Reference > Erinsborough News > Jessica's Heartbreak
Heartbroken former Neighbours star Jessica Muschamp weeps as she reveals how the man who promised to marry her conned her of $10,000 and then dumped her.
Jessica – Sharon in the hit soapie – says English disc jockey Andrew Downes, 26, interviewed her in July last year when she was staying in England.
She says: “He took me out for dinner and sparks flew between us. He was handsome, funny, gentle. I fell for him.”
Jessica, 21, who earned $40,000 a year before quitting the soap in April last year, adds that just eight weeks after meeting her, he proposed. She says: “I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy. He proposed in a little pub in Yorkshire while we were on holiday.”
Andrew began to borrow money in October last year for petrol and bills. Jessica says: “By March the amount he was borrowing was increasing. I paid for everything and started to get into money problems. I insisted he sign an agreement promising to pay me back by the end of April.”
The end of April arrived and with her contracts in England up, Jessica returned to Melbourne. Andrew was due to follow in a week but days before she left he told her he had landed a freelance TV job.
She says: “I missed Andrew terribly, but he called almost every day. Each time he promised he had booked a plane ticket and swore he had sent money. None arrived.”
Then Andrew said he had a flight on May 26. “We arranged a huge family party, but eight hours before the plane was due to land Andrew rang and said he wasn’t coming – he didn’t have the money.”
The last time she spoke to him he said he was flying out for her 21st birthday party in September.
“That was the last I heard of him,” says Jessica. “My parents arranged a party and I pretended to enjoy myself, but I spent the whole night listening for a taxi. By the end of the night, I realised it was over. He hadn’t turned up. I knew I wouldn’t hear from him again. He took my innocence and destroyed everything – my trusting nature and my belief in other human beings.”
This article originally appeared in New Idea magazine, dated 30th November 1991