Charlie Newling, the star of The Bachelorette who drove his car off a cliff to his death on the weekend, wrestled with drugs, alcohol and the pitfalls of reality TV fame in his final months.
The sudden death of the 36-year-old, whose car burst into flames after being driven off a cliff at Dover Heights in Sydney’s east on Saturday night, came as a shock to viewers of the series.
However close friends say the handsome tradie was being swamped by addictions, leading to disturbing behaviour that brought a court conviction.
Even the birth of a baby daughter two months ago could not arrest his tragic decline.
Friends say Charlie was on a downward spiral after recieving backlash from the public
Charlie Newling (pictured centre) got off crystal meth in 2020 but struggled with alcohol addiction in recent years
One insider said he was unable to cope with the backlash and negative publicity that came with appearing on the reality match-making show – and turned to the drug ice as an escape.
‘Charlie’s demon was meth a few years back. Because of it he said his wiring in his brain was screwed,’ a friend told Daily Mail Australia.
‘He got off meth in 2020.’
‘He went to Queensland to escape meth and found himself on an Aboriginal tribe land,’ they added.
It was in Queensland where he met his on-again, off-again partner Kristal Taylor.
However, his demons caught up with him when the pair returned to Sydney and began living in Sydney’s east in 2021.
‘They moved in together but he was out of control with drinking and prescription drugs.’
He checked into a rehab clinic in 2022.
Friends and family have witnessed Newling’s declining mental health and alarming alcohol abuse in recent years.
‘His biggest addiction was booze,’ the friend said.
Daily Mail Australia understands NSW Police were called to an incident involving Newling in 2022 which was believed to involve self-harm.
Two days after being kicked off The Bachelorette, footage emerged of him being wrestled to the ground outside the The Golden Sheaf in Double Bay
The father-of-two found fame on Ali Oetjen’s season of The Bachelorette in 2018 and quickly became a frontrunner
In September last year, he was convicted of threatening to torture and kill his stepfather following 37 disturbing text messages.
Newling started off the barrage of messages by texting his mother to say: ‘Just so you know I’m still alive, doing well and been thinking of you xx’.
His mother replied ‘good news’ and sent some love heart emojis.
However, this seemed to set Newling off, who then began a tirade of death threats for his stepfather.
‘What if I’m outside right now… Reckon the cops can come that quick… I know where you live, where you work where you eat where you sleep. For all you know I’m in your backyard right now,’ one of the messages said.
The messages quickly became even darker.
‘I’d rather do life in jail to kill that p**** than live the life that you’ve both given me… His throat will be slit the next time he tries to go to work… or maybe when he’s at work… Or maybe when he’s taking the bins out… I know all your movements.
‘I hope you’ve got a good guard dog because the cops aren’t going to do s**t even with an AVO on me. They’re not gonna sit outside your house. How’s it feel knowing your C*** of a husband has a knife coming to his neck, you have no idea where or when.’
In court, Magistrate Ross Hudson acknowledged Newling suffered significant childhood trauma, including having to care for his biological father when he was a teenager after his father had an accident and became paraplegic. His father later died in 2018 from an overdose of pain medication.
At the time of the threats, he was on a court order following a mid-range drink driving offence in 2021.
Magistrate Hudson sentenced Newling to a 13-month prison sentence commuted to an intensive correction order served in the community.
Police and ambulance workers arrived at Raleigh Reserve after being contacted by locals who found his car on fire at the bottom of a 70-metre cliff (pictured)
A police spokesman confirmed Saturday night’s crash was not being treated as suspicious
Newling died after his car went over a cliff in Dover Heights at 11pm on Saturday.
Police and ambulance workers arrived at Raleigh Reserve after being contacted by locals who found his car on fire at the bottom of the 70-metre cliff.
Special Operations Paramedics, the Medical Rescue Helicopter, Water Police, Police Rescue and Fire & Rescue NSW attended.
Police sighted a car at the base of the 70-metre cliff.
A single responder from the medical retrieval helicopter winched down to assess if any occupants were inside the car. The helicopter hovered metres away from the cliff face during the delicate winching operation.
Mr Newling was the only occupant and was dead, trapped inside the car.
Tragically, his death came only eight weeks after Kristal gave birth to their first child, a daughter.
Charlie also has a 13-year-old son from a previous relationship.
The father-of-two found fame on Ali Oetjen’s season of The Bachelorette in 2018 and quickly became a frontrunner.
But fans turned on him over his so-called controlling behaviour towards Ali, including refusing to introduce her to his family until they were ‘exclusive’.
Just two days after being kicked off The Bachelorette, footage emerged of him being wrestled to the ground outside the The Golden Sheaf pub in Double Bay.
Newling, who had appeared on The Project earlier that night, said he had been drinking and was celebrating his time on the show with friends when a scuffle broke out with bouncers about 10.50pm.