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EXCLUSIVE: Jack Vidgen on his unique relationship with his mum – and what she really thinks of his filler

A decade after winning Australia's Got Talent, the polarising popstar and his mum open up to Woman's Day about fame, rehab and surgery.

By Wade Sellers
As Jack Vidgen and his mother Rachel Hayton sit down on the couch, their bond is palpable.
And when Woman's Day comments on this, Jack agrees.
"We've always been best friends," he says.
"Mum and Dad divorced when I was two and he moved away, so she's been raising me by herself since."
Rachel, 52, who now works in disability care, often worked three jobs at a time in order to keep her family afloat.
The pair sat down with Woman's Day for the first time to discuss their relationship. Are Media/Phillip Castleton
"I did anything that would keep a roof over our heads," she says.
"I worked in supermarkets, cleaning jobs, backpacker joints – whatever I had to do, I did it."
Rachel's hard work enabled Jack to compete in singing competitions at RSL clubs around Australia.
"He'd sit in the back of the car in his cradle chair and sing Beyonce at the top of his lungs," she laughs.
"He could do all the high notes! I knew he had a really good tone even back then."

Overnight Fame

At 14, Jack would enter the biggest competition of his life, Australia's Got Talent, and walk away with the winning prize of $250,000.
"That moment was extraordinary," says Rachel.
"Having been to all the RSLs, I was so proud. I just knew that he belonged on that stage. It was like it was written in the stars for me."
This year marks 10 years since Jack won AGT, and while he reflects on that time as a "really nice blur", he admits he still deals with the pressures that came with overnight fame.
"I still hear comments... people in the industry commenting on my weight and my looks," Jack, 24, reveals.
"It's taken a toll on how I view myself for sure."
Even now, remarks about Jack's noticeably plumper pout and cheeks generate headlines – and it's something that Rachel found hard to grasp.
"I wasn't happy at all [reading the comments]," she says.
"I don't like anyone saying anything against my son. And you can say 'don't read the comments', but I read them all."
Jack adds, "She hasn't always approved of the filler..."
"I did look at him once and say, 'Are you kidding?'" Rachel recalls.
To that, Jack admits, "I have looked at photos of myself and thought, 'OK, I've gone too far, but it's always just been filler. It's not permanent. People seem to forget that."
When asked if his love for injectables stems from the opinions he received about his looks when he was younger, Jack seriously considers it.
"It 100 per cent could be," he says.
The pair learned just how cutthroat the entertainment industry could be when Jack won Australia's Got Talent in 2011. Getty

Rehab & The Future

While he was riding a high after appearing on The Voice Australia in 2019, playing gigs and writing music again, Jack's world, like many others, came crashing down due to COVID-19, so much so that he was admitted into rehab for substance abuse at the end of 2020.
"I think COVID just brought up a lot of demons for me. It brought up a lot of issues," he says.
"I was grabbing onto a lot of things to help me escape."
Acknowledging he was spiralling, Jack checked himself into a rehab clinic on Sydney's Northern Beaches, with his family "rallying around him like a bunch of angels" in support, with his mum at the forefront.
"That was a hard time," Rachel remembers.
"But I was so proud of him for making that first step. He wanted to change and it was just in time. I'm so grateful for that."
Jack says, "Rehab really opened up that door for me to talk about my issues, and I thank God because I'm able to process things in a healthy way now."
Fast-forward to a new year and a new perspective, and Jack, fresh from a stint on I'm A Celeb... Get Me Out Of Here, and Rachel have never been closer.
"We have a beautiful relationship and I'm so grateful we can process everything that's happened to us over the past 10 years," he says.
To that, Rachel replies, "We're really open and honest now and we know we can depend on one another."
And while they've managed to come out the other end of the fame vacuum, Rachel warns other parents with children who want to pursue a career in showbiz to be wary.
"There are some sharks out there so make sure you protect as much as you can, because it really is up to you to protect your loved ones," she says.
Despite the rocky journey, the mother and son have come out the other end closer than ever. Are Media/Phillip Castleton

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