One of four siblings, Jackie first realised she had psychic abilities when her sister started dating a man who would turn out to be allegedly abusive.
“When Angela started seeing this guy, I had a vision and rang my mum, Svetlana … I told her Angela should not be with him because he was going to hit her, which he did, and in 2013 he almost killed her,” Jackie alleged to the SMH.
She began her career as a reality star on The Real Housewives of Melbourne in order to talk about her abilities and encourage others to listen to their own intuition.
Since then, she’s also starred on I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!
The story of how she came to know Ben is particularly unique and leaves us wondering if her psychic abilities might have been at play from a young age.
“I had a Silverchair poster on my bedroom wall and I had written, ‘I love you and am going to marry you,’ under his head,” Jackie has admitted.
However, this was probably the case for most Aussie girls in the 1990s, given just how big Ben’s band was.
Silverchair originated in 1991, when Ben was just 12. He started Innocent Criminals with his friends Daniel Johns and Chris Joannou, and the three would go on to become Silverchair.
By October 1994, their first EP had reached number one on the ARIA Singles Chart, and their star was only continuing to rise.
The boys, who grew up in Newcastle, gave back to the community by funding a music industry course at the local TAFE, which was attended by Jackie.
“I was 15 and Ben was 16 when I met him through a music industry course. We didn’t know Silverchair had paid for the one-day-a-week TAFE course – it was their way to give back to Newcastle,” Jackie said.
“Ben was a larrikin who would flirt with me, but I was a good girl and didn’t flirt back. They came to many classes, so Ben and I became friendlier.”
Jackie and Ben lost touch after the TAFE course, and didn’t reconnect for another 14 years, when they ran into each other at a house party.
They got married pretty soon after.
Ben revealed in another chat with the Sydney Morning Herald that they’d kissed for the first time two days before he proposed to Jackie.
“'We were lying on the beach under the stars with some wine and I remember thinking to myself that I don't want to be on my death bed and turn around and think, ‘that was the girl who got away’”.
“So, I leant over and kissed her on the cheek.”
They married in their native Newcastle in 2010 at Christ Church Cathedral, with the fellow members of Silverchair in attendance, and lead singer Daniel Johns acting as best man.
Although they married more than a decade ago now, the pair struggled to begin a family – which Jackie spoke about quite candidly on The Real Housewives of Melbourne.
Multiple rounds of IVF resulted in a few miscarriages for the couple.
“I keep thinking about the memories, going into the scan and hearing the heartbeat and then… the next time you go in it’s not there anymore. You think, is there something wrong with me? Can I not bear a child?” Jackie said on a season five episode of RHOM.
“Any woman who has gone through a miscarriage knows it’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever experience. I remember I was crying in my room for two days.”
In the end, their patience paid off, and Jackie became pregnant with twins early this year.
She returned to filming while pregnant, and spoke to WHO about the experience.
“When I was first asked by producers to come back for a fifth season, I said no at first because I was going through IVF at the time and I wasn’t in the right headspace to do it. I wouldn’t have been an asset to the show,” she admitted.
“But then, when we got the green light to film after COVID-related delays, I said to myself, ‘You know what, Jacks? There are not enough women who speak out publicly about the realities of IVF. You’ve got to do it.’”
It’s candid conversations like these that women rejoice seeing on television, especially when it reflects their own experiences that have previously been stigmatised.
Jackie and Ben welcomed their twins in October 2021, but Jackie held off on sharing their gender or their names at first, instead opting to talk about her birth story first, on her podcast, Shine it Up with Jackie Gillies.
Although she found the experience quite unnerving, it did seem positive overall.
"I have two babies that I now have to look after the rest of my life – which I’m so excited about – but I’m still freaking out about it! It is the most joyous, unconditional love I’ve ever felt. And seeing Ben, oh my god," she gushed over the mic.
"Listen, I'm still struggling with breastfeeding and I’m still trying to learn everything, and it will take a while. I’ve just got to give into the process and do what works best for me and our babies. But, god us women can do amazing things. I have to say this is one of the happiest, happiest days of my life. Everybody says their own children look beautiful, but they really are gorgeous,” she said of her twins.
Jackie shared the twins’ names on another episode of her podcast, in November 2021 – she and Ben named them Bonham David Gillies and Rocco Ivan Gillies.
“Bonham came from the last name of the late John Bonham [from Led Zeppelin], who was a very large influence on me in my musical journey,” Ben shared on the podcast episode.
“It was actually Jackie’s suggestion to call one of the boys Bonham. And we decided some time ago, when we found out it was boys, that we would have our father’s names as the middle name,” he added.
Bonham David and Rocco Ivan have Ben and Jackie’s fathers' names as their middle names, respectively.
“For me, Rocco is just a beautiful name,” Jackie said.
“He just seemed like a Rocco,” Ben added.
After ten-odd years of marriage and two kids, the pair still seem loved up as ever, with Jackie regularly calling Ben her soul mate on Instagram.
“Happy birthday to the man that showed me what #TRUE❤️ is,” she wrote on his birthday in October.
“@bengillies888 no words can ever describe how lucky I am to have you as my lover, best friend , husband , baby daddy and that one person that makes me feel safe!”
WATCH: Jackie Gillies opens up on her pregnancy journey.
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