On January 31, Abbie Chatfield was crowned Queen of the Jungle on ‘I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’, winning $100,000 for her charity of choice — Dementia Australia, in honour of her late grandmother.
“I’ve been doing that (having those conversations) since I was 15”, Chatfield told The Latch. “I had a fight with a Catholic nun in Grade 10 about why prostitution should be legal. I don’t think it’s generational, I think it’s a culture thing and a footy culture thing that obviously Dipper’s been a part of and it explains it a bit but doesn’t excuse it. I think to call it a “generational thing” is a bit dismissive, because what’s the age cut off?”
She continued, “To be honest, I was more upset that I didn’t have the energy to continue the conversation with Dipper more after I’d gone and had my cry, but you’re just so hungry in there, you don’t have the energy.”
Heading into the “jungle” the former Bachelor star was determined to prove that she was more than just what the general public may have thought based on her previous stints in reality television.
“I mean, where do we begin, which of the misunderstandings do we choose?” Chatfield laughed. “‘The Bachelor Villain’ was definitely a strange title to have so I was hoping to reach out to a larger audience to prove who I really was. I’m just glad that I got a chance to show the real me.”
Of course, Chatfield drew plenty of media attention for her romance with fellow castmate Ash Williams, who at one point seemed to be weighing up his options between Chatfield and newcomer Alli Simpson, as though it were a foregone conclusion that both women would be fighting over him.
“There was the weird misconception that I had feelings for Ash, even though they showed me saying that he was merely a warm body! Everyone thinks I was this desperate person who was in love with him or something but I just loved cuddling with him and he’s super comfy!” Chatfield said.
As for Williams’ having his eyes on social media star Simpson, Chatfield said, “It was quite funny that Ash assumed that Alli was ready for the taking! But, you know, when they played up that bit of Alli and I talking as though I was staking my claim on Ash, she had just told me about her boyfriend – so we were actually talking about boys. It was just a bit of fun and all TV.”
Chatfield, who boasts over 230k Instagram followers has also been very open about her experiences with internet trolls, often handling them with her trademark wit and sass on social media. But, how does the Queen of the Jungle ensure that the negativity doesn’t start to weigh too heavy on her and what advice does she have for others in similar situations?
“It changes every day,” said Chatfield. “Often trolls don’t make any sense so it’s easy to come up with a funny rebuttal. I’m also at a point where I think I’m just going to start deleting negative comments because it’s probably not even worth my time or energy. At first, it does really get to you but if you have a funny retort that’s always fun or just get rid of it.”
In terms of the reaction to her I’m a Celeb win, Chatfield said, “I was getting a few negative comments last night and I started to reply to some and I was like, ‘I’m just going to delete it.’ I just won I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! after a year ago, getting death threats and everyone hating me, if you’re going to comment ‘you don’t deserve to win’ – I just simply don’t care.”
As for how the Queen of the Jungle hopes to positively encourage other young women around the country, Chatfield said: “I used to cop it a lot for being outspoken and very blunt about my views, I hope that I can teach other women how to have that vocabulary in speaking up about what they believe in and standing up for themselves and hopefully that will make each step a little bit easier for the women of Australia and in the media.”