I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

Even Miss Universe has to deal with dating drama! Just ask I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here star Maria Thattil

Inside her dating history and THOSE Joey Essex rumours.

By Maddison Leach
Maria Thattil already had a few notable achievements under her belt before she dropped into the jungle on the 2022 season of I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.
The model, writer, speaker and podcast host shot to fame in 2020 when she became Miss Universe Australia, in part because she represented big change for the pageant.
Standing at 5'3", not only is Maria a few heads shorter than the average model, she's also South-Asian Australian.
Australian models are often stereotyped as tall, white and blonde, but Maria broke barriers when she was crowned and has used her platform to spark conversations and inspire change.
Maria Thattil shot to fame in 2020 when she became Miss Universe Australia. (Image: Instagram)
Though some critics hurled vile abuse at the 28-year-old, Maria says their attacks only prove how important her message is.
"Every day I would open my phone and there would be criticisms and racism," she told WHO last year.
"But I realised that was why it was more important than ever that I didn't buckle under the pressure and kept going. This wasn't just for me but for a lot of Australians who don't ever see themselves represented."
She's since become something of a household name, especially as she appears in the new season of I'm A Celeb… but it's not her beauty or background that has people talking now.
After sparks seemed to fly between her and fellow contestant Joey Essex in the jungle, fans want to know all about Maria's love life – and we have answers!
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What is Maria Thattil's sexuality?

Maria came out as bisexual on I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! (Instagram)
Maria made waves on when she came out as bisexual on national TV, sharing her sexuality publicly for the first time during a conversation with I'm A Celeb... co-star David Subritzky.
While chatting about her budding romance with Joey Essex (more on that later) Maria confessed that she had experienced attraction to women in the past and wanted to explore that.
"Growing up I always thought maybe I was a little bi-curious. I only ever dated straight people but growing up I did have crushes on girls," she said.
Maria admitted that she "buried" her sexuality because it felt "easier" to just date men, but just before filming the 28-year-old "hooked up with" a woman at a party.
She went on to say: "It just felt natural... I don't want to carry any shame or stigma about it... I just want to break out of that."
The model later took to Instagram to confirm that she identifies as bisexual, revealing that her brother Dom, who is gay, helped her accept herself.
"My brother took my call at midnight last night and talked it over with me - and I realised the reason I've been so f--king scared to do this is exactly why I need to," she penned.
Since coming out, Maria has been praised by celebrity pals and high-profile members of the Australian LGBTQ+ community.

Are Maria Thattil and Joey Essex dating?

Okay, let's not get ahead of ourselves here. While Joey and Maria appear to have spent a bit of time in the jungle flirting, nothing concrete has actually happened between them… yet.
In the show's fifth episode the duo chatted briefly about what they look for in a partner, Joey joking that he ticks all of Maria's boxes.
"I like people who are adventurous, creative and open," the model said during a brief moment of downtime.
Joey responded: "I've pretty much got all them things. If there was a piece of paper with a load of boxes, I reckon every one would be ticked."
Later, both contestants gushed to producers about how well they were getting along, Joey telling the cameras that "something is there" between him and Maria.
"I think we've hit it off really, really well, we're having great conversation. It's really lovely. He is very charming," Maria added separately.
More recently, she revealed to the Daily Telegraph that she and Joey are "still in contact" after filming, but wouldn't give anything else away.
There definitely seems to be a connection between the two beautiful contestants, but only time will tell how far it goes.

Is Maria Thattil single?

"I think we've hit it off really, really well, we're having great conversation." (Images: Instagram)
As far as we know, Maria is 100 per cent single – or at least, she was when she started filming I'm A Celeb.
The model seemed to confirm her relationship status in a recent Instagram post where she talked about her future.
Addressing talk of a romance between her and Joey, Maria wrote: "I am 28 and fulfilled focusing on my career without knowing IF marriage and kids are for me.
"The timeline is arbitrary, and the things we think we 'have to do' are a social construct. Do whatever makes you happy.
"I still get pressure from family and strangers, but I believe that if you're ever going to disappoint anyone when it comes to your life - it shouldn't be yourself.☺️"
The caption suggested that romance just isn't the focus in Maria's life right now, but maybe Joey could change that?

Who has Maria Thattil dated in the past?

Maria has kept fairly quiet about her romantic past. (Image: Instagram)
Despite leading a pretty public life, Maria has kept fairly quiet about her romantic past and hasn't dated any other notable celebs as far as we know.
Though she tends to play things close to the chest, the 28-year-old opened up about her outlook on love in a 2021 column for 9Honey.
"Every relationship I've had has gifted me with either fond memories or a lesson. I've learned that falling in love isn't enough to sustain a connection," she penned.
Maria went on to reveal that she had one "big" past relationship with a man she considered her best friend, who shared so many similar values to her.
But in the end things didn't work out because he "wasn't on stable ground" and they both had very different plans for the future.
They ended up parting ways, but Maria added that the relationship helped her learn how to love herself, even though it didn't work out.
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