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Pettifleur Berenger opens up about her tremendous weight-loss, legal woes with ‘Switch the Bitch’ and ongoing feud with Gamble Breaux


PETTIFLEUR Berenger is rocking a killer body.

The 51-year-old property developer has lost 4kgs – down from 54kg to 50kg – in four months and puts the amazing transformation down to hard work, exercise and eating a balanced diet.

“I’ve always had a trainer and I’ve always worked out, but I’ve just been eating crap. I’m a big sweet tooth. I’m not giving it up completely, but I’ve cut it out. I’m eating clean and I’m working out really hard,” she told Celebrity Lane.


Pettifleur Berenger has lost 4kgs in four months and is wrapped with her new look, Source: Supplied.

“I make sure that when I go to the gym I do a really good routine to speed up my metabolic rate, I eat more often and I’m doing things to keep toned and to keep fit. It shows on the outside when your clean and fit on the inside, it’s simple.”

While Berenger is wrapped with her new look, she’s quick to refute claims she’s had surgery to change her appearance.

“Your body and your face do not look youthful if you’ve gone under the knife because your body sags out and your face is lifted to the north. I’ve got a very youthful body. I’ve got a very youthful face. Born this way, deal with it. That’s all I’ve got to say,” she said on the line from her penthouse suite on Collins St where she is back at her desk following a mammoth publicity tour to promote The Real Housewives of Melbourne.

“I’ve done nothing, I’m not worried about anyone accusing me of doing any fillers or botox, it’s just weight loss.

“Sure, I’ve got a really amazing make-up artist who enhances my features, but when you lose weight, your cheekbones are more prominent, your chin gets loose, your eyes look big and your mouth gets big. I’m just blessed with very good features and it’s popped out with the weight-loss.”



Pettifleur Berenger says her amazing body transformation is due to hard work, exercise and eating a balanced diet, Source: Supplied.


This is not the first time Berenger has been forced to defend herself in the wake of a scandal.

The Sri Lankan beauty was staring down the barrel of a fierce legal battle last year when former US political staffer Omarosa Manigault saw comparisons between her book – released in 2008 and named The Bitch Switch: Knowing How to Turn It On and Off – and Berenger’s Switch the Bitch release.

She was sent a cease and desist letter requesting she forfeit the title to her book, given the conceived similarities to the book published by Manigault.

Switch the Bitch is a self-help book designed to inspire, empower and educate women worldwide.


Switch the Bitch, a self-help book by Real Housewives star Pettifleur Berenger, Source: Amazon.

Berenger, a strong-minded woman with a keen business sense, was in no mood to give up the title and hired a lawyer to investigate.

She says she was never threatened with legal action over her Switch the Bitch book, claiming she had stolen the idea from one of Donald Trump’s former Apprentices.

“Look, there’s a lot of morons around who are going to try to send me a letter like one person did, but they’re all stupid. So no I wasn’t concerned. I laughed,” she said.

“How many books are there out there with the title ‘Fearless’? I’ve actually researched at least 20. My book is the ‘only’ title in the ‘entire’ world with Switch the Bitch and I’m the sole author. I rest my case.”


Not concerned: Pettifleur says the legal letter was a fake and the law firm at centre of the claim denies writing such document, Source: Foxtel.

She says the letter was “a fake” and the law firm at the centre of the claim denies ever writing such document.

“That letter ended up being a fake. This letter when I received it, the first thing I did was went and announced my book online and everyone went ‘is she crazy?’ Well, that’s my answer honey, that’s how much I care.

“I had my lawyer, laughably, look into it because it was overseas and you don’t know their rules and what they’re like. So he did, and it cost me to have the letter investigated and he came back telling me the law firm denies having sent that. Basically, it was just a fake for publicity, or for the other author, I don’t know,” she said.

“As far as the girls are concerned, they all need to go and get an education, especially the lawyer.

“Anyone will know you cannot plagiarise a title, only the content and my content is about real women, their real lives and true stories – so they can go kiss my butt.”


Fierce: Pettifleur is a Melbourne-based property developer and current star of Real Housewives of Melbourne, Source: Foxtel, Supplied.

Berenger insists the book is different to that of Manigault and bluntly refutes claims of plagiarism.

“If someone has gone into my brain and knows every person I’ve spoken to, and listened to their stories and written a book, then there’s possibly the chance it exists. But, this is real-life women, their real-life stories and real-life situations. It’s stories about particular women, the situation and the way it can be managed to get a result and the reward you get from switching the bitch. It’s about switching the behaviour, not being a bitch.”


Smoking: Pettifleur Berenger pictured at the opening night of Ghost the Musical in Melbourne last month, Source: Julie Kiriacoudis, Herald Sun.

“The way the book was portrayed on the show is like being a bitch, but it’s switching the bitch to be an amazing person who controls their own emotion — to be the person, who when you walk away from the room, you leave better than the way you were before. I’m very proud of it and that it’s helping women and it’s selling. I have no issues, I’m not concerned.”

Her only regret is not using the scandal to her advantage, the perfect chance to promote the book worldwide.

“I should have taken it to town. I should have milked it for everything. And, the only reason I didn’t do it is because I couldn’t be stuffed,” she said.

“I don’t care about gaining anything from putting that book out. I put it out because I want to help other women be as super fierce and as super strong as I have been in my life. If they’re too dumb and they want to listen to the crap out there, then they can do that. And, if they read my book, then perhaps they can get something out of it and enhance their life.”


Pettifleur is a Melbourne-based property developer and current star of Real Housewives of Melbourne, Source: Foxtel, Supplied.

Undoubtedly, Switch the Bitch will become the subject of much discussion on the current season of Housewives, of which Berenger appears alongside seven other women including Gamble Breaux and Gina Liano.

The Foxtel series premiered on Arena on February 21 and tensions are already at boiling point.

Breaux is planning her wedding to leading eye surgeon Dr Rick Wolfe and can’t decide whether to invite Berenger to the ceremony.


Gamble Breaux and Dr Rick Wolfe, Source: Julie Kiriacoudis, Herald Sun.

Gamble invites the girls to her house for a cocktail party where she plans to issue the invitations. It’s not what you would call a sedate gathering, as the famed art collector’s intentions for a civil meeting between the girls, soon descends into chaos.

Reluctant to attend Breaux’s wedding, Pettifleur asks Breaux to reconsider her invitation.

She doesn’t want to be somewhere where she’s not welcome, especially if her presence is merely to make her the topic of conversation.

“I don’t want to be there because that’s her easy way out. If it’s her easy way out and to save face is to invite me, then that’s questionable and I think I have a right to know what her motives are for inviting me. I think I’m totally in my right to not want to go to a place where I’m not welcome.”

She describes the way she receives the invitation as “embarrassing and degrading” and believes the party was a way for Gamble to humiliate her in front of the girls.

“The intention was to humiliate me and then go ‘Oh yeah, and lets invite Pettifleur’, like seriously? I’m a grown woman with some respect for myself and some dignity and I very politely asked her ‘I would like you to reconsider your invitation’ and all hell broke loose.

“I have a right to be in a place where I’m welcome, not in a place that I’m not welcome and I’m only there cos it’s the easy way out. Simple.”


Pettifleur Berenger pictured on the red carpet at the Casino Royale gala in Melbourne, Source: Graham Denholm, Getty Images.

Berenger, in a long-term relationship with Melbourne businessman Frank Palazzo, is also at odds with fellow Housewife and former bestie Lydia Schivallo. But, the fierce brunette has every intention of mending that friendship.

“I definitely enjoy her company, we have a lot of fun and when I give my friendship it’s forthright and loyalty. It’s hard for me not to have her there (during their visit to the country), after having her there for so long, and I also didn’t like the fact the girls were putting knives into her back when she’s not there.

“I was sitting back and taking in all that was said because I need to find out for myself if there’s any truth to these accusations because it’s easy for women to get together and hate on one person and I’m not about that. I’m about making your own decisions and treat people the way you get treated.”

The Real Housewives of Melbourne airs Sunday nights at 7.30pm on Foxtel’s Arena channel.