MAFS favourite Ella Ding has bravely opened up about the tragic death of her father, who passed away when she was just a baby.

During the latest season of the reality series, viewers may have noticed that Ella’s mother Belinda was accompanied by her stepfather Russell, with no sighting of her biological father.

In the June 28th episode of Sit With Us, Ella’s podcast with her MAFS friend and co-star Domenica Calarco, she spoken openly about her upbringing and the tragic loss of her father at such an early age.

“He did pass away when I was a few weeks old… I guess he had… substance abuse issues,” Ella revealed. After Domenica noted that “he had his demons,” she replied, “Yeah, he did.”

According to Ella, her parents met when they were both young, “around 20 or 21.” It turns out her father held several interesting jobs, including owning several notable Melbourne nightclubs and working as a suit tailor for stars like John Farnham.

“He was so creative and so intelligent and business-minded, which is where my brother (James) gets that as well,” she said.

Following her father’s passing, things were tough for Ella’s mother, with Belinda having to work “three other jobs” as well as being a hairdresser to make ends meet.

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“He passed away, he got really sick and then my mum was obviously raising two kids by herself — my brother was three,” she said.

“She’s such a strong woman, and growing up I never saw her fall apart or break… She never would do that in front of us as kids.”

Belinda then met Russell when Ella was eight-years-old, with the family soon moving in with him and his two sons. “We all got along perfectly,” Ella remembered. “The way our parents merged us, it was just so seamless.”

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