‘Disgusting’: Bach stars’ spat over leaked messages
A WAR of words has erupted between two former Bachelor stars over a series of leaked text messages.
Michael Turnbull - who appeared in Sam Frost's season of The Bachelorette and, most recently, Bachelor in Paradise - has lashed out at Alex Nation after screenshots of their private conversation were leaked to Woman's Day .
The messages, which were sent privately on Instagram, appear to show Michael trying to stage a paparazzi shoot at a cafe with the 2016 Bachelor winner.
"Thanks for the offer but I will decline this one. Enjoy Melbourne and maybe I'll see you around at some events and we can have a drink or something then," Alex replied.
After the story broke, Michael blasted Alex for publicly sharing the messages.
"It's disgusting Alex would send someone's private messages to the media and make false claims to the media just to make a few dollars," he told the Daily Mail. "At no stage did I mention staged pap photos."
He added: "I asked her for a photo shoot as it was for a photo shoot I needed for some branding, not for media. I think it's very ironic she is the one who sent my screenshots to the media. That's embarrassing for her."
The scandal escalated this morning when an anonymous paparazzo, known as "Jack", called into Nova's Fitzy and Wippa show during a segment discussing Michael and Alex's feud.
"It's very well-known in the media industry that Michael Turnbull loves doing setups with one specific pap, who I won't name," the photographer said.
"We all found it funny yesterday when he flat-out denied ever doing setups … He's known to travel around Australia doing different setups with other celebrities."
A furious Michael then weighed in again live on air, denying the claims.
"How do you know these things?" he asked the paparazzi.
"It's very, very well-known … and you know it as well … There's nothing wrong with it, everyone does it, you don't have to hide it," Jack responded.
"You're acting like I'm committing a crime - you're questioning my integrity," Michael hit back.
"All the photos I do that are organised are for a reason, for branding campaigns, and promotions and things like that. They're not just pap shots, they're done professionally."
A similar situation arose last year, when Married At First Sight's Cheryl Maitland was reportedly also sprung trying to co-ordinate a "candid" photo shoot.
In June, a Sydney photographer exposed a series of messages he shared with Cheryl, in which she appeared to have hit him up with her itinerary.
During the conversation, she tells 20-year-old Jayden Seyfarth she'll be heading to Melbourne, and asks which photo set may work best.
Seyfarth posted the conversation on his Instagram story, captioning it: "When they need to stay relevant". Ouch.
When contacted by news.com.au, Cheryl explained that she tried to co-operate with photographers in a bid to keep them from hounding her.
"He messages me all the time to see where I am," she said.
"I'm frankly getting annoyed with paps taking photos of me when I don't know and it makes me on edge every day.
"I mentioned to him [Seyfarth] I would be in Melbourne and if he wanted to meet me there that was fine … The paps are going to take photos of me no matter what, so if I already know I won't be so stressed out and they won't be following me as much."
And it's not just former reality TV contestants adopting the strategy: last year, TV host Osher Gunsberg revealed he'd also tipped off paparazzi in the past.
"I'm happy to admit I've absolutely staged photos for magazines. It's no secret in the industry it happens," he admitted on Brisbane's HIT 105 breakfast show.