TV sweetheart Jess Marais checks into health clinic
GOLD Logie nominee Jessica Marais has checked into a prestigious private Sydney mental health facility and has bowed out of tonight's Logies ceremony to focus on her treatment.
The four-time Logie Award winning actress, who is nominated for the television industry's top award as well as a Silver Logie for Most Popular Actress at tonight's ceremony, was admitted to The Sydney Clinic at Bronte two weeks ago after what close sources have told The Sunday Telegraph are "a number of urgent health issues" that have plagued the actress in recent years.
The 33-year-old star of popular television drama series Packed to the Rafters, Love Child and The Wrong Girl has been receiving care from psychiatrists, psychologists and nursing staff while attending daily counselling sessions.
The Sydney Clinic's website says it specialises in group therapy for problems such as depression, mood disorders and addictions.
Sources close to Marais have confirmed the actress is also participating in a detox and inner health program.
The golden girl of Australian television released a statement through her agency, RGM Artists, on Wednesday announcing her shock withdrawal from tonight's Logies' ceremony on the Gold Coast.
"It is with much disappointment that we advise Jessica Marais is unable to attend the TV Week Logie Awards due to her health," RGM Artists said.
Marais, a darling of the entertainment industry and one of the country's most in-demand actors, is expected to watch tonight's Logies ceremony from her room in the Bronte clinic, where inpatient programs typically cost $25,000 and run for a minimum of four weeks.
Patients in the program are checked hourly by staff in the critical days early days of their treatment.
Two weeks into her program, Marais is said to be making good progress and was last week able to leave the facility to participate in external yoga classes and go for runs.
In 2014, after quitting Rafters for a Hollywood film career that didn't quite take off, Marais opened up about her battle with bipolar disorder that she said she had struggled with since age 12.
"I was diagnosed at one point with bipolar. I have developed ways to talk myself down from any ledges I find myself on," she said.
"There's probably one day a month when I am an absolute mess. In my case it's hard to separate what is due to trauma or stress and what is due to a simple chemical imbalance."
Following her graduation from NIDA in 2007, Marais joined the cast of Channel 7's Packed To The Rafters leading to a deluge of television work including on Channel 9's Love Child, which was axed last year, and Network 10s The Wrong Girl, which 10 looks to have quietly shelved after just two seasons.
The actress received rare unfavourable press in 2016 when her former partner, actor James Stewart, who she met and fell in love with on the set of Channel 7's Rafters, gave an interview in which he described himself as the "full-time carer" of the couple's young daughter, Scout, who turned six last month.
"I am the full-time carer for Scout as Jess is busy working and travelling a lot," the Home And Away star told a newspaper, one year after the couple's famously bitter bust-up. "When Jess is back, Scout is shared 50/50."
Scout is understood to be currently in her father's care.
Marais is now in a new live-in relationship with little-known Sydney photographer Jake Holly, who reportedly introduced the actress to Hillsong Church in February.
The Sydney Clinic is regarded as one of the best private clinics in the country.
High-profile former inpatients include disgraced Brownlow medallist Ben Cousins, depressed Sydney stockbroker Rene Rivkin and former ice addict Harriet Wran, who was later convicted of being an accessory to the murder of a drug dealer.
Michelle Elliott, head of entertainment at talent agency RGM Artists, which also represents Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Rebecca Gibney and Erik Thomson, Marais's on-air parents on Packer To The Rafters, could not be reached yesterday for comment concerning Marais's ongoing health problems.