WHY THE BLOODY HELL ARE THEY SO MEAN TO LARA BINGLE?

Exactly what heinous crime against the free world did Lara Bingle commit?

In a celebrity-obsessed town where crime figures become celebrities and starlets vie for media attention, no matter how banal or tawdry, Bingle has learnt the hard way that not all publicity is good publicity.

Her private life has been turned upside down, her most personal details served up for public consumption, she is chased by paparazzi every day and had her photos digitally altered to give a false impression she was having a relationship with someone. She has even been romantically linked to her gay interior decorator, and in OK magazine this week her ''mystery new hunk'' turned out to be her brother, Josh.

''It's really embarrassing … my family don't think it's very funny any more but what can I do?'' she asked PS this week.

Probably the most damning was the suggestion her image was no longer wholesome. At 23, all she ever wanted to do was pursue a career as a model, go shopping her girlfriends and find ''Mr Right''. How unwholesome is that?

Having weathered a year's worth of scandalous headlines and sensational stories, the majority of which she says are untrue, Bingle now faces the prospect of losing a $250,000 modelling contract with Speedo, despite the fact her name is constantly in the news and she is tipped for big things next year, including Dancing with the Stars.

''I thought things were getting back on track after a rough couple of months and boom, here it comes again,'' Bingle told PS at Tuesday night's swanky Moet party for the premiere of Love & Other Drugs.

Speedo denies it plans to dump her, however the company has hired Rachael Finch as its new face, a title previously held by Bingle.

Still mourning the loss of her father to cancer a little over two years ago, this year her engagement to the cricketer Michael Clarke ended in April - the coverage of which bordered on the absurd, such as who would get custody of the pet dogs to reports, since denied, that she flushed a $200,000 diamond engagement ring down the toilet.

She has been linked to six different men since breaking up with Clarke, including Kyle Sandilands, to which her manager, Titus Day, responded bluntly: ''Do you really think that is very likely?''

Yes, PS admits to having featured Bingle for crimes against fashion and the occasional social faux pas, but she has always taken it in her stride and with considerable grace.

''I can laugh at myself and don't mind a joke but this is getting to the point where I am constantly under attack and most of it is just made up. ''Even when I say it's not true they just go ahead and publish it but they never say who their sources are.'

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
Date: 11th December 2010