After Melissa George fled her French husband she found herself in a position where she had just 48 hours to find a home in Paris for her and her two young sons.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, the Australian actress shared a photo of her home and told the story of how she found it.
“I went into a real estate agency with my boys in tears saying ‘I am not French, without work, no one to sign for the lease, etc. and I am in need of a home for us three immediately’.
“The agent said ‘come with me’ she opened the door to my home and I fell in love.”
In March 2017 the 41-year-old shared her story of escaping alleged domestic violence on Sunday Night, telling Melissa Doyle “things couldn’t be worse”.
She said that in September 2016, Jean-David Blanc attacked her in their home, leaving her beaten and bloodied before she was rescued by an Uber driver. While a judge found both parties guilty of assault, both are appealing the ruling.
Since their split, the couple have been in an ongoing battle over custody of their boys, Raphael, four, and Solal, two. They are sharing custody, but as George told Australian media outlets last year, she is unable to work in France as she’s not a French citizen, meaning she can’t financially support her children. She’s also forbidden from leaving the country with the boys without Jean-David’s permission.
However, things appear to be going just a little bit better for the former Home and Away actress and her young family.
On Instagram, she shared how she filled her home with antiques to create a place that makes her “spirits soar”.
She said she has happy memories of going into “every single antique market” from one end of Paris to another and even finding treasures on the side of streets, like 18th-century desks and tables.
“In two months I created a space that makes our spirits soar. Less is best.”
She added: “The lamp on the left was an old coat stand that I turned into a lamp myself.”
The mum-of-two also said her father helped her restore some of the antiques that were “falling apart” allowing her sons to “jump all over the furniture.”
She said she enjoyed decorating her home so much she suggested interior design might be her “new vocation”.
In January, Melissa told Vogue Australia she was awaiting the verdict on a joint appeal over custody in Paris.
“There are no words to put into what happened: you cannot believe it. Nobody knows even an eighth of it. It was not good, not good. But I’m better today,” she told the magazine.
She told of how she’s trying to ensure her sons grow up having a loving relationship with their dad. Her efforts include weekly family FaceTime chats and encouraging the boys to find little gifts to give to their father.
Melissa had also managed to work – with help from her mum she managed a 10-day shoot in Ireland for the film Don’t Go. She said she felt her incredibly hard year may have even improved her acting skills.
“It’s almost like when life beats you down, you get more humble, more calm, reflective. There’s peace in it, you know? So I’m looking forward to the next chapter. Maybe love – who knows?”