reality tv

Last week, Paulini spoke about her abusive relationship on TV. It struck a chord with viewers.

Paulini Curuenavuli has always been considered quiet and reserved in the public eye.

The singer, who launched to fame on the very first season of Australian Idol, has retreated from the spotlight in recent years.

But during her appearance on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, the 38-year-old opened up about some of the darkest periods in her life.

Paulini opens up on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! Post continues below.

Video via Channel 10.

In 2017, the singer was handed a six-month suspended sentence after she paid $850 to a Roads and Maritime Services employee for a fake NSW driver's licence, despite not being qualified to get behind the wheel.

At the time, the incident made front page news. 

On I'm A Celebrity, Paulini reflected on the "soul-breaking" experience.

"I did something really silly. I bribed a government official... I bought a fake licence," the 38-year-old told her fellow contestants.

"I was on my Ls... and I just didn’t want to wait, so I bought a licence. It was soul-breaking and spirit-breaking because I was thinking about my family and how I made my family look, how I made myself look," she continued.

"I just made a really bad decision and I absolutely regret it. So I got a criminal record.

"I got a massive fine. I lost work, like, that whole year after."

Speaking to Mamamia, Paulini shared she was initially nervous about the incident coming up in the jungle. 


"It was quite difficult for me... I’m quite reserved and it was a bit of a challenge for me to come out of my shell. But I’m happy that I did do it because it has given me more confidence," she shared.

"We would all sit around the campfire and talk about life and that’s what made it easier for me. I felt comfortable, and I didn’t feel like I was going to get judged by the other celebrities," she continued.

"I really let my guard down and I’m so glad I did because I think that some of the things that I’ve gone through are things that more people would go through."

In the end, the 38-year-old was grateful to be able to share her side of the story.

"That’s one of the things I really wanted to clear because I knew the media didn’t report on everything and I really wanted to get that out there. I wanted to let people know that I take 100 per cent responsibility for what I did. I learned from it," she told Mamamia.

"But the thing that I think a lot of the public forget is that we’re all just human. We’re all the same at the end of the day. We have to treat each other with kindness and forgiveness."

While in the jungle, Paulini also opened about a former relationship which became abusive.

"We just kind of like used to fight all the time," she told Grant Denyer in the jungle last week.

Listen to Mamamia's daily entertainment podcast, The Spill, below. Post continues after podcast.

"It started off great, we were so in love... but things kind of got nasty. It started off with a little pushing around and, you know, it didn’t end well."


During the relationship, Paulini arrived at a gig with the Young Divas with a "massive black eye".

"I tried to come up with all these stupid excuses. I was just like making up all types of sh*t like I got hit in the face with a ball but everyone was like, 'That’s bullsh*t,'" she told Denyer.

"From there... I just kind of said okay, I think it’s done. You know, you can’t really come back from that type of stuff."

Since opening up about her past relationship, Paulini has received countless messages of support on social media.

"Everybody has been so supportive," she said.

"It’s beautiful because you get so many messages from women and even men saying that they’ve gone through it. And for them, seeing me talking about domestic violence on TV really struck a chord with them," she added.

"I think it’s a great thing that I did share that with the public. If I can help anyone in any way, that’s great."

At first, Paulini wasn't keen on appearing on the reality show.

"When I first got asked, I wasn't keen. I'd just lost my dad just a few months before that and I wasn't really up for anything like that," she shared.


"But then again, you know, he would have wanted me to take every opportunity, so that's one of the reasons why I did it," she added.

"I also really wanted to show Australia who I really am because I feel like the Australian public don’t really know that much about me."

But now that her time on the show has ended, Paulini is walking away from the experience with lifelong friends.

"We pretty much talk every single day. We've got a group chat happening," she said.

"I felt 100 per cent comfortable [in the jungle] with the other celebrities. That’s one beautiful thing that I experienced in there. Everybody was just so raw and open with discussing things that we go through in everyday life."

Since becoming a fan favourite on I'm A Celebrity, fellow contestant Abbie Chatfield has been making a case for Paulini to be the next Bachelorette.

Image: Instagram. 

"Things would have to be changed a little, but never say never," Paulini told Mamamia.

"I’m open to it. It would definitely be another experience that I think I could learn from."

Feature Image: Channel 10.

I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! continues on Thursday night at 7.30pm on Channel 10.