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Idol finalist denies drug claims

Submitted by djwright on Mon, 2006-09-11 01:31
Source: NT NEWS

AUSTRALIAN Idol finalist Lavina Williams earlier this year left the cast of a major stage show amid drug allegations, which she denies.

Williams, the older sister of Young Divas star and last year's Idol runner-up Emily, was accused of baking muffins laced with marijuana while performing in the Melbourne season of the multi-million-dollar Disney musical The Lion King.

Williams, 27, from Melbourne, confirmed on Friday that she left The Lion King in May, two weeks before the end of the Melbourne season, following a meeting with Disney management about the alleged marijuana-laced cakes.

The Lion King finished in Melbourne in June.

"They said either you leave or we will do something about it," Williams said.

Williams said she sought legal advice and spoke to her family about the situation before deciding reluctantly to leave the show.

"I would have loved to stay," she said. "It was just unhealthy (being falsely accused). I am not saying I did not enjoy the journey in The Lion King.

"I loved every moment of it, but being put in that position and being accused of something I did not do was so wrong.

"I did not do that. I am not guilty."

Williams toured with The Lion King for 2 1/2 years playing the key role of Shenzi, the queen hyena.

She said she regularly made food for the cast and crew, but was baffled as to why she was accused of wrongdoing by the show's management.

"Me and the dressers, we always used to bake," she said. "I gave out all my stuff (on the night in question) and then they are accusing me of all this.

"I am not a person who would jeopardise people's lives."

She said she had never used drugs and, as a role model to her sisters and brother, would never be involved with illegal substances.

Williams said despite her early departure from the show she had no regrets about her time with The Lion King and was focusing on achieving her goals of a recording career through Idol.

"There are no regrets whatsoever. Mum says somebody might close a door, but God will open so many windows and opportunities for you," she said.

A spokeswoman for Disney declined to comment on Williams' departure from The Lion King, but wished her luck on Australian Idol.

Lavina Williams