MAFS' Dom's health update following podcast backlash: 'I am not okay'

The reality star has deactivated her Instagram account after her and Ella Ding's interview with Jack Dunkley got attention for all the wrong reasons.

Dom Calarco
Dom Calarco has announced she's checked into a mental health retreat. Photo: TikTok/Instagram

Former Married At First Sight star and Sit With Us podcast host Domenica Calarco has announced she's checked into a mental health retreat following the backlash from her and Ella Ding's recent interview with controversial MAFS groom Jack Dunkley.

The announcement came after the girls' podcast episode addressing the backlash continued to anger fans, with many people accusing them of missing the point.

So, in case you missed it, here's a TL;DR version of the drama: Dom and Ella invited Jack Dunkley and Tori Adams onto their podcast to share their side of their MAFS story. During the interview, the controversial "muzzle your woman" came up, with Dom and Ella saying Lauren "pushed" Jack but unfortunately there was no mention of the misogyny behind the comment and why it was so problematic. Many people then thought Dom and Ella went too easy on Jack and gave him excuses instead of holding him accountable, leading them to be called out by fans, other MAFS stars, and Abbie Chatfield, who deemed the interview "worrying" and "awful".

Since then, Ella and Dom have uploaded a podcast episode addressing the controversy, when they said they don't "support domestic violence or misogyny".

"Yes, we may have stumbled, but we strongly push back on the horrendous comments that we are anti-feminist and perpetuating domestic violence in this country," Dom said. "I now understand by having Jack on the podcast, people are upset because it potentially had shown that we weren't supportive of women because we platformed him, and that's never what we wanted to be putting across."

Fans aren't happy with Dom and Ella excusing Jack's behaviour. Photo:
Fans aren't happy with Dom and Ella excusing Jack's behaviour. Photo:


"For making people feel uncomfortable, or for triggering them for having Jack on, I apologise," Dom said. "We never wanted to offend or hurt people by having him on the podcast."

However, fans continued to call out the two podcast hosts for missing the point of why everyone was actually upset.

"Oh noooo you still don’t get it. It’s not about having him on, it’s that you offered him excuses for his behaviour and victim blamed Lauren. Wanna go for a take two girls?" one person commented. "Oh no, this was so far from it! Ladies, come on! That was one of the worst “apologies” (if you can call it that) I’ve ever heard," someone else said. "Please go and do some research about feminism and language associated with DV. To say you don’t accept it and to laugh along with Jack and literally provide him with excuses such as “she pushed you” is very hypocritical."

"I cannot believe after so many people calling you out publicly and privately for *your* actions or lack thereof in the podcast, If you can’t hold the toxic people to account and aid this country's discussion on this matter, then you don’t deserve to have a platform about this topic at all," another person said.

"You two really don’t get it, like you don’t understand feminism. It’s not buying from women-owned businesses', it’s realising how the patriarchy is ingrained in you, and that’s what everyone saw in your podcast," another person commented.

During the last episode of Sit With Us, Dom referenced she was going through a breakup and that, on top of the backlash, had left her in a vulnerable state. Yesterday, before deactivating her Instagram, she uploaded a story saying she was 'psychologically drained'.


"Over the last month I have been struggling with some deep issues that have left me emotionally, physically, and psychologically drained," Dom said. "Everyday, I am trying to be the strong, independent, and bubbly person that you all know me to be, but the reality is that I am not okay and the recent social media discourse has forced me to realise that I am at the end of my tether.

Dom's statement about her mental health. Photo:
Dom's statement about her mental health. Photo:

"As someone who has dealt with mental illness for 15 years, I have come to the realisation that I need to put my health, both physically and mentally, as the number one priority and have decided to enter a mental health retreat. If you, or someone you love is struggling, there is help available."

Mental health support for yourself or a loved one can be found by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, Mensline on 1300 789 978, or the Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800. Online support is available via Beyond Blue.

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