OZ IDOL BROKE MY HEART
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
FORMER nude model Rachael Ingram has fled from her Sydney home to the Northern Rivers, heartbroken over an alleged affair with Australian Idol superstar Shannon Noll.
The 26-year-old part-time model, who has appeared in Playboy, Penthouse, Picture and People magazines, moved to the hills near Byron Bay last week to be comforted by her family.
Rachael said she had been traumatised by the national media's portrayal of her as a money-hungry flirt.
She claimed she had an affair with Noll before he married Rochelle Ogston, the mother of his two children, late last year.
Noll shot to stardom after being named runner-up in the first series of Australian Idol in 2003.
He was named best male artist at this year's MTV Australian Video Music Awards and has toured with US rock legend Bryan Adams.
A Sony BMG spokeswoman said Noll had no comment on the allegations.
The alleged relationship began on Rachael's birthday last June, when her friend bought her a ticket to one of Noll's concerts.
"I watched Australian Idol and I loved him, so my best friend bought me a ticket to his concert at the Manly Leagues Club," she said.
After the performance, Rachael and her friends sought out Noll's tour manager, Rick, who invited them and a group of other women backstage to meet the star.
"Shannon was sitting down so I sat next to him and he said 'I know you' because he'd seen me in a magazine a few weeks before," Rachael said.
"I thought, 'well I've always loved him, so why not?'
"I'd never normally do something like that, but it was because he was my favourite person."
Two days later, Rachael claimed she received a phone call inviting her to Noll's next concert at the Metro Theatre in Sydney.
"When we first got together he made me feel special. He was excited to meet me," she said.
Rachael said she stayed in contact with Noll for almost four months, and was given his brother Adam's mobile number as a way of reaching him.
However, her dreams were finally shattered when she said Noll ignored her at Kings Cross nightclubs Hugo's Lounge and the Iguana Bar late last year.
Rachael said she wanted the public to know her side of the story.
"I've been made out to be something I'm not," she said. "I've only ever had three boyfriends."
Rachael's family moved to the Northern Rivers when she was in her early 20s and living in Sydney.
After being diagnosed with depression after the ordeal, she decided to leave the city for a quieter lifestyle.
"Whenever I hear him on the radio now I feel sick," she said. "I don't want to be a model anymore if this is what celebrity life is like."
Rachael hopes to permanently settle near Byron Bay and find new work in the area.