'S**t show': RHOM's Jackie Gillies weighs in on Photoshop scandal

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·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
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Real Housewives of Melbourne
Real Housewives of Melbourne star Jackie Gillies (centre) has weighed in on the Photoshop scandal that rocked Lydia Schiavello (far left) and Chyka Keebaugh (second from left) in August. Photo: Getty

Real Housewives of Melbourne star Jackie Gillies has weighed in on the Photoshop scandal that rocked the show's stars Lydia Schiavello and Chyka Keebaugh earlier this year.

The scandal kicked off when Lydia, who recently announced she was leaving the series, shared a throwback photo from 2014 which featured Pettifleur Berenger, Janet Roach and Chyka. 

However, the photo had seemingly been Photoshopped with Chyka appearing larger than she is, while Lydia and Pettifleur, who were on either side of her, had their waists pinched in.

When questioned whether she'd Photoshopped the photo by an Instagram follower, Lydia responded, "It’s an old photo Season 2 no Photoshop, I wouldn’t do that after being fatshamed myself x."

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The post stayed up for a few days before Chyka's daughter Chessie Keebaugh publicly hit out at Lydia by sharing the original photo next to the Photoshopped image.

Chessie labelled Lydia's post as "truly the most pathetic thing I've ever seen", also describing it as "the worst editing job".

"But I actually woke up incredibly mad that in 2021 a woman went out of her way to bring another woman down," Chessie wrote. "This is so high school and actively malicious, I'm truly in shock."

A side-by-side of the Photoshopped version (left) and the original (right). Photo: Instagram
A side-by-side of the Photoshopped version (left) and the original (right). Photo: Instagram
Chyka's daughter Chessie hit back with this post. Photo: Instagram/Chessie Keebaugh
Chyka's daughter Chessie hit back with this post. Photo: Instagram/Chessie Keebaugh

Chyka then told her followers her daughter "said it perfectly... what is the point in pulling another woman down".

Lydia later backtracked and deleted the photo, taking to her Instagram account to say, "I was sent many old photos from previous seasons of #RHOM. I thought this was a great photo of us all and it's something we can't do now," referencing the fact they were at a grand final.

She added, "It was never my intention to offend anyone."

Now, Jackie Gillies has shared her opinion of the situation, which she described as a "sh*t show".

"I just think that – this is my only comment on that – is that women should be uplifting women on every level, and I just think photos like that don't need to be – it was just a very negative situation, that didn't need to happen on any ship, shape, or form," she tells Yahoo Lifestyle

"It just didn't need to happen and it caused a s**t show for for both parties, and I did feel sorry for Chyka because it's just bulls**t. You know, nobody should be exposed like that, like in a way that's derogatory to someone, you know what I mean?"

Jackie Gillies
Jackie returns to Real Housewives of Melbourne after taking a break to focus on her family. Photo: Getty

She continues, "You can't just put yourself in a situation and just go like, 'I didn't know what was going on'. It just wasn't a nice thing. And I'm all about what Chyka says too: women should just uplift women. That's how I see life. That's it."

Jackie returns to Real Housewives of Melbourne after taking a break to focus on her family and is now only weeks away from welcoming twins with her husband, Silverchair drummer Ben Gillies. 

Not one to relax during her pregnancy, Jackie also launched a podcast this week called Shine It Up With Jackie Gillies, where she will be conducting psychic readings, speaking with local and international guests.

"I've got some great guests here from Australia that I think people will be quite surprised about actually," she teases.

The reality star said she felt that podcasting "made sense" to her and she'd wanted to do it for some time.

"This podcast is really going to be about trying to inspire people to attain what they want live their best lives become the best version of themselves through, you know, me chatting to people that are inspirational and also the stories that I can tell that I've experienced that a lot of people don't know – I haven't even shared a lot of these stories on Housewives!" Jackie said, adding it's a time for her to share really personal stories.

Jackie and husband Ben Gillies
Jackie and husband Ben Gillies are currently expecting twins following numerous IVF attempts. Photo: Instagram/Jackie Gillies

She explains in her first episode she shares the story of when she was in her early 20s and in a "very toxic relationship".

"And it was a relationship that I thought that I was going to be in forever, but what I soon realised is – I was in that relationship five years – is that he was very controlling, he would tell me what to wear, where I could go and it was quite abusive," she tells us. 

"And when I broke up from this relationship, I lost myself and I was in a very deep depressive hole and all those things, but a lot of people resonate with that because a lot of people have had a relationship like that, even if it was for bloody six months right or two months! And so, this whole podcast for me is about being able to resonate with people and being able to inspire through, you know, other people's experiences, my experiences and just having conversations with people."

The breakdown of this relationship "triggered" Jackie's psychic abilities to "reopen", thus leading her to her "life's purpose".

"Everything happens for a reason," she adds.

Real Housewives of Melbourne season five cast
Speaking of the new season of the Real Housewives of Melbourne, Jackie put it simply, "Oh my God. Can I just say, some of the Housewives click and some of them do not!" Photo: Getty

Speaking of the new season of the Real Housewives of Melbourne, Jackie puts it simply, "Oh my God. Can I just say, some of the Housewives click and some of them do not!"

However, she adds that the new Housewives Kyla Kirkpatrick, Cherry Dipietrantonio, Anjali Rao and Simone Elliott will "bring a fresh new dynamic" to the group, which also includes veterans Janet Roach, Gamble Breaux. 

"It's really quite interesting to see how these dynamics come together, because some of them do, and some of them don't!" Jackie says. "And there's a lot of humour, there's a lot of tears, tantrums – oh my God the tantrums! It's also a lot of rawness and realness to the storylines. This year, and me included, where I share my IVF journey and I share things that nobody knew about."

The first episode of Jackie's podcast Shine It Up with Jackie Gillies is out now, listen on the Acast app, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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