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Paulini could face jail time over bribery charges

10 August 2017 9:26 PM
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Paulini could face jail time over bribery charges

Dicko apologies to Paulini after gold dress comment in 20032:43

This morning Sunshine Coast radio station Hot91.1's Breakfast Show Dave, Sam and Ash had Ian 'Dicko' Dickson and Mark Holden apologise to Paulini 14 years later for telling her to "get a new wardrobe or shed some pounds" on Australian Idol in 2003.

AUSTRALIAN singer Paulini Curuenavuli has been allegedly caught bribing a government employee under investigation for links to a bikie gang.

The former Australian Idol contestant, 34, could face a maximum jail sentence of seven years if found guilty of the charges.

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It is alleged Curuenavuli — known publicly as Paulini — bribed a NSW Roads and Maritime Services employee with $800 to give her a fake, unrestricted NSW driver’s licence, despite not being qualified to drive.

NSW police allege that they have CCTV footage of Paulini in July of last year walking into the Roads & Maritime Services office in Mt Druitt. She later allegedly transferred money into the bank account of the RMA employee.

The Daily Telegraph reports that that the employee was already under police investigation for distributing fake licences to friends, family and associates of the Rebels bikie gang. There is no suggestion that Paulini is involved in any bikie activity.

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Paulini first shot to fame in 2003, placing fourth in the first season of Australian Idol. A number one single — Angel Eyes — and several albums followed. Most recently, she’s found new success on stage as the lead actor in the national touring production of Bodyguard: The Musical, which closes in Brisbane this weekend.

The singer is set to face court in Sydney next week, just two days after her touring commitments with Bodyguard come to an end.

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Paulini isn’t the only Idol alumni to face trouble with the law: Third season winner and fellow Young Divas member Kate DeAraugo was in 2015 charged with driving under the influence of drugs, copping a six-month driving ban after she tested positive to methylamphetamine — or ‘ice’ — during a police stop.

Back in her Idol days, Paulini found herself at the centre of one of the most controversial moments in Australian reality TV when she was on the receiving end of harsh feedback from judge Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson.

As Paulini stood on stage alone after her performance, dressed in a tight gold frock and ready to hear the judges’ critique, Dicko uttered the words that would spark a national debate: “You should choose more appropriate clothes or shed some pounds.”

“I think it has changed a lot — there’s no way anyone could do that today. People would just be outraged. There’s no way,” she said.

“And anyway, they shouldn’t be able to; these are often young kids standing up there being judged. We have so many problems with young girls who don’t think they’re skinny enough. There’s so much pressure about this mould that you have to fit into — it’s all crap.”

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