Singer Paulini Curuenevali was unceremoniously ejected from the I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here jungle on January 27, but not before talking about a scandal that made headlines in December 2017.
Curuenavuli was given a six-month suspended sentence for bribing a government official to unlawfully obtain a driver’s licence — something which she immensely regrets.
“I lost my licence and then got on my Ls and I just didn’t want to wait, so I bought a licence,” she told her castmates on a January 18 episode of the series.
“I got a criminal record. I got a massive fine. I lost work, like, that whole year after,” she said.
Now, after her eviction, Curuenevali explained why it was important to talk about the bribe in an interview with The Latch.
“It was so important because I’ve never really talked about it before,” she said. “I got approached so many times to talk about it and I feel like there were so many different stories out there in the media. I also felt like they didn’t report on all the details, just making me look worse than it really was.”
The 38-year-old also believed that the media at the time had made her out to look like she had gone in and “approached them” [Service NSW], however, it wasn’t the case.
“I just really wanted to get that out there. I felt it was also a healing kind of process and it was great to kind of be surrounded by people who also have gone through experiences, being criticised by the public, and all of the negative stuff we’ve been through in the public eye.”
The former Young Divas star was also very vulnerable about what it’s like being single in your late thirties, something that resonated with many women watching.
“I think the one thing that we get when we’re past our thirties, that you’re constantly thinking about, ‘Oh gosh, I should get married’. I don’t think that’s important. I think what’s important is that you actually find the right one. I don’t want to just date anyone for the sake of getting married because I feel like I’m running out of time.”
As for her experience in the jungle, Curuenevali learned a lot about herself, particularly that being yourself “is absolutely fine”.
“Some people will like it and some people will not but I should always remember — and I will after that whole experience — that I am enough.”
Curuenavli is currently laying down a single, so we can expect some new music very soon!
I’m a Celeb continues on Network Ten Sunday-Thursday at 7.30pm.