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Drug abuse, rehab, strippers and backstage feuds: Neighbours' biggest ever scandals


Neighbours may be on in the day time, but it is far from short on off-screen scandals, with some of the show’s biggest stars being caught in serious drama backstage.

Some of the biggest Neighbours cast members have a very colourful history on the show, with several leaving the set under a dark cloud.

As the show approaches its 35th anniversary on screens, it has certainly been caught up in some drama back in front of the camera and behind it.

Here we look at some of the show’s biggest off-scandals which stole the spotlight from the dramatic storylines going on in iconic Erinsborough.

From drug use on set to legal battle battles between co-stars, here are the soap’s most notorious moments which didn’t happen in front of the camera…

Eliza Szonert (Danni Stark)

Eliza reportedly spent eight weeks in rehab before taking her child from her ex

Aussie babe Eliza Szonert, who played Danni Stark, moved to Los Angeles after leaving the soap in 1996.

The blonde bombshell hit headlines after it was reported in 2015 she had allegedly spent eight weeks in a drug rehabilitation centre in Thailand before she snatched her son from her ex in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Eliza reportedly used a controversial child recovery agency to help get her son, who she shared with ex Ashley Crick, back in her care.

It was later revealed that Eliza, now 46, was ordered to spend 24 hours in jail after she refused to reveal the location of her son to a court.

She was later allowed to return to Australia with her son, but only after agreeing to let a doctor examine the boy.

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Shane Connor (Joe Scully)

Shane admitted to drug abuse while on the show after he was sacked

Shane Connor played iconic character Joe Scully on the soap from 1999 to 2004, after he had his contract terminated by Grundy Television.

The production company claimed that Shane was high on set, causing him to be aggressive towards cast and crew, be late to set and forget his lines during filming, and he had been given several written warnings.

Shane later admitted he had developed an addiction to amphetamines due to problems in his personal life and apologised to the cast when confronted about his problem, it was said in court.

The actor later sued Grundy Television for unfair dismissal and was awarded £120,000.

The case also heard how Janet Andrewartha, who played his on-screen wife Lyn, would constantly complain about his lateness, that would cause delays to filming.

However, during the trial, it was claimed that Shane was not the only one who were worse for wear on set, with actor Jay Bunyan, who played Shane’s on-screen son Jack, speaking to his defence.

He claimed that it wasn’t uncommon for cast members to turn up for work worse for wear or hungover.

Holly Valance (Flick Scully) and Scott Michaelson (Brad Willis)

Holly Valance was sued by her co-star Scott Michaelson over breach of contract

Iconic Neighbours star Holly Valance was originally managed by Scott Michaelson, the original actor to play Brad Willis.

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Holly allegedly sacked Scott by fax before the end of his contract around the time she released her debut single Kiss Kiss, claiming he was “not capable” of doing his job.

Scott took her to court over the firing and claimed he helped Holly win the role of Flick, and also paid for her acting and singing lessons.

He eventually won his case for breach of contract at a court in Sydney after a judge branded Holly “calculating” and “unreliable.”

The actress later went on to marry billionaire Nick Candy years later in 2012.

Scott was replaced by Kip Gamblin in 2013, twenty years after his original departure.

Alan Dale (Jim Robinson)

Alan was sacked by producers after he complained about his low wages

Legendary character Jim Robinson was on the Aussie soap from the start in 1985 until 1993, when he had a heart attack and died.

But it later emerged that actor Alan Dale had been sacked from the role after complaining about his low wages.

Alan revealed that he made it clear that his $600 a week was not enough, and he was fired by producers once they heard the remark.

He told TV Week back in 2016: “I made some sort of crack about the fact that when we started doing Neighbours [in 1985], we got paid the same money as when I was doing The Young Doctors [which he starred in from 1979-1983].

“I’m happy to be out of it – look at my career.”

Alan went on to star in hit shows Ugly Betty, The OC and Once Upon A Time.

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It seems that he smoothed things back over with the show as he made a return to the soap for the show’s first ever Christmas Day episode.

As his son Paul Robinson accidentally drove his car off the road, he appeared to him in a dream and spoke to him through an ornament.

After regaining consciousness, Paul saw the image of Jim in a Christmas ornament he had hanging in the car.

He gave his son a telling off about his behaviour, giving him clarity over his life.

Carla Bonner (Steph Scully)

Carla was reportedly slammed by her co-stars as ‘a diva with a huge ego’

Long-term character Steph Scully left the show back in 2018 after appearing in the soap on and off for 19 years.

But it was reported by New Idea that actress Carla Bonner left under a dark cloud amid complaints from the cast about her diva behaviour.

Rumours emerged that Carla was “difficult” towards cast and crew while on set, leading to tensions rising.

An insider branded Carla “control-hungry” and that she reportedly demanded that the show’s publicity team “relaunch her career”.

It was claimed that her co-stars thought “she had an ego the size of a house” and disked her need to be in the spotlight.

Scott McGregor (Mark Brennan)


Scott McGregor was caught in an off-screen showdown as he was glassed by Gold Coast stripper, who attacked the actor for being rude to her.

The actor was left with a cut lip at Hollywood Showgirls in April last year, and the incident was reported to police and taken to court.

Danielle Lee told the court that she had lost her job as a result, and claimed the Aussie star abused her with language such as “f*** off you dirty s**g.

Magistrate Mark Howden ordered Ms Lee to pay $80 for Mr McGregor’s medical costs and released her on a $1,000 good behaviour bond.

He ruled while Scott did abuse and insult the stripper, her reaction was disproportionate.

No conviction was recorded.





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