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Australian Idol Casey Donovan: “I’m marrying the love of my life.”

The happy pair met on dating app Bumble in 2020.
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Australian Idol star Casey Donovan lit up the internet with her huge smile when she announced her engagement to girlfriend Renee Sharples. The proposal followed years of struggling to win back her confidence after she was cruelly catfished.

Flashing a beautiful diamond ring, Casey beamed with joy in Renee’s arms as she took to social media to share her big secret and reveal the beautiful way Renee romantically proposed two weeks ago.

“21.06.24 on the strawberry moon of the winter solstice, the love of my life asked me if I wanted to do this life together forever,” Casey shared.

Australian Idol winner Casey Donovan smiles with new fiance outdoors
Wedding planning is on for this beloved TV star. (Image: Supplied)


“The day I met you, home was no longer a place, it became a person and yes, you are a gypsy but there’s nobody else I would rather attach my wagon to on this beautiful road trip called life,” she wrote. “And with that, I said yes!”

Casey, 36, met Renee on the dating app Bumble in the middle of the pandemic lockdown in 2020, forcing them to begin what became a beautiful relationship with virtual dates over Zoom.

When they did finally meet, sparks instantly flew between her and Renee, who is a lecturer in paramedicine at La Trobe University. And they have been together ever since.

“I thank the universe every day for our paths crossing and I will be forever grateful and truly thankful that you are in my life,” Casey declared on the two-year anniversary of their love match.

She says their relationship blossomed after they both spent those two years listening, learning, understanding, compromising, hearing, healing and “most importantly” loving unconditionally.

Renee proposed while the pair were on a break in Tassie at the Pumphouse Point hotel. (Image: Instagram)


“I’ve finally found the missing piece to my puzzle. My wagon’s attached to yours and I love doing life with you,” she told her fans two years ago, strongly hinting that she had found her forever love.

Casey happily admits that Renee, who also loves music and plays guitar, has brought “so much more joy, happiness and laughter” into her life, especially after the heartache of being caught up in a cruel catfishing ordeal. 

Just a few months after Casey won Australian Idol in 2004 at just 16, she fell in love with a man named “Campbell” online. Sadly, she found out six years later that Campbell was in fact a close female friend who made him up as part of a cruel hoax.

Scarred by that terrible betrayal and the pressure of instant fame and endless attention on her weight and image, Casey’s career also took a hit. And in 2016, she was driving an Uber to help make ends meet.

Fortunately, she never gave up on her showbiz career, which bounced back after Australia fell in love with Casey once more when she was crowned Queen of the Jungle on I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! the following year.


Casey will star as Deloris Van Cartier in the upcoming Sister Act musical. (Image: Instagram)

A huge advertising campaign with Coles soon followed, while she also released new music for the first time in seven years and starred in musicals Chicago, 9 To 5 and in & Juliet – and she’s soon to take on her first-ever lead role in Sister Act.

Throughout it all, Casey never gave up on love, and her millions of fans and many famous friends were last week celebrating her happily ever after as she and Renee started to make wedding plans.

TV stars Virginia Gay, Nat Bassingthwaighte, Lynne McGranger and Sam Mac took to social media to congratulate the couple, while fellow former Australian Idols Rob Mills, Ricki-Lee Coulter and Paulini were also overjoyed – and Tina Arena posted three love hearts! 

Besotted Casey says Renee “opened my eyes, heart and soul to what love is supposed to feel like”, calling her new fiancee “beautiful, kind, caring, supportive, understanding, funny, loving, talented, passionate… and beyond magnificent”.

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