Gabrielle Richens rose to fame in Australia after playing a stripper in a controversial Virgin Atlantic advert, where she adopted the nickname ‘The Pleasure Machine’.
And before long, the British model and TV star’s life was plastered across the tabloids – largely due to her high-profile romance with rugby league star Solomon Haumono – and she became a regular fixture in men’s magazines.
But Gabrielle, now 45, lives a very different life decades after the ad aired in the ’90s – ditching the spotlight to concentrate on her passion for skincare.
Where is Gabrielle ‘The Pleasure Machine’ Richens now? Playboy model who caused a smitten NRL star to quit his contract and chase her around the world lives a very different life today after her rise to fame in the 90s
What a change! Gabrielle Richens rose to fame in Australia after starring as a stripper for an iconic airline commercial, where she adopted the nickname ‘The Pleasure Machine’. Pictured left in 2003, right in 2021
Gabrielle, who now lives in London, is an NVQ-qualified skin therapist and anti-ageing skin coach and runs her own website, The Rich Skin Club.
She offers customers customised skincare regimes, one-one-one coaching and a blog about her favourite products to use.
‘I began modelling at the age of 15, long before the dawn of “Clean Beauty” brands,’ she says on her site. ‘So, I considered skin reactions an occupational hazard of a glamorous job for the first five years of my career.
Career change: Gabrielle, who is believed to now live in London, is an NVQ qualified skin therapist and anti-aging skin coach and runs her own website, The Rich Skin Club
‘Then I wised up and began schooling myself on ingredient lists. This is how I discovered that it wasn’t all beauty products I was allergic to, it was just the ones that were formulated with certain synthetic ingredients.’
Not only that, but Gabrielle is the global Beauty Editor at Luxuria Lifestyle International, described as ‘an all-encompassing guide to the affluent lifestyle.’
The brunette bombshell has shared a number of photos of herself on her page, looking barely a day over what she did decades ago.
Her complexion appears wrinkle-free and glowing, her hair still in a similar tousled styled and her makeup still as on point as it was in her twenties.
Success: Not only that, but Gabrielle is the global Beauty Editor at Luxuria Lifestyle International, described as ‘an all-encompassing guide to the affluent lifestyle’. Pictured on Thursday
During the Virgin Atlantic advert that made her famous, a voiceover says, ‘Step inside the pleasure machine,’ before showing a a bikini-clad Gabrielle dancing around a stripper pole.
She later adopted ‘The Pleasure Machine’ as a nickname.
‘In Australia, everyone has a nickname, so when people saw the commercial, it just stuck. I love it; I think it’s great!’ she told Muscle and Fitness magazine in 2008.
She went on to appear on a number of reality shows, including Dancing with the Stars and Australian Celebrity Survivor: Vanuatu, and scored small acting roles in shows such as CSI and How I Met Your Mother.
Gabrielle also appeared 2007 film Hack and a biopic of Anna Nicole Smith.
Romance: The British model and TV star’s life was plastered across newspapers across Australia due to her highly publicised romance with rugby league star Solomon Haumono. They are pictured together at the height of their romance
Whirlwind romance: The pair enjoyed a whirlwind few years together after meeting in a Sydney nightclub. Solomon is pictured on the right with Gabrielle in the middle and a young Anthony Mundine
Romance? Gabrielle was linked to Criminal Minds star Shemar Moore in 2006 when they appeared on the People’s Choice Awards red carpet
But it was her highly publicised relationship with rugby league player Solomon Haumono that made the most headlines.
The pair enjoyed a whirlwind few years together after meeting at a Sydney nightclub.
In 1998, Haumono – who was then a contracted player to the Canterbury Bulldogs – jetted from Australia to the UK to be with her.
This was done without informing his family or his club of the decision.
Job: Gabrielle’s career still continued to thrive. In 1999 she posed nude for Black + White magazine, and was also on the cover of FHM and Playboy (pictured)
TV star: Gabrielle appeared on a number of reality shows, including Dancing with the Stars and Australian Celebrity Survivor: Vanuatu (pictured)
However, it was soon revealed the story was just a rouse by Haumono to get out of his $400,000 contract, so he could move to the St George Illawarra Dragons.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported in 2011 he actually went to London and sat alone in a hotel, waiting for the Bulldogs to tear up his contract.
‘Looking back now I think I was very immature,’ he said.
‘I was under contract for the Bulldogs so it was decided to come up with a plan that would ultimately force the Bulldogs to rip up my contract.
‘So off I went and before I knew it, the paper got a hold of it and blew it up, making headline news and myself being chased by the media at home and even there in London.’
Haumono said that soon after meeting up with Gabrielle in the UK, he realised their relationship would not progress.
Fling: Her other famous ex is British soccer star Dwight Yorke (pictured with ex Katie Price in 2001), who wrote about their night of passion in his autobiography
The brunette was later linked to Criminal Minds star Shemar Moore in 2006, when they appeared on the People’s Choice Awards red carpet.
Her other famous ex is British soccer star Dwight Yorke, who wrote about their night of passion in his autobiography.
‘The trip to Australia in 1999 remains one of the greatest I’ve ever undertaken,’ Yorke wrote.
‘And it was made extra special for me by meeting the most extraordinarily beautiful girl it has ever been my pleasure to know.’
He added: ‘I was on the lookout for one in particular who I’d been told would be there – Gabby Richens, one of the hottest babes in Australia.
Hot property: Gabrielle was unveiled as the new face of Formula 1 in 2002
‘She was also known as “the Pleasure Machine”, a nickname she got from an airline advertising campaign in which she had steamed up the screens with a striptease.
‘When I saw her, I was transfixed. There was no time like that moment to approach her.’
Yorke said they swapped numbers and met up the following night, and claimed he was ‘pleasantly surprised’ when she agreed to go back to his hotel.
‘We had a spectacular night until she left at 6am,’ he said.
Catwalk queen: She is pictured here on the catwalk during London Fashion Week in 2002
Gabrielle’s career continued to thrive after the ‘Pleasure Machine’ advert.
After posing nude for Black + White magazine in 1999, she later landed the covers of FHM and Playboy.
While not much is known of her personal life today, it appears skincare guru Gabrielle is currently single.
How it all started: She rose to fame in Australia after starring as a stripper for an iconic airline commercial, where she adopted the nickname ‘The Pleasure Machine’. She is pictured here in 2001
Mystery: While not much is known of her personal life today, it appears skincare guru Gabrielle is currently single. Pictured at the TV Week Logie Awards in 2005