with her former partner, English ex-professional rugby league player Kris Smith. The pair have a son together – Ethan Edward Minogue-Smith, who is almost nine years old.

She is currently dating producer Adrian Newman.