Lorraine Downes on life, love and loss

Ricardo Simich,
Spy News,
Publish Date
Friday, 5 January 2018, 4:45PM

After more than three decades in the national spotlight, one of New Zealand’s most beautiful women and one of our first modern day celebrities, Lorraine Downes, is set to release her biography.

The book is called Life, Love, Loss, a Memoir and will trace her life from being the first and only Kiwi to win Miss Universe in 1983 to the death in March 2016 of her second husband, cricketing legend Martin Crowe, who died after a long fight with cancer, and her battle with grief since.

The book is being published by Allen & Unwin, who say:

“From the heady days of her Miss Universe win to the tragic death of her soulmate Martin Crowe, Lorraine Downes’ life has been full of highs and lows. As well as the Miss Universe fairytale and her busy career, Lorraine shares details of her first marriage to All Black Murray Mexted, her delight in her two children, her success in Dancing with the Stars and her blissful relationship with cricketing legend Martin Crowe. Along the way Lorraine has faced many challenges including rebuilding her life after divorce and, the cruellest blow of all, Martin’s devastating illness and death.

“She shares what got her through the tough challenges she faced. We can all identify with Lorraine’s struggles and be inspired by the way she writes so honestly and wisely about her life.”

Downes was 19 when she became a national superstar, winning the Miss Universe crown and being welcomed to the Beehive on her return by then Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon.

Her marriage to Mexted in 1986 made front-page news, she was one of our original women’s mag stars and her successful business career in the beauty and modelling industry has been respected and well documented as well as her charity work with the Breast Cancer Foundation. In 2001 Downes split with Mexted.

In 2006 she again won the affection of the public, winning Dancing with the Stars with her partner, professional dancer Aaron Gilmore. The two remain good friends 12 years later.

Downes moved to Auckland from Wellington and married Crowe in 2009. When he was diagnosed with lymphoma, she became his primary caregiver. He fought the disease for four years.

Downes, 53, has spent the summer holidays in the Bay of Plenty with  family, including Wellington-based son Hilton and Melbourne-based daughter Jasmine. While on holiday she showed off an enviable figure of a woman half her age.

On the upcoming book launch Downes told Spy this week: “After a lovely summer holiday break with family I’m looking forward to my book launch and getting around the country to meet my readers. I will keep you posted on my tour dates as they come to hand.”