Singer Paulini Curuenavuli has opened up about the driving licence scandal that earned her a criminal record, calling it “soul-breaking”.
While chatting to camp members on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, AFL star “Dipper” DiPierdomenico asked what people’s first car was.
The conversation was soon turned to Paulini, who explained she didn’t have a car at the moment.
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When asked why, she said: “I did something really silly. I bribed a government official… I bought a fake licence.”
After gasps from the campmates (who somehow didn’t hear about the huge scandal in 2017), Paulini explained how her “really bad decision” happened.
“I was on my Ls… And I just didn’t want to wait, so I bought a licence. It was soul-breaking and spirit-breaking because I was thinking about my family and how I made my family look, how I made myself look.
“I just made a really bad decision and I absolutely regret it. So I got a criminal record.”
She continued: “I got a massive fine. I lost work, like, that whole year after.”
The 38-year-old said her “mistake” led to front-page headlines and saw all her upcoming work cancelled.
“The worst thing was, is that I was… I’d just finished a show in Brisbane. I remember it clearly,” she said. “And I was walking back to my hotel and I got the phone call. They said, ‘Just letting you know, you’re on the front page of the paper tomorrow.’
“It’s hard to make a mistake for someone who’s in the public eye because people are watching. You’ve got to keep going. You can’t let this break you. And that’s pretty much what I did. All of my gigs after Bodyguard — all cancelled.”
Paulini paid a Roads and Maritime Services employee $850 in exchange for an unrestricted driver’s licence, court documents said.
She avoided jail and was instead handed a six-month suspended sentence.