real life

Keira Maguire opens up about her cult upbringing on 'I'm A Celebrity'.

Keira Maguire has opened up about her cult upbringing while in the African jungle on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

In a conversation aired during Sunday night’s episode, the former Bachelor contestant shared the story of the first few years of her life spent under her polygamist father with campmate Lisa Curry.

“I don’t know if you know my story, but my mum was in a cult,” the 30-year-old told Curry.

“When I was little I was around all of them, but she took us away when I was, like, six.”

Maguire went on to explain her biological father had been the leader of the group.

“I don’t know much about it because I’m 30 and it happened a long time ago… basically, there were guys and girls in it and they came from broken homes and had been going through certain things,” she said.

“It got to the point where he’d start to build a family and they were all of his wives.”

Curry’s response was a shocked exclamation: “Holy s**t!”

Maguire didn’t know who her real mum was until she was about six years old.

“I didn’t even know what a mum was, because you were all just together,” she told Curry.

Listen to Keira telling Mia Freedman about her childhood on No Filter.

“I just knew that I wasn’t normal and I really didn’t like that. People would point at us and be like, ’63’ because there was 63 children. You have to remember there were nine wives.”

Although the 30-year-old has “very small” memories of her time in the situation, she admitted not all of her recollections were unpleasant.

“What I can remember was quite fun, we did musicals and stuff,” she said.

“When I went to school I’d left the situation… [my father] passed away three years ago, which kind of felt like a relief for me. Because I didn’t have to explain about my dad… although it sounds bad, it kind of made me feel better.”

Maguire’s cult upbringing was first outed by Woman’s Day during her appearance on the Bachelor with Richie Strahan in 2016.


The magazine revealed that her father, Alistah Laishkochav, started a polygamist cult in Victoria, where he had nine wives who raised 64 children together.

Keira Maguire in the I'm a Celebrity jungle. (Image via Channel 10.)

Keira said that her mother took her and her siblings away from the cult when she was five years old and that Laishkochav was "not relevant to who I am nor does he define me".

"I was brought up by my mother and grandmother in Brisbane in a loving, caring and compassionate household," she said.

"I had a wonderful childhood and I am extremely grateful to both my mother and grandmother for the upbringing which they provided me and my siblings. Although I have since met and reunited with my family, I have never had a relationship with Alistah Laishkochav."

Keira was later brought to tears when speaking about her earliest memories in an interview with Mia Freedman for No Filter.

She soon composed herself, saying simply: "Everyone has a story. A lot of people have far worse stories."

To hear Mia's full interview with Keira on No Filter, listen here and subscribe in iTunes.

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