Keira Maguire and Richie Strahan in a scene from The Bachelor. Supplied by Channel 10.
Keira Maguire and Richie Strahan in a scene from The Bachelor. Supplied by Channel 10.

Bachelorette's Byron Bay "polygamy cult" connection

UPDATE 7.25pm: The revelations of 'bachelorette' Keira Maguire's family roots prompted Nine's A Current Affair to replay excerpts of its story on her father Alistah Laishkochav.

In 1992 ACA cameras were granted to Laishkochav's harem of nine wives in their new home in Byron Bay.

In the footage Laishkochav, who was 57 at the time said: "I don't think I'm any more special than any other man".

Ms Maguire's mother Michelle was also featured talking about the benefits of polygamy.

"I don't have that fear of sitting at home and wondering if my husband is off seeing the secretary," she said.

No further comments from Ms Maguire featured in tonight's story, but her half-brother Shem Baker was interviewed.

"Some of us have been able to move on with our lives but others have struggled harder," he said.

"I want Keira to be famous for who she is."


TUESDAY 10am: A WOMAN'S magazine has revealed The Bachelor's Keira Maguire grew up in a polygamist cult near Byron Bay.

Woman's Day has reported Ms Maguire lived in the cult with her biological father who had nine wives and 63 other children.

The reality TV star's father was former New Zealand police officer, Ian Lowe, later known as Alistah Laishkochav.

After arriving in Australian in the 1970s, he met nine 'wives' and settled in Bells Beach, Victoria, where Keira was born.

The huge family moved to Byron Bay in 1992 but things began to unravel for Laishkochav as accusations of child abuse arose.

Mr Laishkochav was sentenced to seven and a half years' jail in 2000 by the Victorian County Court for 20 child sex offences which occurred in Bells Beach.

In a statement released by Channel 10, Ms Maguire, 30, said she and some of her siblings were taken from the cult in 1993 by her mum Michelle to get a fresh start in Brisbane.

"I am not in a position to comment on Alistah Laishkochav. My mother removed my family from that environment when I was five years old, over 25 years ago," Ms Maguire told Woman's Day.

"I was brought up by my mother and grandmother in Brisbane in a loving, caring and compassionate household. I had a wonderful childhood and I am extremely grateful to both my mother and grandmother for the upbringing which they provided me and my siblings.

"Although I have since met and reunited with my family, I have never had a relationship with Alistah Laishkochav."

Ms Maguire has been a controversial character on the TV dating show, being named by many as this year's "villian".