Content warning: This post deals with issues around mental health and suicide, and may be triggering for some readers.
When Laurina Fleure left Bachelor in Paradise tonight with nothing more than a quiet mumble and a declaration that there was no one on the show she was interested in, there seem to be a distinct lack of fanfare.
Her story couldn’t possibly end here, could it?
After all, just 24 hours before, the 34-year-old was riding high on a wave of positive public sentiment, social media alight with praise for the way she unceremoniously dumped Canadian Daniel from the show.
In a single day she went from the country’s most talked about reality star to one with a quiet, random exit.
Now, in an interview with Mamamia, Laurina has explained the reasons behind her exit that audiences weren’t privy to.
“I just needed to go home and grieve. I lost my brother to suicide a month before going on the show and at that point, I realised I really just needed to go. I initially thought going on the show would be a good form of escapism; if I fell in love there, then maybe I wouldn’t feel all the pain that I was suppressing,” she told Mamamia.
Her brother, 36-year-old Michael Shaun Fitzgerald, had been struggling with anxiety and depression for many years, she told Mamamia, and last year she lost him to his battle. However, she said in the moment of her leaving the show, she had no intention of explaining the cast and crew, at least on camera, the very reasons she needed to leave.
“I didn’t want it to make it about that, I was doing my best to not talk about it and be a dampener on anything. At the time I don’t even think I was ready to talk about it, I was burying it. It was all underneath the surface, so when [producers] said you need to go on this date and you need to open up, I just cracked it. I was hyperventilating and panicking, like I had been winded. It was such a strong emotional reaction that just wasn’t warranted. It was then I realised I needed to leave and go home and look after myself.”