EXCLUSIVE: Mark Tabone says he's so proud of fiance Lisa Curry in the jungle

This week in the jungle, Olympian Lisa Curry revealed the pool became her "safe place", after witnessing domestic violence in her childhood home.

Lisa Curry and Mark Tabone

The 54-year-old shared her personal story to the campmates on Monday, musing she was "probably around the age of thirteen or fourteen [when] we had a lot of domestic violence in our house."

"I just wanted to be at the pool the whole time, just to be away from what was happening at the house. I asked my mum if she would drop me off early and pick me up late," she said.

Woman's Day caught up with her husband-to-be to chat about the swimmer's candid omission and how he thinks Lisa is doing in the jungle.

How did you feel about her opening up?
I've heard this story before and sometimes she does open up and talk about it in her motivational speaking but I think she's gone onto this show with the opportunity to help others, help her charity and help people in situations who are or have been in domestic violence and her example was she got out. She didn't want to witness it, she didn't want to be there and she got away from it.

Obviously she was too young to fully walk away from it and I'm not in the position to comment on what happened or anything like that. I respect her family. Anything that she does now, she helps other people, that's what she tries to do and make a difference in everyone's life. At one point she was thinking about the charity for domestic violence [as her charity for I'm a Celeb] she went with Aussie Helpers who help out the farmers around Australia.

Did she discuss with you that she might talk about it on the show before she went in or was it spontaneous?
Not really, we spoke about what would come up and I told her to just be true to herself and don't judge anyone. We spoke about that. And I said, you are going to be in an environment where you are talking about yourself and your experiences and things will come up in conversation and I suppose you should use those to help others.

When she first revealed it to you, how did it make you feel?
It does make you feel uncomfortable but I'm not in a position to judge anyone or know the situation, I wasn't there.

All I can say is that it affects people, and it affects people for a long, long time. If you're in that situation, you've really got to do something it. You're the one that has to walk away or get help or break the chain to make a difference or do something like that.

The Olympian has shown incredible strength.
The Olympian has shown incredible strength.

You must be so proud of her – both about this and generally with the show?
Yeah definitely she's showing her true self - her caring side. She described herself as a giraffe, that's her favourite animal, she'll stick her neck out for anyone that needs support. She is definitely showing the mother figure.

You wrote a beautiful valentine’s note to Lisa, are you usually such a romantic?
I am a romantic. When I proposed to her, I rescheduled our holiday to go to Malta. We kept it really secretive. I took her to where I was brought up as a child to meet my family and to propose to her. I wanted to propose to her on a yacht so I took her to the beautiful bay called Blue Lagoon where I used to work in Cammino. I had the ring organised - I'd carried it around in my briefcase for three months.

We had dinner on the deck of the yacht and I had a friend of mine from Malta to play classical guitar. Right on sunset I gave him the nod and he played and I prepared a little speech on how I was feeling and how I had been feeling for the last quite a few months. It was just beautiful, perfect. We had an instant soul connection - it's an amazing feeling actually. I miss her terribly. She's such a huge part of me now, I'm at a loss. I think this is the longest you’ve been apart...
Yeah, we're never apart. Apart from a couple of days when we're working but we even work together as well. She does keynote speaking and I'll do the entertainment so it works well. We're inseparable really, We do everything together, we're just perfect together really.

What parts are easy and what’s hard?
I'm enjoying managing all her social media and emails. I even noticed she had two lots of car insurance for the same car so I'm saving her money. I also got a refund on things she shouldn't be paying so I've been really busy actually and I'm going to continue on so that she's less stressed.

But don't call me her PA, call me her manager! She doesn't want me to be her personal assistant and I agree, I'm not that sort or person but I'd do anything for her. I'm really enjoying handling all that side of things for her just so that she can come back and it's all done and all perfect.

Everything is really hard about being apart, going to bed at night and waking up in the morning, Just talking about her, I'm emotional now. It's hard and just watching her get emotional on TV and I can't be there, that's really hard.How do you think Lisa is coming across on the show?
I call her coach Curry when she's strong and then there's a softer side to her which is Lisa and I'm seeing both of that. That's what I told her to be. I said don't put on a front, don't try and be coach Curry, be yourself and show the softer side and she's doing that perfectly.

Has this distance made you want to hurry up and make her Mrs Tabone?
It doesn't change anything - I already had those feeling for her before she left. We're planning the wedding but the distance does confirm just how much I really love her and the heart will grow stronger.

Can you picture her walking down the aisle towards you?
I can picture our first meeting when she comes out of the jungle. I've got a couple of things lined up. A little getaway... When we get back to Sydney I'll take her out to her favourite restaurant, Sakana in Mooloolaba and she can choose what she wants!

What’s the most surprising thing about Lisa that many people wouldn’t know?
People are quick to judge and I've learnt that the first thing that you do is that you don't judge anyone. I think people will be surprised to see the softer side of her and how caring she is really instead of just being strong and tough.

Lisa has been making strides in the jungle.
Lisa has been making strides in the jungle.

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