WHO: Did you watch the episode last night? How did it feel to re-live that experience all these months later?
DOMENICA: Oh, I certainly did watch the episode last night and it was just as emotional and highly charged as the day that it happened. It was difficult to watch at times, seeing the group at the Cocktail Party, seeing the group speaking about this story which was so blown out of proportion. They did not set themselves up well, did they? I guess it’s worse than gossiping, the bigger picture here is they really did something wrong and they circulated an image of me with the intent to cause damage to me, and not only me but Jack as well. The way Cody dropped that bomb, it was going to cause harm to myself and Jack regardless of whether or not he knew about the OnlyFans. The issue here isn’t that there’s a nude photo of me, I couldn’t care less, but people purposefully sent around an image of myself and a story without my permission, without me knowing, and this went on for numerous days. I think if people actually really cared – it actually goes to show, their behaviour is even more repulsive if you ask me - because they sat on this for multiple days, yet still didn’t say anything. It was hard to watch but I did, and I was proud of the way I handled myself. My family are proud of me and my friends are proud of me and that’s all that matters.
WHO: There's so much to unpack around how the photo was circulated and why the group brought it up in a public setting, but even just the way Cody approached the topic was tough to watch. It seemed like it was about informing Jack and not about asking if you were okay...
DOMENICA: It was very accusatory. I didn’t feel like it was a question at all, I feel like it was a statement and he was trying to make me look bad. He just pretty much… the way I look at it is Olivia had the grenade, she pulled the pin and left it there to explode. That’s the way I see it. And it was handed around until it dropped right in front of me and it exploded – and that was the intention of what she did. We clearly didn’t have a good relationship and for her to say that it wasn’t out of malice, that to me is the biggest lie. I do think she’s a compulsive liar and that has been clear for everyone to see. She’s backtracked, she’s changed what she said, I feel as though she’s created this web of lies now that she doesn’t even know what’s real and what’s false – and I don’t even know what’s real as we stand, because we still to this day don’t know who had it on their phone, what was seen and said, where it happened, we don’t even know the full story because people still to this day won’t own up and admit it. It’s disgraceful. I’m not one to hold grudges. I can’t forgive, but I can forget. If anything I want to make it known in society and being on the platform that is MAFS, I can actually put this issue on the map and make a statement.
WHO: Absolutely, because this is an issue that affects people all around the world. In NSW, there is question as to whether it could be classified as revenge porn…
DOMENICA: The laws have just recently changed in NSW last year, and you would know that, and I can say that I have consulted legal advice and that's all I can say about that right now. But it's definitely a sore point, and I think there’s a lot of conversation around this that I’ve seen online. People are finding me and messaging me on Facebook and Email, the amount of support I’ve gotten from women who are telling me their stories…
You know what, [Olivia] is still to this day not owning up to it. All the interviews she’s done this morning she is not taking any accountability at all, still, and that for me is just mind-blowing. I do not understand that behaviour at all. She blatantly said in an episode last week that she hopes Jack and I fail, she used that language, so for her to then come on and say it wasn’t intentional there was no malice is just a lie. I’m actually sick of hearing and seeing Olivia trying to defend her behaviour; behaviour that she’s not even owning up to.
WHO: Hearing people continue with those "defensive" arguments must be hurtful?
DOMENICA: It's very infuriating. Because I know there are women out there who’ve had it way harder than me and had it ruin their careers or relationships and it’s brought up a lot of trauma for many women – because I’ve seen the messages and read the messages and I feel for these people. Yes, it happened to me on a global stage in front of literally the world, but if I can be that person that stands up for this and can make something of this, I will. Because it will be for the women who haven’t been strong enough, who have messaged me. I’ve honestly been bawling my eyes out over the messages.
WHO: A lot of people can relate to that feeling, when someone intentionally probes you for a reaction and then sits back as though they had nothing to do with it. Like, "I'll just let you yell it out..."
DOMENICA: And she blatantly says that. Last night she just sat there smiling at me, basking in this absolute… it was so hard to watch. Having been the one who it was targeted towards and then having to relive it last night, and also having to watch the interviews and seeing what people had said when I wasn’t there, that was just… wow. It’s very confronting and I think it was also confronting for the public to watch also.
WHO: One of the most confronting elements was the lack of support from other women in the room. It’s an ongoing issue this season with the experts saying there’s a lack of "sisterhood." In particular, Tamara and Samantha made some rough comments – have either of them apologised to you?
DOMENICA: I have yet to receive any apology at all, I haven’t heard a peep from either of them. It’s been radio silence, I haven’t heard anything. We’re teaching kids in school about consent, we’re getting that generation, but the consent conversation has missed a whole generation. This is a conversation we need to be having in society right now, because we saw it at the dinner table last night that there’s a whole generation of people with the mentality that that’s okay. And I really hate the term slut-shaming because it brings it back to "what I did was wrong” and I’m really trying to point out that’s not the point here, the point that I was upset – and they couldn’t get it in their heads – is that, you’ve shared this image around. You sent it to people. You’ve messaged it to other people’s phones, how dare you?
WHO: Brent and Selina didn’t pass those kinds of comments last night, but they had been aware of the situation and hadn’t told you. Have they apologised?
DOMENICA: Of all the people, Selina has been very apologetic. And last night I saw a lot of what happened at the Cocktail Party that solidified a lot of things for me. And then Brent has been very apologetic, he has really… I think he was stuck between a rock and a hard place during that time of filming but he’s been completely apologetic to me and been reaching out almost every day.
Jack, me, Ella, Al, Brent and Selina are in a group chat and we talk all day every day and support each other. We know that what happened in that environment is one thing, one part of our lives. We’re all friends now and what we’re going to make of life now is a completely different story. Still to this day, though, Olivia never apologised to me, Tamara never did, Sam never did, so there’s a lot still that people aren’t owning up to and that’s their prerogative. Whatever. It says more about them.
WHO: In interviews today, Olivia has claimed she apologised to you “multiple times” throughout the show. Is that true?
DOMENICA: Okay so I’ll say it here to you: what she calls an apology – do you think I’m going to believe anything she says? Done, gone, there is no way I would believe anything that comes out of her mouth. She can say she “apologised to Dom” as much as she wants. I think she is very cunning, okay, and it’s actually quite frightening how cunning she can be. She’s one person at one point, and at the next she’s someone else. That other Dinner Party last week where she said something [to our faces] and then went to the girls and kept going… I was shocked to be honest, because how dumb do you have to be? There’s like six cameras and you’ve got a microphone on.
And actually I just want to make this clear. She’s said now today that it happened in a room where they were drinking and that doesn’t excuse it at all. And the fact that they were all together drinking and this played out off camera, they also need to wear that because we’re not actually allowed to do that. And that’s for this reason right now, because they’ve allowed this to happen off camera behind people’s backs and so I still to this day don’t know anything.
It's not clear at all. One person says they were sent it, one person says they were shown it, and then there’s one person saying the same two things, they’re changing the story. Like what is wrong with you? Just get the story clear. You know what I mean? It’s so contradictory, it’s mind-blowing.
WHO: In the episode we heard Olivia saying things like “she did this to herself” and “she kind of deserves it though.” When asked about those quotes on radio this morning, Olivia said it wasn’t about the nude photo scandal despite the fact that she said it in response to the events that happened that night. She claims she “was talking about things that will come out soon…”
DOMENICA: Well, I don’t know what she’s trying to say there. That in itself is showing lack of accountability, she literally just has this vendetta against me in thinking I’ve "gone for people." Jackson said this morning on radio that I would "pick on everyone" and find the one person I could "leach onto". Now, that is absolutely despicable because he is trying to make any kind of excuse for her and I will not bloody stand for that. I can’t handle fake people, I can’t handle lies, and they did something I will not stand for. And it makes me quite frustrated, because for her to come out and say that kind of stuff is infuriating. I just, don’t even have the words. And honestly, I can’t imagine… today I went to a café just to get a coffee quickly and the women stopping me on the street to say that "wow you handled yourself so articulately and I can’t imagine you had to go through that," like apologising to me that I had to go through that?
WHO: There's been a huge, deserved, show of support from fans. As you've mentioned, Olivia said that you were speaking about other relationships but "couldn’t handle it" yourself. For many viewers, there is a clear difference between speaking up in the way that you have, about Holly and Andrew for example, to what has happened here.
DOMENICA: One hundred percent. This is not the same thing at all, it’s not in the same vain at all. She’s just clutching at straws, that’s what that is. I never brought up anything about anyone outside of their relationship and she’s sitting there telling me I’ve done the same thing. Oh, the “kitchens too hot for Domenica” – like, don’t even go there. I was literally sitting there watching it on the TV going, what are you doing? You look like an absolute fool.
WHO: And then there’s the fact that you mostly had to go through it alone. Outside of Ella and Jack no one appeared to be stepping in.
DOMENICA: And that is just a whole other thing. The lack of backbone, I truly don’t know how to explain how it made me feel. That is something that truly did affect me and that’s why I got up and I walked out because I had nothing left to say. Everything I was saying was getting spun around that I put it on the internet, so I deserve it. Nothing was getting through to them and I just thought, I can’t sit here and have this venom spat at me any longer. I think there was no empathy. There was no one sitting there, putting themselves in my shoes, and thinking how would I be feeling? There’s absolutely none of that.
WHO: A lot of fans on Twitter we’re happy when they finally got to see the episode, and see that Jack was there defending you…
DOMENICA: I know, I know. When I saw the ad I thought that… and Jack was really quite upset I think, just worried about people jumping to conclusions. But I think there was a lot of support for Jack ahead of the episode with people thinking he was supporting me, and that’s what that was.
WHO: And watching it back last night, did you feel positive that at the end of the day you had the support of the experts – if not your co-stars?
DOMENICA: Watching it back and seeing the feedback they were giving, I did feel validated because otherwise it would have been a real letdown to be honest with you. Pretty much I feel like most of Australia [laughs] saw that for what it was, so I really don’t understand why the rest of them didn't. I don’t know what else to say other than that because no one has explained it to me, why they did what they did.
Married At First Sight Australia airs Monday to Wednesday, 7:30pm, and Sunday, 7pm, on Nine Network and 9Now.
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