Celebrity News

From Paris Jackson’s alleged “diva antics” to the time Snoop Dogg met Jen Hawkins, these are the most memorable Melbourne Cup moments

All the frocks, shocks and surprising hook-ups.
Loading the player...

It’s the race that stops the nation but more often than not it’s the real life A to B-list drama at the annual Melbourne Cup that really gets people talking!

From public proposals, heated hook-ups and fierce fashion – the glamorous track-side event, which is held at Flemington Racecourse, has it all.

READ NEXT: A look back at celebrities at the Melbourne Cup Carnival

Perhaps one of the most infamous race day dalliances of all times was Australian Idol star Robert “Millsy” Mills’ heated evening with heiress Paris Hilton in 2003.

But they’re certainly not the only stars making the most of the exciting day.

And while the 2020 Melbourne Cup looked very different in in a COVID world, in 2021 we may become reacquainted with the shenanigans of years past now we’re mostly vaccinated.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and relive the most memorable moments from the nation’s controversial party from over the years.


Nadia Bartel

Nadia Bartel may have lost her title as Melbourne Cup Carnival Ambassador due to a scandal earlier this year, but in 2020 she stunned in this prim white midi dress and strappy heels.


Georgia Fowler

Georgia Fowler was a dream to behold in this light lilac dress with structured shoulders. The top model looked reminiscent of Grace Kelly.


Olympia Valance

Australian actress Olympia Valance proved the cup is far from its rough at the edges early 2000s vibe. These days, the event is characterised by its sleek and fashion-forward looks.


Megan Gale

What is an event without Megan Gale? During her 2019 appearance at the event, she stunned in blue, which perfectly accentuated her light sky blue eyes.

Image: AAP

Scott Disick and Sofia Richie

In 2018, international guests Scott Disick and girlfriend Sofia Richie caused a stir when they were snapped in the midst of what looked like a heated argument. Sofia could be seen wiping away tears and the couple were spotted leaving the event soon afterwards – despite being paid a hefty pay cheque to attend the event.

Paris Jackson and Tyler Green

Paris Jackson

In 2017, A-list guest of honour Paris Jackson hit it off with model Aussie model Tyler Green.


Paris and the Queensland model were pictured cosying up in the Myer marquee before sharing a cigarette and leaving in a car together.

Paris tongue

The actress, who was rumoured to be paid $100,000 for her attendance Down Under, also made headlines for her apparent “diva antics” with reports claiming the King of Pop’s only daughter shunned the pre-selected, specially designed Alex Perry dress she was supposed to wear for the event. Instead, Paris opted for her signature look of boho-chic, sporting a headpiece made from crystals and her own desert boots.

Loading the player…

Paris Jackson leaves the Melbourne Cup with Tyler Green

Kate Upton Buddy Franklin

At 2014’s Melbourne Cup, onlookers swore that sparks were flying between American model Kate Upton and AFL star Lance “Buddy” Franklin, who is a taken man thanks to his romance with now-wife Jesinta Franklin (R).

Kate Upton

While Jesinta was absent from the event because of work duties, the Sports Illustrated pin-up was forced to set the record straight following the flirting claims. “I just met him. We were at the same event,” the model explained.

Bec and Lleyton Hewiit

We love a bit of couple watching and at the 2016 Melbourne Cup, Bec and Lleyton Hewitt enjoyed a stylish day out together.

Loading the player…

Ava Hewitt looks just like mum Bec Hewitt

Michelle Payne

2015 was the year Michelle Payne became a household name after she became the first ever woman to win the Melbourne Cup on the back of New Zealand thoroughbred Prince of Penzance.

Stevie Payne

And in a true family effort, her proud big brother Stevie was there every step of the way for the triumphant moment working as the horse’s strapper. In 2019, she was stood down from the sport for four weeks after she tested positive for the drug Phentermine. “The onus is 100 per cent with me … I regret not seeking more guidance, I wasn’t thorough, and that is completely my fault. My sincere apologies to everyone,” she said in a statement.

Loading the player…

Michelle Payne used her historic Melbourne Cup win to champion her brother Stevie

Paris Hilton

Ahh, the year was 2003. Everyone was dressing like Marissa from The O.C., Paris and sister Nicky Hilton were the international exports for the big race and Robert “Millsy” Mills was still riding the wave of his Australian Idol fame.

Paris Hilton Rob Mills

The Aussie larrikin and the heiress hit it off, and needless to say, the rest is history. Despite only sharing one night of passion, still to this day the singer is constantly reminded of his famous fling. “There wouldn’t be many days that goes by without someone asking me about Paris Hilton,” he has laughed.

Rob Mills 2016

Years later, Millsy rocked this embellished blazer at the 2016 bash and didn’t have a care in the world despite Paris blanking him on national TV.

Loading the player…

Paris Hilton ‘doesn’t remember’ fling with Rob Mills

Gabi Grecko Geoffrey Edelsten

People watching at the Melbourne Cup can be almost better than the race itself. Case in point when Australia’s former most colourful couple, Gabi Grecko and Geoffrey Edelsten, became engaged in the middle of the busy walk way at the 2014 event.

Gabi Grecko

While the marriage has since fizzled out, this sure goes down as one of the most public engagements ever.

Jamie Durie Danielle Spencer

Hook ups are plentiful at the race that stops the nation and as Woman’s Day revealed at the time, Russell Crowe’s ex-wife Danielle Spencer was seen leaving the 2014 Melbourne Cup with lifestyle presenter Jamie Durie.

Blake Garvey

Who could forget when disgraced Bachelor star Blake Garvey turned up with his girlfriend and third runner up at the time Louise Pillidge for their first public outing as a couple following his break-up with Sam Frost. To make matters worse, Sam was in the same tent as them!

Sam Frost

But ever the pro, the Home and Away star held her head high and instead cuddled up to handsome hunk Dean Ipaviz. Well played.

Imogen Anthony

What’s race day without some outrageous fashion – enter Kyle Sandilands’ former better half Imogen Anthony and her 2014 Halloween-inspired get-up, complete with horns instead of a fascinator. Talk about a rule breaker!

Darren Lyons

All eyes were on the Mayor of Geelong Darryn Lyons and his fiancee, Elissa Friday, in 2014 when they showed up in these very daring ensembles.

Snoop Jennifer Hawkins

When Snoop met Jennifer Hawkins! Perhaps one of the most off-brand celeb guests ever to be flown out for the bash was Snoop Dogg in 2008. His appearance came complete with an enormous entourage. Bonus points for the rapper actually obeying the dress code and rocking a suit.


From Ginger to Gigi and Jerry Hall – the annual event is always packed to the brim with international stars!

Prince Frederik Princess Mary

But the best VIPs are those with blue blood! In 2002, Princess Mary and Prince Frederik of Denmark dazzled the Melbourne Cup crowds.

Elsa Pataky

Elsa Pataky turned heads in a fluro frock, complimented perfectly by an edgy, brimmed hat for the 2016 party.

Cadel Evans

When sporting worlds collide: In 2013 pro cyclist Cadel Evans rubbed shoulders with basketball star Liz Cambage and their noticeable height difference made for quite a great shot!


And finally, no Melbourne Cup would be complete without some rambunctious behaviour from the punters.

lost wallet

Who could forget when this good Samaritan crashed a live TV cross to help find an owner of a lost wallet.

Loading the player…

Woman at Melbourne Cup gatecrashes live cross to find owner of lost wallet

Image: Channel Seven

Blue dress woman

In one very memorable moment in 2015, a woman decked out in a vibrant blue dress got more than she bargained for when she pushed over a policeman in front of cameras just before he was due to speak about crowd behaviour. She was swiftly arrested and later received an $800 fine.

underwear woman

Has there ever been a more Aussie moment? While this legend of a lady actually stripped down into her smalls at the 2015 Ladies Day, it still goes down in the races’ history books.

Related stories