Don't call Charlotte a Kiwi

By Celeste Gorrell Anstiss

Charlotte Dawson. Photo / Getty Images
Charlotte Dawson. Photo / Getty Images

Television star Charlotte Dawson has penned a new book in which she reveals why she no longer calls herself a New Zealander.

Air Kiss & Tell tackles her sexual abuse as a young girl, her battle with depression and her tumultuous divorce from Olympic swimmer Scott Miller. The book is subtitled Memoirs of a Blow-Up Doll.

Yesterday, the Australia's Next Top Model judge revealed there was one chapter covering why she turned her back on her native country.

"New Zealand is small, nasty and vindictive. It's a tiny, little village ... a tiny country at the end of the earth," she told the Herald on Sunday.

She said she realised some New Zealanders may take offence at her views.

"It does make New Zealand look pedestrian and stupid. But honestly, that was my experience.

"I would love to be a patriotic New Zealander but, because of those five years, I just can't.

I'm just so grateful to be out of there."

Dawson found fame as a model at age 16 and settled in Sydney.

She moved back to care for her dying mother and recover from her marriage break-up, but left again very bitter in 2007.

"It was a time when I needed nurturing. I came back to New Zealand for refuge and I got savaged.

"It's probably a handful of people who made me feel like that. I think New Zealanders feel celebrities aren't human but, for me, it was heartbreaking," she said.

"I do take ownership of the fact I was a D-list celebrity having a breakdown, but I think 'look where I am now'.

"I'm proud of myself as a survivor."

She said she had written even more than three chapters but her publishers considered it "boring".

"They said Australians don't give a f*** about New Zealand and took a lot of it out," she said.

"The book is written with a lot of humour. I'm really proud of it."

Dawson said she would be back here in November to attend Christchurch Cup Week and promote the book, due for release in October.

"It's going to be difficult coming back."

- Herald on Sunday

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