Former McLeod’s Daughters and Baywatch Star Living in Seclusion with Son, Struggling Financially and Suffering Hair Loss

Former McLeod’s Daughters and Baywatch Star Living in Seclusion with Son, Struggling Financially and Suffering Hair Loss

Former actress Simmone Jade Mackinnon has spoken of falling on hard times after soaring to fame in the early 2000s.

Known for her pin-up girl looks, Mackinnon started her career in the American series Baywatch: Hawaii, which aired from 1999 to 2001, and then returned home for her starring role as Stevie Hall in popular drama McLeod’s Daughters from 2003 to 2009.

But her decade-long stint on television did not set Mackinnon up for life.

After McLeod’s Daughters ended, she drifted away from the industry and ended up in financial stress, which took such a toll on her that she suffered from panic attacks and hair loss.

These days, the 2007 Gold Logie nominee – who was once engaged to Hollywood star Jason Momoa – is living in a caravan with her 13-year-old son after stepping away from the limelight and going broke. 

She spoke of her heartbreaking situation on Nine’s reality show The Summit, where she is competing for a chance to win a life-changing $1million cash prize.

Former McLeod’s Daughters and Baywatch Star Living in Seclusion with Son, Struggling Financially and Suffering Hair Loss

Known for her pin-up girl looks, Simmone Jade Mackinnon started her career in the American series Baywatch: Hawaii, which aired from 1999 to 2001, and then returned home for her starring role as Stevie Hall in McLeod’s Daughters from 2003 to 2009 (pictured)

‘The last three years have been the hardest of my life,’ Mackinnon said.

‘And that caused severe anxiety. After a week of back-to-back panic attacks that led to massive hair loss.

‘There was big chunks just falling out so I had to shave it all off. You lose your hair and it’s a massive psychological hit.

‘I just hid. I hid away from everything and everyone for years.’

Simmone took an extended career break after McLeod’s Daughters was axed in 2009, telling the Advertiser she advised her agents she wanted to focus on raising her son, who she realised ‘would more than likely be my only child’.

After McLeod's Daughters ended, she drifted away from the industry and ended up in financial stress, which took such a toll on her she suffered from panic attacks and hair loss

After McLeod’s Daughters ended, she drifted away from the industry and ended up in financial stress, which took such a toll on her she suffered from panic attacks and hair loss 

Years later, in 2016, she bought a caravan with the intention of travelling the countryside.

But her road trip dreams never materialised and that caravan ended up parked on a family property for two years when her father became ill.

In a strange case of life imitating art, the ex-actress later took a job working on a cattle station in Rockhampton, Queensland, as a jillaroo.

These days, she is living in a caravan with her 13-year-old son after stepping away from the limelight and going broke

These days, she is living in a caravan with her 13-year-old son after stepping away from the limelight and going broke 

She said this period of her life was blissfully happy, describing the lifestyle as ‘priceless’ even though the money was just enough to break even. 

However, Mackinnon suffered another setback when the Covid pandemic hit.

She hit ‘rock bottom’ while trying to keep her online clothing business afloat. 

‘I poured everything I had into it. I’m proud to say it’s still going three years later but it is without a doubt the most stressful situation I have ever been in,’ she said.

Mackinnon's résumé includes '90s favourites Water Rats and All Saints, as well as a stint on U.S. TV with Baywatch: Hawaii (pictured), an offshoot of the uber-popular Baywatch that aired from 1999 to 2001 and launched the career of a young Jason Momoa

Mackinnon’s rĂ©sumĂ© includes ’90s favourites Water Rats and All Saints, as well as a stint on U.S. TV with Baywatch: Hawaii (pictured), an offshoot of the uber-popular Baywatch that aired from 1999 to 2001 and launched the career of a young Jason Momoa 

‘Living off credit cards, continually just praying people will like my new designs. It’s taken a massive toll mentally and at the beginning of last year, I suffered a physical toll when I lost all my hair due to the stress.

‘Rock bottom is where I found myself. And there’s really only one way you can go from there… and that is up.’

Mackinnon’s rĂ©sumĂ© includes ’90s favourites Water Rats and All Saints, as well as a stint on U.S. TV with Baywatch: Hawaii, an offshoot of the uber-popular Baywatch that aired from 1999 to 2001 and launched the career of a young Momoa.

She even became engaged to Momoa (pictured together in 2001), but their relationship ended after six years when Momoa - now a Hollywood A-lister known for roles in Aquaman and Game of Thrones - became romantically involved with actress Lisa Bonet

She even became engaged to Momoa (pictured together in 2001), but their relationship ended after six years when Momoa – now a Hollywood A-lister known for roles in Aquaman and Game of Thrones – became romantically involved with actress Lisa Bonet 

She even became engaged to Momoa, but their relationship ended after six years when Momoa – now a bona fide A-lister known for his roles in Aquaman and Game of Thrones – became romantically involved with actress Lisa Bonet.

After Baywatch, Mackinnon returned to Australia upon being cast on Channel Nine’s long-running drama McLeod’s Daughters (2003-2009). 

She is now back on Nine, albeit in a non-acting role, as a contestant on the reality series The Summit, where she is in the running for $1million.

After Baywatch, Mackinnon returned to Australia upon being cast on Nine's long-running drama McLeod's Daughters (2003-2009). She is now back on Nine, albeit in a non-acting role, as a contestant on the reality series The Summit, where she is in the running for $1million

After Baywatch, Mackinnon returned to Australia upon being cast on Nine’s long-running drama McLeod’s Daughters (2003-2009). She is now back on Nine, albeit in a non-acting role, as a contestant on the reality series The Summit, where she is in the running for $1million 

The action-adventure series, hosted by actor Jai Courtney and filmed on location in New Zealand, sees 14 contestants as they race to the top of a mountain.

Each contestant is tasked with carrying a backpack filled with $70,000 in cash, and if anybody quits the competition their money is subtracted from the total prize fund.

Also competing on the show is former Neighbours actress Olympia Bellchambers (née Valance).

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