Channel 7 has been heavily criticised for signing the former partner of NRL player Josh Reynolds to appear on an upcoming reality TV show.
According to News Corp reports, the network has recruited Arabella del Busso, the former partner of Reynolds who he claims faked three separate pregnancies and also allegedly lied about the death of her own mother.
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Del Busso, whose real name is Donna Preusker, will reportedly appear on the network’s upcoming program SAS Australia, a show in which contestants are put through military-style boot camps by former soldiers.
The show has already attracted criticism for announcing several controversial figures as contestants, notably convicted drug trafficker Schapelle Corby and banned Australian swimmer Shayna Jack, who is currently waiting to appeal a four-year doping ban.
Criticism again flew once Del Busso’s appearance on the show was reported.
Several journalists and sports reporters condemned the choice to recruit the controversial ex-WAG.
Daily Telegraph sports editor James Silver was unequivocal.
“I wouldn’t wish what Josh Reynolds went through on my worst enemy. And Channel 7 rewards her with a TV show,” he posted on Twitter.
“Another example that infamy and fame are just two sides of the same coin,” fellow sports writer Mark Gottlieb wrote.
“This is disgusting Channel 7. Shame on you. You are better than this,” freelance writer Megan Hustwaite added.
Arabella Deb Busso admits to fake ultrasound
In an interview with 60 Minutes that aired earlier in 2020, Del Busso admitted to sending the fake ultrasound to Wests Tigers star Reynolds because she was “being spiteful.”
When asked if she lied about the pregnancies, Del Busso replied: “I’m denying those claims.”
When reporter Tom Steinfort asked “is that a no?”, she said: “I didn’t say that”.
Reynolds claims Del Busso faked pregnancies and a severe health condition during their tumultuous relationship, which culminated in domestic violence allegations against Reynolds.
“Is faking pregnancies normal? Is faking your mum's death normal? Making me go through all that. Is it? I would love an answer from her,” Reynolds told 60 Minutes.
“It broke me, literally. I was so into this whole relationship and baby thing that I was hurting so much,” he said.
Reynolds said he and Del Busso met in 2018 and after a one-night stand she told him she was pregnant.
Reynolds said he always wanted kids so decided to try and make things work.
But red flags began popping up when Del Busso wouldn’t let him attend any doctor’s appointments.
“I got text messages saying like, ‘I've got this condition. I'm going to die. I'm glad that you're going to be here to look after the baby’,” Reynolds revealed.
“Funnily enough, again we were going through a bad patch and now I think about it, that was the ploy. Every time I look to push away (from the relationship) make up something new, placenta accreta, miscarriage, mum die, whatever else she made up. And it makes sense because that's how I got roped in every time.”