Damien Rider, who depicts Cobra on Gladiators Australia 2024, is no stranger to reality TV, he competed in Ali Oetjen’s season of The Bachelorette Australia in 2018.
When Damien’s not looking for love, he’s (probably) going hard in the gym, considering his impressive physical accomplishments over the years.
The Gladiator has pushed a three-tonne truck down the Gold Coast, became the first person to skateboard the entire Route 66 in the Mojave Desert, which took 56 days and paddled 800km from the Gold Coast to Bondi to raise awareness for “Paddle Against Child Abuse”.
He was named Men’s Health Man of the Year
After Damien’s gallant physical effort, Rider was announced as Men’s Health’s Man of the Year in 2015.
“Was an honour to be awarded Men’s Health Man of the Year!,” He wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of him holding his magazine cover.
Damien was also nominated twice for Australian of the Year.
Damien was caught up in a reality TV scam
After appearing on The Bachelorette, where he was eliminated in episode three, Damien was approached about appearing on another reality TV show, this time in Indonesia.
Damien was contacted by a person pretending to be Wendy Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife. He told 2GB’s Ben Fordham that the person said they wanted to discuss a possible television series idea after reading about him in the Australian edition of Men’s Health.
“Everything fit with who I am or what I do. They sent me NDAs, pilot scripts, they sent me schedules of where we’re going to go.”
Damien paid out of his own pocket to meet what he thought were the showrunners in Jakarta. Once he arrived he was driven 4.5 hours away from the airport and put up in a five-star hotel. Once there, he handed over $1000.
“I thought you know what everything’s checking out here,” he said. “Am I being paranoid?”
“At night I was having what turned out to be a three-way conversation with an assistant, with Wendy Murdoch and with Lorraine Jobs (Steve Jobs’ widow),” he said.
Feeling suspicious about the ordeal, Damien returned to Australia and followed up with the police. It turned out that the ‘reality tv show’ was a scammer, and the matter was handed to the FBI.
Gladiators Australia 2024 airs Sundays – Wednesday at 7:30pm on Channel 10 and 10Play.