'I wasn't allowed near her.' For 18 months, Dannii Minogue had a mother-in-law who wouldn't speak to her.

It was a match made in soap opera heaven; a young Dannii Minogue met and fell in love with Julian McMahon on the set of Home and Away in 1991.

News reports at the time described the popular pair as “famous good-looking boy, meets famous good-looking girl”.

Dannii was 19 and enjoying success after appearing on Young Talent Time. And following the recording of her first album in New York, she flew home to play tomboy punk Emma Jackson on the cult Australian TV show.

Watch Dannii Minogue speak to Mia Freedman on our podcast No Filter. Post continues after video.

Video by MMC

“He stopped me in my tracks,” Dannii said of Julian in an interview with Seven.

Julian, who is the son of former Australian Prime Minister Sir William McMahon, swept Dannii off her feet while also taking on his debut role as Benito Lucini.

The pair married in Melbourne 1994, but as Dannii explained in her interview with Mia Freedman on No Filter, “there was such a storm around it, and then there was the private storm of Julian’s mum.”

Woman's Day Dannii
The couple sold their wedding photo's to Woman's Day. Image: Woman's Day.

Lady Sonia McMahon despised her future daughter-in-law and made that very clear.

"There was no relationship, she wouldn't speak to me, I wasn't allowed to be near her in the house, she said she wasn't coming to the wedding," the now 47-year-old explained.

"We just had no idea how to handle it - we were just trying to," Dannii said.

There was no way she was ever going to consider parting way with her husband-to-be, with Dannii describing her then 22-year-old mind-frame: "I was going to go through it no matter what."

While she suspects the turmoil was hard for Julian, for her it wasn't hard - it was more upsetting. "I didn't love this woman... I didn't know this woman," she said.

Dannii believes Lady McMahon's issue with her was that she wasn't from "the same stock as her son". But as she points out, "she didn't support her son, I did. I paid for everything and I worked every day to earn that money to pay for everything."

In terms of the wedding drama, Dannii says they left it up to Julian's mum to "decide up until the last minute if you want to come, come. If you don't, don't."

To Dannii's shock, she came.

"I was like 'you won't even be in a room with me but then you turn up?' it was wild."

Listen to Mia Freedman's full interview with Dannii Minogue. Post continues after audio.

In an interview with Anh Do's Brush With Fame Dannii explained more about what happened on the day.

"She 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.”

The newlyweds spent a lot of their marriage apart; Julian was in America trying to jumpstart his acting career in Hollywood, and Dannii was working in London.

"I was travelling every two weeks to see him, and I not only ran out of money - I was in debt," she told No Filter.


She committed to supporting him early on in their marriage because she "thought marriage was a long-term thing".

"I thought, 'I'll support you until you get on your feet. Then we can support each other'," she told Mia Freedman.

"Then the marriage was off... it was a huge struggle emotionally, physically, mentally, financially," she said.

Dannii and Julian's marriage only lasted 18 months, and once they split - they never spoke again.

Danni Masked Singer
Dannii Minogue is back on our screens right now in The Masked Singer. Image: Instagram/danniiminogue.

After the breakup, Dannii agreed to a photoshoot with Playboy to help her get back on her feet financially.

At the time it was something her dad begged her not to do - but she was adamant she wasn't asking her parents for help, and to this day she's glad she did it.

Julian went on to marry again in 1999, to Baywatch star Brook 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. Ethan Edward Minogue-Smith is nine years old.

She is currently dating producer Adrian Newman.