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Home & heart: Louise Wallace’s strongest link

The Housewife divulges her real-life passions

She’s savvy and straight-talking, and even as controversy raged on The Real Housewives of Auckland, Louise Wallace managed to stay in control and avoid the scandal.

So what lies behind her amazing self-assurance? It turns out a solid and supportive family has a lot to do with it. Louise has been married to Scott for 33 years, and he and their kids, Ashley, 25, and Guy, 22, are her biggest fans.

“What you’re seeing is the real Louise,” gushes Scott, 57, at our Woman’s Day photo shoot. “She’s an intelligent woman who knows what she’s doing and saying, how she looks and how she wants to be seen.”

Louise and Scott first met while studying – she was sitting behind him in a lecture theatre. They became friends and, a year on, were a couple. “Louise manipulated that,” recalls Scott. “She got me a job working for her sister as a gardener and she’d just happen to whizz by in her little red Honda Civic.”

“He was very buff back in those days and much bigger because he was playing rugby,” smiles Louise. “Apparently, the neighbour used to peer through the hedge if he was gardening with his shirt off!”

The pair made it through two years of long-distance love while Louise was in London studying drama. And Scott even managed to weather her family’s high standards. “They were fearsome, absolutely terrifying,” he admits. “Louise’s father was phenomenally successful and elegant, really someone to look up to. And I remember coming round to take Lou out and her mum turning up with a little pad for me to write down exactly where we were going.”

But Scott confesses that asking Louise to marry him in 1983 wasn’t one of their most romantic moments. He popped the question while they were watching a film.

“It was really violent and everyone was being killed, and for some reason, I thought, ‘This is a good time to propose,’” remembers Scott. “Then she said, ‘I’ll think about it.’”

More than three decades on, though, it’s clear Louise’s eventual yes was the right decision. “We’re so compatible,” she says, explaining why she thinks their relationship has lasted. “We’re absolute best friends and we never run out of things to say to each other.”

In many ways, they have very different personalities, adds Scott. “I’m really tidy – she’s messy. I’m sensible and she’s more emotional. She’s got no sense of direction, whereas I can find my way anywhere.”

And while she may be strong and capable, Louise, 56, appreciates having Scott to lean on. He’s the first person she calls in a crisis – typically when she’s lost and running late.

“Although the best was when I was in a meeting and got this urgent message to call my wife because there had been an emergency,” says Scott. “So I left the meeting and rang her, and she said,‘The cat’s got a flea.’”

“I don’t believe that actually happened,” laughs Louise. “I think you’re making it up.”

While some partners would be wary of reality TV, Scott supported Louise’s decision to join Real Housewives.

“I understand she’s got a burning need to be a star,” he explains. “She wanted to be back in the limelight. If you say no to everything in life, you’ll never do things that are different or challenging.”

Not that Scott, who works in advertising, is loving seeing himself on television. “I’m so wooden – I’m like a robot,” he says ruefully. Children Guy and Ashley, who are both based in Sydney, were Woman’s Day regulars alongside their famous mum when they were growing up, but they had different responses when Louise asked them to get involved with Real Housewives.

“I wasn’t keen on our lives being filmed,” explains Guy, who works for a company that helps bright students gain admission to top universities. And he insists his mum is nothing like the tough character she portrayed as host of TV game show The Weakest Link.

“She’s a great mum, really fun. She loves throwing parties and having friends over. And while she always motivated us to study, she was never too strict with us.”

But Ashley happily admits reality TV is her guilty pleasure and unlike Guy, she was keen on the idea from the outset. “I was really excited. She’s always wanted to do more TV and this seemed her best opportunity – maybe her only opportunity – so she couldn’t pass it up.”

Ashley, who is studying for a Masters in Journalism at Sydney University, knew her mother was media savvy enough to handle the potential minefields of the show – unlike some of the other ladies, who haven’t come out of the experience unscathed.

“I think I would be feeling so differently if my mum was Julia or Michelle,” she admits. Both of those women were caught up in the show’s most provocative episode when Julia Sloane dropped the N-bomb, a racial slur that devastated Michelle Blanchard, who is of English and Jamaican descent. The drama had the whole country talking, but Louise is reluctant to say any more about it than she already has on screen.

“From a personal point of view, I thought it wasn’t my argument and it was best to leave it alone, and I still feel like that. It’s fraught with danger – anything you say can be misconstrued.”

While the series has now finished up on screens, she remains close with at least some of her fellow Housewives, particularly Anne Batley Burton.

“I see her every week at the moment,” she reveals. “I get on well with Gilda [Kirkpatrick] and through that with Michelle too because they come as a package. Angela I get on with, but probably wouldn’t mix socially with because we’re so different. Julia I don’t really have much in common with …”

While she has her fingers crossed for a second series, right now Louise is looking forward to a holiday. Once she has finished performing in the play The Pink Hammer at Auckland’s Pumphouse Theatre this month, she’ll be heading to California with some girlfriends and then on to London.

For Louise, who famously said she made her money “the old-fashioned way – by inheriting it!” – such fabulous international trips come along pretty regularly. “We have a lovely life and we’re grateful for it,” she says. “We don’t take anything for granted.”

Louise says she’s proud her children are successful, hardworking and independent, but deep down, she’s longing for the pitter-patter of tiny feet! “Scotty and I can’t wait to have grandchildren,” she says. “We love babies.”

What lies behind Louise Wallace’s amazing self-assurance? It turns out a solid and supportive family has a lot to do with it – including her husband of 33 years, Scott.

The couple are also proud parents to Ashley, 25, and Guy, 22.

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Quick Fire Questions with Louise Wallace

“What you’re seeing is the real Louise,” gushes Scott, 57, at our Woman’s Day photo shoot. “She’s an intelligent woman who knows what she’s doing and saying, how she looks and how she wants to be seen.”

Louise and Scott first met while studying – she was sitting behind him in a lecture theatre. They became friends and, a year on, were a couple.

“We’re so compatible,” she says, explaining why she thinks their relationship has lasted. “We’re absolute best friends and we never run out of things to say to each other.”

Louise’s daughter Ashley, who happily admits reality TV is her guilty pleasure, was “really excited” when she discovered her mum was joining the debut series of The Real Housewives of Auckland.

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Behind the scenes with The Real Housewives of Auckland

While the series has now finished up on screens, Louise remains close with at least some of her fellow Housewives, particularly Anne Batley Burton, who she says she sees “every week at the moment”.

Louise says she’s proud her children are successful, hardworking and independent, but deep down, she’s longing for the pitter-patter of tiny feet! “Scotty and I can’t wait to have grandchildren,” she says. “We love babies.”

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