reality tv

Lauren from MAFS told us exactly what happened during Jono and Ellie's 'cheating scandal'.

After a whopping 36 episodes of reality TV, Married At First Sight will come to an end next week in a two-part reunion special

As is tradition, the series will culminate in a messy final Dinner Party where fresh revelations are shared before the experts wrangle the brides and grooms together for the last Commitment Ceremony. Chaos ensues — fun, fun, fun!

But tbh, all we care about is Jonathan McCullough and Ellie Dix arriving at the reunion dinner holding hands. Not since Troy Delmege and Carly Bowyer confirmed their couple swap back in season five has there been such a juicy plot twist. 

ICYMI: this is a scandal because Jono and Ellie were not actually married in the 2024 season. Awkies. They were matched with the season's breakout star Lauren Dunn and occasional guitarist/sayer of weird sentences, Ben Walters. 

While Ellie and Ben departed the show early, towards the end of the experiment Lauren discovered Jono had reached out to Ellie and they'd been texting. The saga unravelled at the couple's Final Vows with both Lauren and Jono giving rather savage appraisals of each other in their ceremony. 

As the dust has since settled between the exes, we spoke to Lauren about where their relationship stood after the 'cheating' allegations. 

"We started speaking after the reunion," she said. "Before that, we hadn't seen or spoken to each other hence why I was extremely shocked when they [Jono and Ellie] walked in together." 

You and me both, sis. 

Ellie and Jono make their MAFS debut. Image: Nine. 


Lauren said she ultimately decided to support Jono and Ellie as a couple. "We didn't speak for a while and then I reached out to him to let him know that I was going to support him and Ellie. I think they're a much better match," Lauren told us. 

"I was able to eventually see that they are a better match. But I knew that from the beginning, I'm not gonna lie, but I just wish someone had told me [they were texting]."

She went on to add that the three were on such good terms that she would have phone conversations with the couple. 

"Him and I started to speak quite often — including with Ellie. She would always be there and we'd have phone conversations while she was there. I wanted to let them know that I won't be ragging them off for this cheating scandal, which really wasn't a cheating scandal, it was more of just a texting-behind-my-back scandal."  


But something has clearly shifted in the dynamic as Lauren told us in another interview that her and Jono are no longer speaking. "I've since found out quite a few things that he's been doing and saying to try to make me look bad which I'm not impressed with," Lauren told Mamamia earlier this week. 

"I'm not really speaking to him now after that."  

Jono and Lauren in happier times. Image: Nine. 

Lauren also has conflicted feelings about Ellie's part in the texting scandal. "We weren't super close, but we were definitely friendly. We've seen the episodes where I was very vocal about defending her when I felt like she was being hard done by Ben," she said.


"We were friends but I'm realising now that we weren't because when she left, she didn't reach out to me. She reached out to Jono, or he reached out to her. She could have reached out to me if she wanted to know what's going on in the experiment." 

Ultimately, Lauren said that the responsibility to be honest about the texting laid with her experiment partner, Jono. "I was married to him not her," she said. 

As far as other friendships forged in the experiment go, Lauren still lists some of the contestants as close pals. 

"Sara [Mesa] and I are extremely close," she said. "We've been flying back and forth to see each other, I went to Bali for her 30th. And I'm also good friends with Lucinda [Light], Timothy [Smith] and Tristan [Black]." What a crew!

The same can't be said for Tori Adams, a MAFS bride who started off as Lauren's fast BFF but the women soon clashed over Tori's partner, Jack Dunkley. "Tori and I haven't spoken," Lauren confirmed. 

"I sent her a message when her wedding episode aired [at the start of the season], just to say how beautiful she looked. She responded, but we haven't spoken since then."

When asked if she would no longer consider them friends anymore, Lauren replied "Yeah, I guess."

The two-part MAFS reunion special kicks off at 7pm on Sunday on Nine. 

Feature image: Nine.