A distraught-looking Sophie Monk has sparked fears after she was snapped on a succession of outings last week looking strung-out and upset.
Even her first-ever red-carpet appearance alongside boyfriend Stu Laundy at the ARIAs was shrouded in controversy.
‘She did not look happy,’ an onlooker tells New Idea. ‘Sophie looked gaunt and tired as she posed for photos. It was looking like she was forcing herself to smile.
‘She wasn’t her usual self cracking jokes and chatting with friends in the industry.’
According to our ARIAs spies, Sophie appeared to be ‘struggling with the pressure and the scrutiny’ surrounding her relationship with Stu, which is widely rumoured to be over.
‘She’s a very different person from the one who confidently walked the Logies red carpet in April, when it was announced she was the new Bachelorette.’
Renowned for her wise- cracking and brutal honesty, the 37-year-old blonde’s red- carpet appearance last week was very out of character.
Amid strong suggestions that Sophie and Stu are putting on a brave face in public despite having actually broken up weeks ago, the pair clearly struggled to look natural while appearing together at the ARIAs.
‘It was really obvious that Stu did not want to be there,’ an onlooker reveals. ‘He either stood awkwardly next to Sophie or was on his phone on the red carpet.’
According to body language expert Allan Pease of Pease International, images from their red-carpet appearance do suggest there is serious trouble in paradise for The Bachelorette couple.
‘Loving couples maintain eye contact, smile and cuddle,’ he tells New Idea.
‘Sophie knows how to play the “loving couple” game in public, but in these shots, Stu is in la la land.
‘He is mentally and emotionally elsewhere. The vacant look, masked emotions... there’s no connection with Sophie on any level.’
Last Sunday, Sophie was spotted by a photographer checking in to a Melbourne hotel, looking distressed.
‘At one point, she looked like she was in tears and pulled out her phone to start texting someone,’ an onlooker says.
Sophie and Stu have been forced to fend off the constant rumours that they are merely maintaining their relationship while they are under contract with Channel Ten.
In the few weeks following The Bachelorette finale, the couple has made a series of strange public outings.
According to body language expert Allan, it was obvious from the very beginning that things were not right between Sophie and Stu.
‘The shot of them holding hands together is revealing,’ he explains.
‘Dominant partners have the “upper hand” as he does in this shot, and dominants walk slightly in front.
‘He is holding her hand in a “monkey-vice grip”, which shows his determination to go in his direction and remove her choices.’
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea - out now!