Last night, we watched Sophie Monk tell millionaire publican Stu Laundy that she loved him.
It was an intense, intimate (possibly too intimate) moment that was the culmination of six weeks, 21 bachelors, many dates, a few kisses and one dead pot plant.
Heavily invested in the fomer Bardot popstar’s quest for love, many viewers had been vocal about their ambivalence or dislike for Monk’s final two suitors, Laundy and vineyard owner Jarrod Woodgate in the lead up to the finale.
Some even dubbed it “Sophie’s choice”.
— Elephuntus (@elephuntus) October 25, 2017
SOPH PLEASE REJECT BOTH AND MARRY YOURSELF. #BacheloretteAU
— Zan Rowe (@zanrowe) October 26, 2017
God I hope she tells them both to piss off and runs away with a cocktail waitress. #BacheloretteAU
— Virginia Trioli (@LaTrioli) October 26, 2017
With the running off with a cocktail waitress an unlikely outcome (although arguably fodder for great TV), people then started to turn to one unmissable factor at play – Laundy’s wealth, as the heir to an estimated $500 million fortune thanks to pub baron father Arthur.
Who will she CHOOSE?! A man worth half a billion dollars or a terrifyingly possessive giraffe who somehow sunburns indoors #BacheloretteAU
— Gina Rushton (@ginarush) October 26, 2017
‘I don’t want to make the same mistakes as before, so I’m choosing another rich playboy’ #BacheloretteAU
— O’Malley (@Skualg) October 26, 2017
“I just want a regular, good Aussie bloke” chooses man worth 500 million dollars #BacheloretteAU
— Gemma Watts (@gemkwatts) October 26, 2017
As one colleague put it “Two crap guys. May as well go for the one worth $500 million.”
Disagree with Monk’s choice of partner yes, but to insinuate her decision was swayed by monetary gain is an insult.
Reminder: Sophie Monk didn’t need to pick Stu for his money. Even heartbroken Woodgate told Kyle and Jackie O this morning that he didn’t believe money had been a factor at all.
As a singer, actress, model and radio host, Monk been supporting herself (and her family) for a while now, thank you very much.
It’s also been entirely self-made.
After success with Bardot, Monk spent a decade in LA pursuing acting. There were challenges. She’s spoken at length about the people who exploited her and her wealth there, including an unnamed “friend” whom she trusted to look after her finances who stole the money she had been saving up to buy her family a house.
It was a setback, but time and time again she’s proved she’s more than able to pick herself back up and support herself.
Moving back to her parent’s house in Queensland she told the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this year, “I remember sitting by their pool and thinking, ‘I will make that money back'”.
She got a gig hosting breakfast radio on 2Day FM replacing Kyle and Jackie O with Merrick Watts, Jules Lund and (briefly) Mel B in 2015. Since she left after a year, she’s regularly filled in or appeared on Kyle and Jackie O’s radio show.
In 2015, she won The Celebrity Apprentice which as well as "replenishing her bank account" raised almost $270,000 for the Make-A-Wish foundation.
She used those earnings to build her parents a house on the Gold Coast next to hers.
"They've gotten me through everything. It was my dream to look after them. I worked my arse off but it was worth it," she said.
Estimates put her net worth at about $6 million and her salary for The Bachelorette is believed to be about $300,000. That's $100,000 more than was reportedly pocketed by Matty J.
No doubt some more lucrative job opportunities, endorsements and ambassadorships will come her way after her stint on the dating show, if she wants them.
Her quest on The Bachelorette was for love, not money. Whether she's found that or not, only she can decide.
The figures may not compare to Laundy's (largely inherited, mind you) wealth, but it's significant. It's also all Monk's.
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