It’s the name on everyone’s lips, but just who is Bachelor in Paradise star Vanessa Sunshine? We have everything you need to know about the controversial celebrity.
The Melbourne-based legal secretary became a viral sensation in 2018 when she was heavily featured in promos for Nick Cummins’ season of The Bachelor, dropping her own name repeatedly and holding centre stage like a pro. She immediately became an Internet obsession, with sleuths discovering she used to go by the name Vanessa Bennet.
However, she insists Sunshine is her real name, telling Popsugar: 'I don't know what the big deal is! It's like people calling themselves Iggy Azalea, Cardi B, Lady Gaga... No one gives a s**t.
'It is my real name, I'm not pulling it out of my a**. It's the name I was born with, it's on my birth certificate and everything like that. That's it! It's not fake.'
Of her controversial image, she says: ‘I don't think I'm the life of the party, I KNOW that I am.
'Some people might call it sassy, I just think that it's confidence. People get thrown by that. However, at the end of the day, I couldn't care less.'
With a name ready made for memes, she was always destined to grab attention, but her actual performance on The Bachelor turned out to be far more complex than a simple catch phrase. And despite early expectations, she didn’t turn out to be the top dog or even the villain – in fact she was targeted repeatedly by a clique of haters throughout the show.
Speaking to TV podcast, Binge List, Vanessa didn’t hold back when it came to discussing her nightmare run in the Bachelor mansion, which was plagued by what she and many viewers perceived as bullying.
‘I am someone who, f*** me over and you are dead to me, I’m done,’ she sternly confessed of her TV enemies.
‘I haven’t heard any apology. To be fair I wouldn’t accept an apology now because they’re just back peddling to save face because they’ve copped it from the public.’
As for the way she was sometimes perceived, Vanessa says she had great reason to look ‘so s****y’ for much of her time on the show.
‘What you were seeing [on the show], it is real, that’s really how they were, if not worse,’ says Vanessa of the attacks she endured from some of the other women – particularly Romy, Cat and Alisha,.
‘It’s just disgusting, it really was horrible.’
Vanessa says she isn’t surprised that so many people have remarked on her icy frosting.
‘People are commenting, "Oh Vanessa looks shitty all the time". Well, derrr – I was around people I didn’t like who were being nasty to me all the time.
‘So yeah, I was a bit sour. I’m thinking, "Get away from me!" They really were just awful people.’
While Vanessa thinks some women in the house were just acting out to simply raise their profiles, she suggests that feminine hatred is something that has followed her through life – raising the possibility of more trouble on Bachelor in Paradise.
‘I don’t know what it is, but it’s not the first time it’s happened to me,’ she told Binge List.
‘There’s something about me that just brings out something in other women. I don’t know if it’s their own insecurity.’
Vanessa has form in brushing off unwanted attention, and some of the guys on Bachelor in Paradise may feel her cutting touch.
Regarding her very frank statements about her lack of attraction for Nick, Vanessa makes no excuses. And she says she’s proud of the fact she was upfront with him.
‘Yes, what I said to him wasn’t nice, but I think you can tell I didn’t say it in a malicious way,’ she says.
‘I genuinely did not know who Nick was, I figured it out after I was eliminated; that that was his trademark look and things like that.’