Confirmed: Bachelorette fave is still married
HE'S the multi-millionaire playboy heavily tipped to win the heart of The Bachelorette's Sophie Monk.
But hotel heir Stuart Laundy has kept one crucial detail under wraps - he is still married.
Despite his status as a so-called 'bachelor' on the show, Laundy - who finally enters the series this Wednesday as an 'intruder' - is still finalising his divorce settlement four years after his wife Rachel instigated a separation.
And friends close to the self-described 'publican playboy' say Laundy has dragged his feet to formalise the divorce because he has always hoped to reconcile with his childhood sweetheart - even during his stint on the Ten reality show.
Despite Laundy's best efforts, it's understood Rachel has made it clear that a reconciliation is off the table with plans for the couple of finalise their divorce in the coming months and ultimately share custody of their four daughters.
Contacted this week Laundy confirmed his marriage is technically still valid and even admitted he was, until recently, desperate to repair his relationship with Rachel.
"I prefer being married, absolutely. (Divorce) wasn't my decision," said Laundy, the brother federal MP Craig Laundy.
"But any chance of reconciling is pretty-much over I would say.
"And that's basically why the divorce has taken so long. I really wanted to work it out."
It's understood Laundy informed The Bachelorette producers of his marriage status during filming of the show which concluded several weeks ago.
Meanwhile friends of his wife Rachel say that while she and Laundy maintain a cordial relationship, she is a "reluctant participant" in the media circus surrounding his new-found fame.
It's understood the mum-of-four was furious to be incorrectly named recently as a possible cast member of Foxtel's new season of Real Housewives of Sydney.
She has also been forced to fend off reporters at her Double Bay home as her husband continues to firm as the likely winner of Ten's The Bachelorette which wraps up later this month.
"Rachel is not enjoying the attention at all ... it's not a world she is comfortable in," says a close source.
Rachel declined to comment when contacted this week.
Meanwhile more details continue to leak out about Laundy's appearance on the show which rattles many of the other contestants vying for Monk's heart.
One onset source claims the pub scion makes a big early impression when he tells Monk that, should she choose him as her suitor, she will; "never have to worry about money every again".
Laundy, along with his brother Craig, is an heir to a hotel fortune estimated to be worth around $500 million.