Holly Valance now – going broke to royal pals, super yacht and billionaire hubby
Holly Valance was just 16 when she joined Australian soap Neighbour as Felicity ‘Flick’ Scully in 1999.
She was an instant hit and moved to the UK in 2002 to launch a music career, heading straight to number one with her debut single, Kiss Kiss.
But despite her success, by the time she was 19, the stunning singer and actress was broke, having being forced to pay £150,000 to her former manager after he claimed she’d tried to walk away from her contract.
It meant her dreams of buying a house for her mum had to be shelved, and after her second album State of Mind failed to make it into the top 50, she also walked away from music, insisting it ‘wasn’t fun anymore’.
Holly told the Sunday People: “The case also cost millions of dollars in lawyers’ fees. I was not all that wealthy, either.
“I had to think of it as a new beginning. I thought, ‘It is just a number in a bank account – now you see it now you don’t’.
“I would have been really disappointed had I already bought the house for mum then had to give it back. But I did not grow up with money so knew I could live without it.”
Determined to start over, Holly decided to take a leaf out of the book of Australian actresses Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts and try her luck in Hollywood.
With no work lined up, she bravely booked a flight and vowed to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity that came her way.
She explained: “When I talked about moving to Hollywood Mum said, ‘Yes, go for it’. So I got on a plane to LA. I hired a car, looked at a map and drove myself to a place I’d rented.
“I thought, ‘Get to know your way around.’ I decided to accept every invitation for functions, dinners and balls and threw myself in the deep end.”
Her bold move paid off and the film and TV roles started coming in. Holly appeared in CSI: Miami, Entourage, Prison Break and 2008 Liam Neeson movie Taken while enjoying the anonymity of Los Angeles.
But a chance meeting with British billionaire Nick Candy in 2009 changed everything.
When the pair first crossed paths at a dinner party, the Melbourne-born star had no idea who the property tycoon was.
“I didn’t know anything about him. I just thought ‘Cor, if I didn’t fancy you so much, we’d be the best of friends. Instead, I just want to make out with you all the time,'” she told the Daily Mail.
And she ‘freaked out’ and almost ended things when she discovered just how wealthy he really was, admitting it was ‘just too much’.
In a panic she rang her mum, who convinced her to give Nick, now 48, a chance, and she moved back to London to be with him.
“I was used to razzle dazzle and meeting lots of famous people, but I wasn’t used to super-yachts and private jets,” she said of adapting to Nick’s lifestyle.
For one birthday he gifted her a £20,000 Rolex Daytona watch. “I am a spoilt brat. My friends and my sister say: ‘I hate you!’ when I show them what he’s bought me,” she added.
But on top of the homes in Monaco and London and the private plane, it was Nick and his brother Christian’s £50 million super-yacht Candyscape II that really blew her mind.
She added: “When I saw the boat for the first time, I was stunned and said “Oh dear God! It’s a mansion on water. It’s incredible.”
After Holly finished in fourth place on Strictly in 2011, Nick whisked her off to the Maldives and popped the question on the beach in front of flaming torches that spelled out ‘Will you marry me’.
They tied the knot it a lavish outdoor ceremony in Beverly Hills in 2012, at a reported cost of £3million. The happy couple apparently paid Katy Perry £1.2million to perform for guests that included Simon Cowell.
The following November, Holly gave birth to their daughter Luka, followed by her little sister Nova in September 2017.
These days, Holly and her family still call London home. They’re friends with royalty and were guests at the wedding of Princess Eugenie.
And as well as giving large chunks of her time to charity work, she’s also a gym devotee.
Having fluctuated between a size 8 and size 14 over the years, the star recently revealed that as a busy mum, she relies on exercise to stay balanced.
She told the Made By Mammas Podcast: “[I do] very little, but gym has become something I have to do for my mental health.
“My husband doesn’t understand if I get upset if I can’t go to the gym it keeps my energy up it keeps my endorphins going and I panic a bit if I can’t get to the gym.”
She’s said her days of writhing around in barely-there outfits are long gone, and admitted Nick nearly ‘had a coronary’ when he saw some of her raunchy pop videos.
She joked: “I am so shy now. I’ve turned into a grandma.”