MasterChef’s Melissa Leong on how she is coping with the loss of Jock Zonfrillo

"It isn't my story to tell."
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It’s been almost half a year now since MasterChef’s shining light Jock Zonfrillo passed away at the age of just 46 years, remembered by his four kids and wife.

His close friend Melissa Leong starred across from him for three years, making viewers laugh with their friendly banter across from co-judge Andy Allen.

When asked how she was coping during an interview with Stellar, she responded “It’s not my story to tell.”

WATCH NOW: Manu Fieldel pays tribute to Jock Zonfrillo. Article continues after video.

Opening up the conversation on grief in the public eye, “We live in a moment in time where instant gratification is a given, and so when you can’t access information, there’s a bit of a disconnect there because people want to know why.”

Explaining gently how she doesn’t want to “impede someone else’s process,” with Jock’s oldest daughter, Ava Zonfrillo, paying an emotional tribute to her dad: “Still can’t accept that we’ll be remembering you for more time than we had you. but it doesn’t mean we’ll love you any less.”

Ava and the second oldest Sophia are a part of Jock’s beautiful blended family from Jock’s first two loves, followed by his two youngest kids five-year-old Alfie, and two-year-old daughter Isla with his third and final marriage with Lauren Fried.

MasterChef Australia judges Andy Allen, Jock Zonfrillo and Melissa Leong. (Credit: Instagram)

In August, his wife Lauren marked a bittersweet milestone on Father’s Day, when her two kids’ father was missing. 

Penning a tribute on Instagram, “Beyond just being a Dad, he dreamed one day to be a Nonno. I wish he had that chance.”

Posting a carousel of photos of Jock with his two youngest kids, remembering the good times: “Jock never really grew up: he taught the kids ways to do things that would drive me crazy – from dunking their roast chicken directly INTO the gravy boat as it was the safest way to cover the entire surface area, how to wedge a whole donut into their mouth at one time, to scaring the absolute sh– out of me for a laugh.”

RELATED || Jock Zonfrillo’s widow pens heartwarming Father’s Day tribute to late husband

Jock Zonfrillo with his wife Lauren (Loz) Fried and two kids Alfie on the left and Isla on the right. (Credit: Instagram)

Melissa continued on in her interview how everyone deals with grief differently and asked her fans to respect her wishes “to approach this moment in my time with respect and to go gently with it.”

Discussing Jock’s impact, not only because he was famous: “When someone leaves us, it affects so many people, whether or not it’s someone who has a public profile. When someone leaves your life, it affects a whole community of people, and each one of them is dealing with that loss in a different way.”

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