Eight years ago, Natalie Gauci was one of the most familiar faces on Australian television.
Yet, the brunette songstress quickly faded from the spotlight without a peep. After beating Matt Corby to win Australian Idol, Natalie, now 34, reveals it was her dark journey through an identity crisis and a battle with drugs that held her back.
‘After that whirlwind, I felt really detached,’ Natalie explains.
‘I went into a bit of a time where I took a lot of drugs and I became really paranoid about what people were thinking of me.’
Natalie pictured with Matt Corby on Australian Idol
Speaking from her adopted home in London, Natalie details the tough years that followed.
'I wasn’t being heard. There were so many people in my life at that time, but I felt so alone,’ she tells New Idea.
Life began to look up when she was offered a management deal, and ended up living in Stockholm, Sweden, where she worked with Lady Gaga’s producer. But it wasn’t long before things turned sour again.
‘I ended up hitting rock bottom again,’ Natalie says.
Luckily, before it was too late, Natalie discovered meditation, which ended up saving her life.
‘I started to do research into meditation and how to get myself into a sober state all the time... Not going back to drugs or drinking or smoking to relieve my problems,’ she explains.
After living in the UK for four years, and reinventing her identity through a stage name – Nellie Bell – Natalie’s enjoyed her second chance to ‘grow from the beginning again’.
‘I’ve spent the past four-and-a-half years completely sober,’ Natalie reveals.
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