Taylah Roberts, Ashley Pogmore. Photo: Paul Leonardo for WHO Magazine
Taylah Roberts, Ashley Pogmore. Photo: Paul Leonardo for WHO Magazine

It started as a playful paint fight and ended with the bombshell departure of one of the competition favourites.

Australia’s Next Top Model aired one of its most shocking episodes on Tuesday Aug. 13 when, angry over her paint-soaked t-shirt, Taylah Roberts, 18, grabbed Ashley Pogmore, 19, around the neck. The physical confrontation led to Perth-born Roberts being disqualified from the series and emotions running high.

“As soon as Jen called my name, I knew what was going to happen,” a teary Taylah tells WHO of her disqualification. “It was right. You can’t keep someone who was a threat to another girl.” For Sydney’s Ashley, who concedes she “provoked” the attack, she feels she also “should have had some sort of punishment.”

Despite the controversy, both girls maintain that they are “as close as ever” and regularly stay in touch. “We’re like sisters,” says Ashley. “That’s how I look at it. It was a sisters’ bickering fight.”

Both agree that had she stayed, Taylah would have been a contender for the Top Model title. “Taylah would have definitely been there the entire time,” says Ashley. She’s “an amazing model. I don’t want her career to be damaged before it has even started because of this.”

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For our full interview with Taylah and Ashley, pick up this week’s issue of WHO, on sale today.

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