Their relationship has withstood a series of personal and professional setbacks but now Lara Bingle and her BFF Hermione Underwood are parting ways professionally.
Underwood, who stepped in as Bingle's manager a year ago, confirmed to Confidential yesterday that she no longer acted on the behalf of the swimsuit model turned reality star, handing the reins over to Sally Brown and Chrissy Biasotto at Tailor Maid Management in Surry Hills.
The move has raised eyebrows given the well-known closeness of the two girls, who have been virtually inseparable since meeting on a plane flight four years ago.
Since teaming up professionally - after Bingle sacked her previous manager Titus Day - Bingle has been a hit with several ventures including an eyewear collaboration, a series of lucrative modelling campaigns and, most recently, her own reality series on Ten.
According to 'friends', the recent split - which is addressed in the upcoming Being Lara Bingle - has added a level of awkwardness to their relationship given the pair are living together in their rented Bondi penthouse for the show.
"They're putting on a harmonious front but things are tense since Lara decided to get new management," said a friend.
But Underwood, currently in Mumbai with Bingle (where she still has a big profile on the back of her affiliation with Michael Clarke), denied there was any personal beef behind the split and said the pair simply wanted to "go back to being best friends".
"I came on board a year ago because I believed in Lara and we achieved a lot of goals together but it was never really intended to be a long-term, permanent thing," Underwood said.
"I have a lot of personal dreams which I put aside to do this job and now that's something I want to go back and focus on.
"But we're still best friends and I will continue to advise her ... but not as a manager. Just a friend."
Asked if a personal "falling out" sparked the split, Underwood said: "No, but that would probably make a better story."
Source: Sydney Confidential
Published Date: 31st May 2012