celebrity

Lara Worthington used to dominate news headlines. Now, she's very rarely seen in public.

In 2006, Lara Bingle became a household name.

She was just 18-years-old, and was splashed on every television screen across the country in Tourism Australia’s controversial advertisement, as she stood in a bikini on a deserted beach saying “Where the bloody hell are ya?”.

The advertisement was banned in the United Kingdom for being inappropriate.

Previous to her screen debut, she attended school in Potts Point, before dropping out at 16 to move to Italy to pursue modelling. But following her return to Australia she was clouded by controversy, as she was thrust into the spotlight in her late teens and early twenties.

After the controversial advertisement, in March 2008, it was announced that Lara was engaged to marry Australian cricketer Michael Clarke.

She was 20-years-old.

Lara Bingle 2019
Image: Getty.

Two months later, Lara's father died from bowel cancer. She became an ambassador for Bowel Cancer Australia, and continues to advocate for the organisation.

Almost exactly two years after her engagement and the passing of her father, Clarke's public relations team announced the engagement had been called off, and there were unconfirmed rumours that she had flushed the $200,000 engagement ring down the toilet.

After her break up with Clarke, Lara had a string of high-profile relationships and affairs.

In 2010, Lara started proceedings to sue footballer Brendan Fevola, who she reportedly dated whilst he was married to Alex Fevola, for breach of privacy, defamation and misuse of her image for the release of a nude photo of her in the shower published in Woman’s Day. It later emerged that she and her agent Max Markson had sold her ‘nude photo’ story to the same magazinewhich had originally published the controversial photo for nearly $200,000.

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Later, in 2011, photos of the television personality on holiday with rugby player Danny Cipriani were splashed across magazines, rumoured to have been organised by Lara herself. She was dumped while the magazines were still on the shelves.

She went on to date fashion designer Gareth Moody in 2013, who she problematically boasted helped her lose 12kg in an interview with WHO Magazine, just months before moving to New York City with her now husband Sam Worthington.

Relationships aside, Lara had been in the public eye in her own right. In 2008, she became the host for Channel Nine's show Holidays for Sale, and started contracts with Vodafone and Speedo.

In 2011, she was on Dancing with the Stars for three weeks, before being booted for not having the "X-Factor". Then, in 2012, Lara appeared in one season of a reality television show, Being Lara Bingle, based on her life in Bondi. Australia witnessed the fabulous life of the model, but the show was cancelled after one season on the back of mixed reviews.

lara bingle 2019
Image: Channel Ten.

Later that year, Lara was fined $3500 for driving without a license and fleeing the scene of a traffic incident.

She appeared by all means to have hit rock bottom.

Then, in 2012, things began to change for the better.

Between 2013 and 2014, Lara co-designed a line of bikinis for Cotton On. Then, in November 2014, the model released her own line of premium fake tan called The Base.

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The mistakes that she made as an 18-year-old girl became background noise, as she built a brand that is unshakably successful.

In 2014, she secretly married Worthington, and changed her Instagram name to Lara Worthington. Five years later, the 31-year-old shares two children with her husband, Rocket, 4, and Racer, 2. They live a spectacularly private life.

lara bingle 2019
Lara Worthington and Sam Worthington. Image: Getty.

Speaking to Stellar Magazine on Sunday, Lara said she has learnt the importance of the people you surround yourself with.

"I’ve been through so many phases in my life and I’ve learnt that the people you surround yourself with are so important," she said.

"Good people are my go-to. I’ve learnt that trusting people is imperative. I really value their opinions and take it all on board, and then develop my own thoughts and feelings."

She added that her husband Sam is her anchor, and he helps her to feel calm.

"I don’t have to put on any façade with him, and moving to America has meant we’re able to live a really normal life. In fact, he’s more normal than me. He’s the guy from Perth who drinks milk before he goes to bed!" she told Stellar

Lara has rebuilt herself in an admirable way, and put the mistakes of her much younger self behind her.

In 2019, she is miles from the woman standing on a white sandy beach, asking us where the hell we were.

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