Serial Extract

Sunday Herald Sun, 26 May 2002

 

From soapie star to sex vixen, pop princess Kylie Minogue has never been far from the headlines. A new biography has an intimate look at how she leapt to fame – and a never ending saga of love gone wrong…

Kylie’s First Love

Jason Donovan was in the same position as Kylie. He experienced the culture shock of stepping off a school us into a limousine and in a few months being thrown head first into the spotlight. He understood the stresses and pressures of their punishing Neighbours schedule better than anyone possibly could in Kylie’s nine-to-five family.

The rehearsals, recordings and promotion were gruelling enough, without having to worry about the 16-hour days and no free time on weekends. It was not surprising they spent their precious little leisure time together. They were as straight as they could be about their relationship.  As far as the other cast members were concerned, it was an open secret.

Their on-screen relationship, however, was far from dramatic. problems and friction turned the romance of their characters, Scott and Charlene, into a complicated series of ups and downs and offs and ons. The scriptwriters played on this and made sure Scott and Charlene had plenty of each at every possible moment. The real-life couple had a much more genuine bond of friendship and love. Or at least, they thought they did – right up to the time studio bosses realised what was going on.

Neighbours Fever Hits

After the show took off in Britain, some of Kylie and Jason’s colleagues crossed the world to pursue career opportunities opened by their sudden success. They talked openly to the British popular press and told stories about Neighbours and Kylie that did not always tally with those put out by the studio.

Guy Pearce was a contemporary of Kylie and Jason in the early days who later starred in movies, including Memento, Time Machine and LA Confidential. Pearce always sang Kylie’s praises and would be the first to applaud her sense of fun. As far as he was concerned, she was the mastermind behind the practical jokes on set, such as the coffee bar cream-bun fights, the strategically placed water balloons and birthday strippergrams.

But he also told stories of how Kylie and co-star Annie Jones frequently swam and horsed around topless at pool parties and no one batted an eyelid. “Kylie has a great body and she enjoyed showing it off,” Pearce once said. “We’d all charge down to the pool, whip our clothes off and jump in. Kylie and Annie didn’t give a damn about going topless – we were great mates and there was nothing sexual in it. Kylie would joke that if the press could see us, they’d have a field day.”

Pearce said it was Kylie’s bad language that made him laugh most. “She may seem squeaky clean, but she had a tongue on her like a Sydney trucker,” he said. “We all knew each other well, so we all swore like troopers. I remember Kylie in particular, because when she let rip, she really let rip. One of Kylie’s tricks was to deliberately swear if she thought a scene was going poorly to make sure it was re-shot.”

Michael Hutchence

Spurred by a new- found admiration for kylie, Michael Hutchence sought her as soon as her tour reached Tokyo on October 6, 1989. The INXS lead singer suggested a night out clubbing. She accepted and with the other 12 or so people in her entourage, they headed to the club Michael had in mind.

Michael had badly wanted to kiss her the last time they had gone out and this time he had to make do with trying to hold her hand. At first, she pushed him away every time he made an attempt, but he wore down and by the end of the evening, when feeling comfortable in his company, she relented enough to walk with him arm in arm.

“I’m a fatalist,” says Kylie. “That was the time I was meant to meet him. It was like my blinkers were taken off and I entered the next stage. I was a suburban girl working in a soap opera and it was, Wow! Oh, my God! I was too naive to think why he would be interested in me. I was meant to blossom a bit and learn a bit about the world. And I can’t think of a better person to do it with.”

Kylie and Michael packed a great deal into the next few days. Not that they had much time to prolong the joy. Kylie’s first British show, at London’s Hammersmith Palais on October 15, made sure of that. Even so they made plans to meet in Honk Kong when her tour ended. it was a promise she had no difficulty in keeping.

And by the time the couple returned to Australia the next month – after they had spend a week together at the end of the tour – some areas of the media were stating that it was clear Kylie was a completely different person. They were saying she had been awakened in every way possible – sexually, musically, in appearance and in self-confidence. And Michael was responsible.

Kylie, years later, commented she found the “moulded-by-a-boyfriend” theory quite offensive. She said,: “I was really annoyed about that and I think I went to great lengths to assure them that it wasn’t the case. It’s not that shallow a situation is it? I agree with it in some ways, but I’m not moulded by anyone I got out with. I have my thoughts, actions and feelings, haven’t I? If anyone’s in love they obviously begin to think and act in a sympathetic way to their partner – it’s give and take. That’s what love’s all about.”

Kylie maintains she never said her most famous quote about Michael helping her to discover sex, but years later she would laugh and admit that even if she had not uttered the words, they were true. “He was totally charismatic and intelligent, witty, funny and filthy” she tells the authors. “Let’s just say Hutch opened my eyes to the ways of the world that I had not yet experienced.”

All the same it appeared sex was their cornerstone. Michael often boasted to friends: “Kylie is the best fuck in the world.” Kylie says: “There was just this electric sexual energy between us. Even after we finished, people would say, Oh my God, you two. We could be on opposite sides of the room and I could see his eyes. I can still see them.”

To many, Michael had literally turned Kylie on her head. It was the wildest transformation one was likely to see. Within weeks, it was an immediate, instant change and it was obvious to anyone interested enough to observe. “Michael encouraged me to be myself,” Kylie says…