She may have been painted as the villain in this season of The Bachelor, but Keira Maguire revealed on The Project she is a brave survivor of a childhood in a cult led by her paedophile father.
In an emotional interview, she told host Carrier Bickmore she lived in a cult at Bells Beach under convicted paedophile Alistah Laishkochav until the age of five.
While she kept her past secret on the show, magazine Woman's Day revealed her connection to the cult.
Maguire told The Project she had no idea the story was coming out but wanted to speak up for others who had been though the unthinkable.
"I feel like I have a responsibility now to let people know that you cannot be defined by things that are out of your control and don't ever let your circumstances judge you," she said, fighting back tears.
She said that in the cult of nine wives, her father and 64 children, she never knew who her mother was, but when she was aged 5, her mum left the cult with five children and they moved to Queensland.
In relationships with guys like I never opened up about it 'cause I was like 'I don't want them to judge me because I'm not normal'.Keira Maguire
"I kind of knew that I was different and I didn't want to tell people because I didn't want to be judged, even in relationships with guys like I never opened up about it 'cause I was like 'I don't want them to judge me because I'm not normal'.
"It really upsets me to think that other people would have to go through what I went through and to think they had to hide and they should be ashamed of it."
Laishkochav, a former New Zealand police officer, was convicted of 20 child sex offences in 1999 and died in prison.
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