Toni Pearen's alarming encounter with a director as a young star

Gillian Wolski
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·2-min read

Aussie child star turned TV personality Toni Pearen has opened up about an alarming encounter she had with an unnamed director when she was a young girl.

The 48-year-old made the disturbing admission while reflecting on her long career in showbiz with her fellow I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! contestants Abbie Chatfield, Alli Simpson and Pettifleur Berenger.

Toni Pearen on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! 2021
Toni Pearen has opened up about an alarming encounter she had with a director when she was a young star. Photo: Channel 10.

Parents were ‘oblivious’

Toni, who is best known as the former host of Australia’s Funniest Home Videos, began by talking about her ‘suggestive’ headshots she had taken as a pre-teen.

“Recently, we were going through old photos at my dad’s house and we came across all these photos of me when I must have been 11 or 12,” she said.

“And they’re my headshots, but they’re really suggestive. Like, I’m in a swimsuit... with a pool cue... really suggestive,” she added as her campmates gasped.

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A composite photo of Toni Pearen in 2020 and on the TV show, E Street, in 1989
Toni shared this throwback snap to her days on the TV show, E Street, in the late '80s. Photo: Instagram/tonipearen.

“They had me in like a leopard-print leotard and I’m like crawling on the ground,” Toni said of the photoshoot.

Mum-of-two Toni went on to explain that even though she wouldn’t allow her own kids to be involved in similar situations today, her parents were ‘oblivious’ to how she was being treated.

“And I thought, ‘As a parent, if that happened to my child now, I would not be quiet about it,’ but back then my parents were oblivious, they just thought, that’s the way it is,” she said.

‘Turned up at my door’

Next, Toni recalled a scary incident involving a director that occurred when she was ‘on location’ as a young star.

“I remember we were on location and it was midnight and the director turned up at my door and said, ‘I’m in love with your character. I’m not in love with you, but I’m in love with your character and I need to spend time with her.’”

A shocked Abbie asked, “what did you say?”

“I just went, ‘I don’t think you’re thinking very straight. Sorry. And I think you need to go home’,” Toni replied.

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