She emerged as the unlikely feminist hero of Paradise, calling out ‘douche’ Daniel’s lewd behaviour and using her time in Fiji to indulge in a little self-care instead of wasting her energy on finding a man. But viewers weren’t too sure what happened to Laurina Fleure after last night’s Bachelor in Paradise – one minute the 34-year-old was in tears, refusing to use her date card, and the next – she was gone.
The show didn’t make it clear that she was off our screens for good, but The Bachelor confirmed her departure on Twitter after the episode concluded. Tragically, Laurina has since confirmed that she wasn’t in the right headspace in Paradise due to the recent death of her brother, which she didn’t want to make the focus of a reality TV show. But now, she’s ready to talk to marie claire – about how she’s handling her grief, her new boyfriend and the one moment we all wish the producers had caught on camera – scroll to the end for that particular tale.
Since leaving the show you’ve opened up about the tragic loss of your brother. How are you holding up?
I’m pretty good - I’ve done a lot of healing since then so it’s weird watching it back now – it reminds me of how raw it was then, how much I needed to grieve and didn’t realise - it’s only looking back I think that you realise how raw it was. But we’re getting through it, I’ve visited a lot of mediums and had words from my brother. That’s brought me a lot comfort.
What else made you decide to walk out?
I really wasn’t coping with the environment and being filmed, I was just locking up on camera. Whenever I was off camera I had my A-game, I was flirtatious, but then the camera would arrive and I would just stiffen up. I guess I just wasn’t comfortable trying to fall in love on camera this time round because of the headspace I was in.
You were given a date card by producers and told you had 10 minutes to get ready – did it feel like a dirty street pie set up all over again?
it was totally a dirty street pie set up! I’d been asking to go to bed for three hours! I wanted to have a shower and go to bed, but they kept telling me, ‘no, you can’t take a shower’. I’d been playing netball, volleyball, I’d been sunbaking all day, I was manky! So I pissed off and washed my face and put the eye masks on. And that’s when they sprung the date card on my. I’m like, I’m 34 I need time! At least let me have a shower!
Do you have any regrets about leaving when you did?
I thought, why did I have to have that break down? Why couldn’t I just have been awesome and gone on the date, even if I wasn’t interested in the guy? But I wasn’t awesome at that point. I would have liked to have been a better version of myself, but that’s just where I was. And I could have psyched myself up for it had I had time to mentally and emotionally prepare, but I wasn’t given that time.
You’re in a new relationship – what can you tell us about that?
I’ve met a really lovely, lovely man who is pretty much everything I put on my wish list. We met through friends at a party, and he was just everything on that list. It was like a Mary Poppins moment – they send the wish list up the chimney and next thing you know, she drops from the sky.
Is he someone we’d know?
He’s not anyone you’d know, he doesn’t have a profile, he’s very private.
Would you ever go on another reality dating show?
I’m happily in a relationship so there’s no need for it right now, but yeah, I would, it’s pretty fun going on these types of things, it’s a good experience.
Were there any scandals in Paradise that didn’t make it to air?
There were a couple of funny moments – I got stung by a wasp and I was screaming and Jarrod came rushing in – he was like, we have to suck the venom out! He said I should wash my foot first but there wasn’t time, so he just sucked it out then and there – we all got a laugh out of it. I think Keira might have been a little jealous!
I would love to start up a lifestyle blog, doing recipes and spirituality chats, writing about the things I’m passionate about. And I wouldn’t mind going back into fashion and try my hand at fashion design again.
This article originally appeared on marie claire.