In 2006, Simmone Jade Mackinnon was at the height of her McLeod's Daughters fame. Then she lost everything.

In the early 2000s, Simmone Jade Mackinnon was at the height of fame. 

She was riding high off of the success of Baywatch: Hawaii, which aired from 1999 until 2001. The Australian-born actor then returned to Aussie soil for arguably her biggest role yet: 'Stevie Hall' in the popular drama McLeod's DaughtersIt aired from 2003 to 2009.

For a large chunk of her time on TV, Mackinnon was also dating Hollywood movie star (to be) Jason Momoa

Speaking of celebrities before they were famous, here are a bunch of celebs in ads before they made it big. Post continues after video. 

Video via Mamamia.

The pair, who met on the set of Baywatch, began dating in 1999 and then got engaged in 2004. But by 2006, their relationship was over because, at that point, he'd met his childhood crush Lisa Bonet and they'd started dating.

18 years on from their breakup, Mackinnon has happily moved on. But in a new interview, she says that since drifting away from the spotlight, she's dealt with "really, really intense" financial pressure.

She confessed on Nine's reality competition show The Summit that she has dealt with "severe anxiety" that led to "massive hair loss".

The actor, along with 13 others, is tasked with racing to the top of a mountain with $70,000 in their backpack for a $1 million prize.


"The last three years have been the hardest of my life," Mackinnon said, per 9Now. "And that caused severe anxiety. After a week of back-to-back panic attacks that led to massive hair loss. There was big chunks just falling out so I had to shave it all off. You lose your hair and it's a massive psychological hit."

Simmone Jade Mackinnon and Craig McLachlan McLeod's Daughters. Image: Nine.

After McLeod's Daughters wrapped up in 2009, Mackinnon said she wanted to take a break from acting and focus on raising her son who would "more than likely be my only child," she said per The Advertiser. 


Apart from a few minor roles in City Homicide in 2010 and Neighbours in 2012, she hasn't returned to acting since.

She confessed that during the hiatus, she ended up staying hidden "away from everything and everyone for years."

In 2016, Mackinnon bought a caravan to road trip across Australia with her son but instead of that, it was semi-permanently parked on family property for two years when her father became ill.

While dealing with that, she took a job working at a cattle station in Rockhampton, Queensland, as a jillaroo and described the lifestyle as "priceless" despite making less money than she had in the acting industry.

Simmone Jade Mackinnon on The Summit. Image: Nine.


By the time COVID and the pandemic rolled around, Mackinnon faced another setback and she hit "rock bottom" trying to keep her online clothing company running. 

"I poured everything I had into it. I'm proud to say it's still going three years later but it is without a doubt the most stressful situation I have ever been in," she said. 

"Living off credit cards, continually just praying people will like my new designs. It's taken a massive toll mentally and at the beginning of last year, I suffered a physical toll when I lost all my hair due to the stress.

"Rock bottom is where I found myself. And there's really only one way you can go from there... and that is up."

After all that she's gone through, Mackinnon says she is competing on gruelling reality TV for herself. 

"The last two years have, by far, been my worst. I started a new business but the financial pressure is really intense. My Dad is sick and we're living in a shed and caravan at his place and my niece had a horrific accident," she said. 

"There's just been lots happening. And I guess after two years of relentless pressure I lost my hair, even my eyelashes and eyebrows so I need to do this for myself to prove I can."

Feature Image: Getty.

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