Deni Hines Tells New Idea I Am Not A Witch
New Idea interviewed Deni Hines to find out what she thought of her time on Celebrity Apprentice and how she felt about the way she had been portrayed on the show. It is quite interesting.
The interview states:
Deni, what happened? You came across terribly on the show. Did you expect such a public reaction?
I didn’t expect it, no. It was a weird experience. When you’re being filmed seven, eight hours a day you tend to forget they’re following you all the time, then selectively editing the material. I remember Julia [Morris] saying: ‘You’re so sweet, you tell it the way it is,’ I didn’t expect such a reaction.
How did you feel when you heard Facebook groups had started with names like ‘I hate Deni Hines’?
It’s sad that people have the time to do that. Why not join them all up into one? [Laughs] I might even join too, if I had time!
Are you devastated by all the hateful comments?
It’s not especially nice, but I can handle it. It is what it is. For me, this show ended months ago, but of course people only just got to finish seeing it on TV. Tomorrow, somebody else will be picked on.
Julia defended you, saying you’re the victim of racism. Do you agree?
Yes there’s definitely some of that in some of the messages I’m getting. It would be beautiful to think the world no longer has racism in it – that would be a pipedream. It’s one thing to pick on my music or something about me, but how silly to pick on something I can’t change.
Did the producers ever ask you to play up your bitchy side?
No, they didn’t say that nor did I know how I was going to be edited. I did say I was happy to stir the pot a bit because that makes good TV. What they got was me under stress. There was a lot of controversial comments said by all contestants, but I guess the network chose to lump it all on me.
When did you realise that you had been depicted as a bit of a witch?
The only time I got any indication was at the wrap party. Someone got up and said”‘We’ve got a great show. We want to thank Deni Hines for the drama.’ I was like’ I was like” ‘What are you talking about?’
Some of your comments were pretty full-on. In particular, when you said Jesinta Campbell was the kind of girl you beat up at school….
I never bullied anyone! That was said for effect. I was the minority in school, I was the only black kid. In high school on e day, I got there to find ‘Marcia and Deni Hines suck’ written all over the quadrangle. I was freaked out. And I was bullied by three or four girls. I was so scared, the next day I hid a pair of scissors in my bag – not to hurt anyone with but to hold up if those girls picked on me again.
Did that toughen you up?
No – the music industry did. When a record person once said: ‘Your hair colour is too dark and curly – and can you lighten it up, lighten your skin and put blue contacts in?’, that toughened me up!
Polly Porter said she cried after the way you spoke to her…
I wish she’d done it in front of all of us. Had I known, I’d have gone up and said sorry.
If you could take back something you siad, what would it be?
Probably the bullying stuff. I stand up for the underdog – I’m not a mean person. You can think that I am by watching a TV show, but if you really knew me you’d think differently. For now, I’m being treated like I’ve killed somebody, by people I’ve never met. I didn’t rip Polly’s eyes out!
But surely all these hostile comments have hurt a little bit?
They would hurt if what people said was true, that I’m a bitch and a racist and that I don’t like people.
So you haven’t lost sleep over this?
NO. Being on the show and raising $47,000 for my charity, Oasis Africa, means 40 more kids in Africa now get to go to school, have three meals a day, medical assistance and a roof over their head for eight hours of the day.
Is your mum Marcia Hines upset about the backlash?
Mum has no reaction that she’s made known to me. She knows her child! I didn’t kill anyone. I’m sure if I’d gone crazy and attacked someone, Mum would have had something to say!
Tell us about your softer side, the side we don’t get to see….
I’ve got a huge heart. I love humans and animals.Over the years I’ve done work for 250 to 300 charities, from ovarian cancer to breast cancer, the RSPCA and the Special Olympics. On Christmas Day I sometimes visit sick kids in hospital. Last year I headed to Africa to visit orphans in Kibera. You’d have seen me cradling little babies in my arms, babies dying of starvation. That’s a reality I’m proud to be involved with – much more than reality TV.
Career-wise, what do you say to claims you’re a one-hit wonder?
I’ve sold more than 1.3 million albums, had top five hits in the UK, France, Japan and the US, written a song for Beyonce, won an ARIA and had roles in stage shows and even a film. And there’s more to come…..
What have you learnt from all this?
Reality TV is not reality. It’s long, it’s tense, it’s heavily edited and often taken out of context, and it’s just not real.
New Idea readers also had the opportunity to send in some questions.
Who was your favourite and least favourite co-star?
I don’t have a least favourite because everyone you meet, good and bad, has something to teach you. Pauline Hanson was a big surprise – I hadn’t expected to like her. She’s the one who first phoned me to see if I was OK. Julia Morris was my favourite. We were already friends before the show but now we’re closer.
Your comments to Jesinta upset me. Do you think it sends the wrong message to kids about bullying?
Yes – it was meant in jest and I’m terribly sorry it was taken seriously.
You were quite mean to Polly about what you thought was her lack of celebrity. Why?
I didn’t think I was mean about lack of celebrity. If anything I was having a go at myself too – I don’t consider myself a celebrity. We’ve spoken and there’s no bad blood between us. A big thing was made of me calling her Poppy but that was all cut from one spiel. At the end of that I said: ‘S***, sorry Polly’. But of course that didn’t get aired! I get called Demi all the time. Big deal!
What has your mum said about all this?
Mum didn’t see the show. She doesn’t watch a lot of TV. She called me the other day, but it was just to ask how my puppy was.
It should be noted that Deni Hines did not take any money for this interview and New Idea donated money on behalf of her to Oasis Africa Australia.