Entertainment

Australian Idol star’s horrific assault

Australian Idol was once of the biggest reality shows on the small screen.

But as one contestant discovered, competing on the show wasn’t always a fast track to success and glory.

Appearing on former judge Mark Holden’s podcast Our Idol Archives, season five’s Ben McKenzie revealed that he was viciously attacked by a member of the public during the show.

Just a teenager in 2007 when the season aired, the Christian-raised Ben revealed he was still grappling with his sexuality at the time.

Australian Idol’s Ben McKenzie (pictured with fellow contestants Natalie Gauci, left, and Briana Carpenter, right) said he was physically attacked during the period he was on the show. Credit: Getty Images

Ben, now known as Ben Fraser, explained what he didn’t realise was that once under the spotlight, his sexuality identity would be under scrutiny which led to death threats and even physical violence.

“People were sending me letters on the internet telling me to kill myself, at age 16…it was a mixture of people wanting to marry me and have children with me, and then the opposite of that, which was ‘you should end your life, you homo’.” Ben revealed.

“The week before I left [Australian Idol] because I was young and rebellious, I went out with a bunch of people who I just met for a walk and I was physically attacked and had my jaw dislocated.”

Ben detailed the horrific experience on former judge Mark Holen's podcast Our Idol Archives (Pictured: Mark Holden, Ian "Dicko" Dickinson and Marcia Hines)
Ben detailed the horrific experience on former judge Mark Holen’s podcast Our Idol Archives (Pictured: Mark Holden, Ian “Dicko” Dickinson and Marcia Hines) Credit: Network 10

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