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Australian Idol winner Kate DeAraugo opens up on ‘dark times'

Gillian Wolski
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

She shot to fame at the tender age of 20 when she won Australian Idol in 2005 but, less than a decade later, Kate DeAraugo was experiencing some 'dark times.'

The now 35-year-old has reemerged after stepping away from the spotlight in 2017, when she was charged with drugs and weapon related offences. 

2005 Australian Idol winner Kate DeAraugo appearing via video link on The Morning Show
Australian Idol winner Kate DeAraugo has reemerged after three years out of the spotlight to talk about a 'dark time' in her life on The Morning Show. Photo: Channel 7.

Idol winner's 'dark times'

Appearing on The Morning Show via video link on Thursday morning, a bright and healthy-looking Kate opened up to hosts Kylie Gillies and Larry Emdur about her past struggles with mental health issues and addiction.

"It's no secret that mental health, depression and addiction has been a big part of my story," the former member of Aussie girl band Young Divas said.

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"It's a big topic and one that I'm really happy to talk about, but potentially a little heavy for 9:30am on a Thursday morning," she added with a chuckle.

Kate went on to reveal that she's been sober for almost three years and has come a long way since confessing to using 'losing the plot' in a 2015 chat on the Kyle & Jackie O Show.

"The good news is is that I'm nearly three years in recovery now. It was a dark time, but an incredible learning experience now that I'm out the other end," she explained.

Winner of the 2005 Australian Idol contest Kate DeAraugo, 20, from Bendigo, Victoria singing her new song from her debut album at the Sydney Opera House.
Kate was just 20 years old when she won Australian Idol in 2005. Photo: Getty Images.

What is Kate DeAraugo doing now?

After her Idol win, rising star Kate joined forces with fellow contestants from previous seasons Paulini, Ricki-Lee Coulter and Emily Williams to form the girl band, Young Divas in 2006.

Despite initial success, the group disbanded after just two years at which time Kate says she 'lost the plot'.

"After Young Divas, I basically lost the plot and went into hiding. Drugs, depression, the lot," she told Kyle and Jackie O in 2015.

Since then, Kate has kept a low profile but remains passionate about making music having been spotted singing with her cousin on Instagram and doing a few gigs here and there.

Former Australian Idol contestants and Young Divas bandmates Kate DeAraugo, Emily Williams, Paulini and Ricki-Lee Coulter arrive at the 48th Annual TV Week Logie Awards at the Crown Entertainment Complex May 7, 2006 in Melbourne, Australia
Kate DeAraugo (far left) with her Young Divas bandmates Emily Williams, Paulini and Ricki-Lee Coulter at the 2006 Logies. Photo: Getty Images.

While she'd 'never say never' to releasing a new album, Kate has, however, embarked on a surprising new career, telling Kylie and Larry that she's branching out into the world of building and construction.

"I'm actually starting a [certificate] three in civil construction," she told the stunned hosts.

"It just means I am learning to operate big machines and excavators and... build stuff. It is really random but I’ve really enjoyed it," she added.

Kate also told Kylie and Larry that she's now happily coupled up with an 'incredibly supportive partner'.

Mental health support for yourself or a loved one can be found by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, Mensline on 1300 789 978, or the Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.

Online support is available via Beyond Blue.

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