Susan Rawlings has exposed what really went on behind the scenes while filming Married at First Sight in a tell-all interview with news site Junkee.
The Perth-based mining truck driver has had a lot to say about her TV ‘husband’ Sean Hollands and the way their relationship ended, accusing him of “lying”.
The 37-year-old told reporter Matilda Dixon-Smith their split was far more mutual than the show’s editing led viewers to believe.
Listen to Clare Stephens and Kelly Glover recap the finale of Married at First Sight. Post continues after audio.
“He knows what happened because I told him so many times about things that upset me. And then he goes on the internet and says, ‘I don’t know what I’ve done’. But he does know; he completely does,” Susan said.
“I don’t understand why someone who’s supposed to have so much integrity is just completely lying.”
Susan said the distance between her and the Queensland farmer was far from their only hurdle. She said, as an activist for animal safety, she was uncomfortable with parts of his job that involved rodeos and calf roping.
She told Junkee her raising these issues was edited out to make it seem like they were “just awesomely happily in love and everyone in Australia should want us to be working out”.
Susan said she hadn't expected to be so misrepresented.
"I didn’t think about production, I didn’t think about TV, I didn’t think about fame — I didn’t think about any of it. Obviously I should have."
The Perth woman said producers ensured there were villains and heroes in the show - for instance making sure that she and Sean and Simon and Alene were out of the room while attacks on Cheryl occurred and removing any footage of Anthony acting nice or funny.
One thing the producers didn't have to manufacture, but did encourage, was the "boy's club", Susan said.
She said Sean was part of this club and received texts from the boys telling them what they missed if they were told to leave.
"After we were made to leave the dinner, two of the boys were messaging saying, 'Wasn’t it awesome how we made Cheryl cry?'"
Susan didn't list Sean among the "positive things" to come out of the show, instead pointing to her friendships with Simon, Alene, Nadia and Cheryl.
"And my wedding dress, which I got to keep," she added.
"But yeah, not too many other positives."
She said dealing with the aftermath of the show has been difficult - she's been stopped on the streets of Perth by people telling her she should have stayed with Sean and even been told as much by a close friend.
"Surely this has to stop, with social media getting so much bigger. Surely it has to stop somewhere," she said.
In a statement, the production company behind Married at First Sight, Endemol Shine Australia, said all participants had access to psychological support.
"Our production is also in regular contact with the participants and are diligent in reporting any concerns to our psychologist. We take our duty of care extremely seriously."