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The Block: Tanya Guccione tells the full story behind the cheating scandal

Tanya Guccione has spoken out about her ‘villainous’ portrayal after being at the centre of the biggest cheating scandal in The Block’s 17-year history.

The makeup artist, 39, became public enemy number one after an ‘anonymous tradie’ sent her a photo of the show’s production schedule, giving her and husband Vito – plus the Packham twins – an unfair advantage over their rivals.

While both teams had two points deducted from their basement challenge, the scandal continues to cause tension on the building site – with Ronnie and Georgia Caceres in particular unwilling to forgive Tanya.

But speaking to Daily Mail Australia this week, Tanya was adamant that more people were involved in the scandal – before making bombshell claims about what really happened behind the scenes at Bronte Court.

‘There’s no doubt I lit the match. But that fire kept a lot of people warm, let me tell you,’ the mother of two said in her most uncensored interview to date.

‘It’s hard to take the full brunt of it when you know there were other willing participants, to be honest.’ 

Her side of the story: Tanya Guccione has spoken out about her ‘villainous’ portrayal after being at the centre of the biggest cheating scandal in The Block’s 17-year history

Tanya said she was wary of speaking further about the incident after being threatened with a defamation lawsuit from one of her co-stars and a builder.

‘I have to be completely honest, I was afraid many times,’ she said. 

‘There was chitter chatter of, “We’ll sue for defamation if you say this or do that.” 

‘I thought the best thing for me to do moving forward was to say, “I take full responsibility, and I’m sorry”.’

Bad girl: Tanya, 39, became public enemy number one after an 'anonymous tradie' sent her a photo of the show's production schedule, giving her and husband Vito - plus the Packham twins - an unfair advantage over their rivals. Pictured with co-conspirator Luke Packham (right)

Bad girl: Tanya, 39, became public enemy number one after an ‘anonymous tradie’ sent her a photo of the show’s production schedule, giving her and husband Vito – plus the Packham twins – an unfair advantage over their rivals. Pictured with co-conspirator Luke Packham (right)

While she wouldn’t reveal the names of those who allegedly made the threats, Tanya confirmed it was both a ‘builder and a contestant’.

‘It’s fair,’ she added. 

‘It can damage your character, it can damage your business. It’s damaged ours. People who don’t know us have questioned our integrity, so I get it.

‘They act out of fear, and everybody was just trying to protect themselves – including myself, as I was afraid of what was to come.’

Tanya and rival contestant Luke Packham had confessed to producers on the show to having received a photo of the production schedule from an ‘anonymous tradie’ – but she maintains her husband Vito had nothing to do with it.

Anyone who saw the photo would have the advantage of being able to plan their specifications weeks in advance, or pre-order something for a specific room. 

Interestingly, Tanya said she had since spoken to the tradie who sent her the image – but insisted she’ll never reveal his identity.

‘My tradie who sent me the photo is a good friend of mine,’ she said.

‘He’s texted me throughout the season going, “Do I need to speak to somebody? Do I need to be the one to come forward and say, this was actually something that really happened?”

‘I said, “No, not at all. I’m not going to put your business in that position.”‘ 

Title: Tanya has been portrayed as a 'villain' on The Block this year after a cheating scandal, but she insists she's not the only one to blame

Title: Tanya has been portrayed as a ‘villain’ on The Block this year after a cheating scandal, but she insists she’s not the only one to blame

Following the cheating scandal, Tanya has been portrayed as the show’s main ‘villain’ – which is something she never thought would happen.

‘I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would get the title of a villain,’ she said.

‘I never applied with that in mind, and my mum and everyone who knows me just laughs.

‘I never thought that would be me – ever. It’s hard to digest that could be the way that people are perceiving me. We watch it and think, “How did this happen?”‘

However, Tanya did acknowledge she would have perceived her actions with suspicion if she were a viewer – especially after seeing hidden-camera footage which showed her and Vito appearing to conspire before she confessed to producers.

The board in question: Tanya and rival contestant Luke Packham had confessed to producers on the show to having received a photo of the production schedule (pictured) from an 'anonymous tradie' - but she maintains her husband Vito had nothing to do with it

The board in question: Tanya and rival contestant Luke Packham had confessed to producers on the show to having received a photo of the production schedule (pictured) from an ‘anonymous tradie’ – but she maintains her husband Vito had nothing to do with it

More scandal: In hidden-camera footage, Tanya was later heard saying: 'I'm going to tell the camera what happened about the tradie sending me the photo. It was a number I didn't know, and I deleted it straight away. You've got to always have the same consistent story...'

More scandal: In hidden-camera footage, Tanya was later heard saying: ‘I’m going to tell the camera what happened about the tradie sending me the photo. It was a number I didn’t know, and I deleted it straight away. You’ve got to always have the same consistent story…’

In the footage, Tanya was heard saying: ‘I’m going to tell the camera what happened about the tradie sending me the photo. It was a number I didn’t know, and I deleted it straight away. You’ve got to always have the same consistent story…’

Speaking about the footage, she told Daily Mail Australia: ‘They’ve taken one little snippet and used that like I was scheming and scamming my way through.

‘I look so, so dodgy. It’s no secret that reality TV portrays anything but reality, but [viewers] also look at these reality stars and think the edited version is gospel.

‘We knew there were going to be some bad days coming, but we also thought they would show all facets of why some of our reactions are the way they are.

‘I’m sitting on the couch watching myself as a viewer, and I look at it and think: I wouldn’t like me either. Look at this incompetent, cheating cow. Why is she wondering why people don’t want to be friends with her?’

While the Gucciones and the Packhams were each slapped with two-point deductions for basement week, Tanya said the real punishment had been ‘living through this season’ and facing ‘dehumanising’ comments – including death threats – from trolls on social media.

Not a victim: 'I don't want to play the victim as I'm so grateful for the opportunity and the whole experience is a gift - whether it's good, bad, ugly, humiliating, awful - all of it is a part of life's journey,' Tanya said of the cheating scandal. Pictured with husband Vito

Not a victim: ‘I don’t want to play the victim as I’m so grateful for the opportunity and the whole experience is a gift – whether it’s good, bad, ugly, humiliating, awful – all of it is a part of life’s journey,’ Tanya said of the cheating scandal. Pictured with husband Vito 

‘There’s nights when we were taking sleeping pills because we weren’t sleeping at all. Not a wink. We were thinking: what if people find out where we live?’ she said.

‘One of my best friends is gay. They were spewing homophobic hate speech at him just for being associated with me. They make comments about my children and the way I parent. It is quite humiliating to go through what we went through on TV.

‘I understand they’re angry, but trust me, no one is suffering more than us.

‘However, I don’t want to play the victim as I’m so grateful for the opportunity and the whole experience is a gift – whether it’s good, bad, ugly, humiliating, awful – all of it is a part of life’s journey.’

Tanya also responded to a report by Daily Mail Australia last month that claimed members of the crew had branded her and Vito ‘the most annoying contestants’ in the show’s history.

Negativity: While the Gucciones and the Packhams were each slapped with two-point deductions for basement week, Tanya said the real punishment had been 'living through this season' and facing 'dehumanising' comments - including death threats - from online trolls

Negativity: While the Gucciones and the Packhams were each slapped with two-point deductions for basement week, Tanya said the real punishment had been ‘living through this season’ and facing ‘dehumanising’ comments – including death threats – from online trolls

Response: Tanya also responded to a report by Daily Mail Australia that claimed members of the crew had branded her and Vito 'the most annoying contestants' in the show's history

Response: Tanya also responded to a report by Daily Mail Australia that claimed members of the crew had branded her and Vito ‘the most annoying contestants’ in the show’s history

‘We absolutely adored the crew, but there’s no doubt there were moments they really didn’t know how to handle things – particularly Vito, as he would have severe anxiety attacks and meltdowns,’ she said.

‘He would want to run away and come back, and they’d be like: “We have to capture this.”

‘Were we the easiest contestants? Probably not. We couldn’t understand the process that they needed to film every facet of this show, and sometimes we just needed a break and there wasn’t a break.

‘I think that’s probably where they were coming from.’

Despite the backlash, Tanya has undoubtedly been the breakout star this season – a concept she finds ‘really bizarre’.

Breakout star: 'We went into the show with no intention of becoming renovation masters or professional interior decorators,' Tanya said. 'We were never about piggy-backing on The Block. I already have a career [that I] really, really still love'

Breakout star: ‘We went into the show with no intention of becoming renovation masters or professional interior decorators,’ Tanya said. ‘We were never about piggy-backing on The Block. I already have a career [that I] really, really still love’

‘We went into the show with no intention of becoming renovation masters or professional interior decorators. We were never about piggy-backing on The Block. I already have a career [that I] really, really still love.’ 

However, Tanya said she’s open to appearing on other reality shows like Celebrity Apprentice or I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in the future, so viewers get the chance to see ‘more of her and Vito’s character’.

‘Depending on what they are, I’d definitely be open to it because overall [The Block] was really fun,’ she said. 

‘We did hope that more of our personality and who we really are would have been shown, but obviously that does not fit the narrative.

‘We were hoping that at some point [The Block] would show Vito’s struggle with anxiety. For many years he felt ashamed of that struggle and we thought that would be a great way to speak about men’s mental health.’

Private battle: 'We were hoping that at some point [The Block] would show Vito's struggle with anxiety. For many years he felt ashamed of that struggle and we thought that would be a great way to speak about men's mental health,' she said

Private battle: ‘We were hoping that at some point [The Block] would show Vito’s struggle with anxiety. For many years he felt ashamed of that struggle and we thought that would be a great way to speak about men’s mental health,’ she said

When it comes to the cheating scandal, Tanya said she’s unsure if the public will ever know the whole truth of what happened.

‘There are more people that know exactly what went on, but that’s reality TV,’ she said. 

‘I think the truth will come out, but who knows what that will look like. 

‘I know the truth and I know what happened, but it just depends on who it’s pointed at. I’m watching it with everyone else.’

Tanya is still adamant no one ‘broke into’ host Scott Cam’s office to take a photo of the schedule – as was claimed on the show – instead saying it was on display where contestants used the bathroom. 

‘There was no weird break-in. That’s reality TV. I wasn’t the only one that used the bathroom,’ she said. 

‘But I don’t want to find myself where I’m blaming other people. I own it, I’ll take it.

‘We’re about putting our hands up and saying, “Fine. I’m responsible, call me the cheater, it’s fine.” Hello? We did cheat, absolutely. 

‘I don’t want to deflect or blame others or blame anybody other than myself, because that’s just tacky.’

Moving forward: When it comes to the cheating scandal, Tanya said she's unsure if the public will ever know the whole truth of what happened

Moving forward: When it comes to the cheating scandal, Tanya said she’s unsure if the public will ever know the whole truth of what happened

Away from the show, Tanya is a celebrity makeup artist with a significant following on Instagram, where she likes to show off her work.

When asked about the makeup trends for this summer, she said: ‘The trends that are coming are steering away from that heavily contoured look.

‘There’s this real love for glowing skin that us Australians particular love the most. Think a lot of glossy lips, shimmering eyes and a nice mascara – it never goes astray.’

Her go-to makeup brands are Trinny London, Giorgio Armani and YSL.

She said of her skincare routine: ‘I am a sucker for a good serum. I use a good hyaluronic acid with a pore-minimising mist, and I do love a brand called Osmosis skincare.

‘It is naturally derived and sourced, vegan. Then I use a moisturiser, and then – of course – sunscreen.’

The Block continues Monday at 7:30pm on Channel Nine

Success story: Away from the show, Tanya is a celebrity makeup artist with a significant following on Instagram, where she likes to show off her work

Success story: Away from the show, Tanya is a celebrity makeup artist with a significant following on Instagram, where she likes to show off her work

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk