He should be a-Shaned of himself; But Oz soap star Dieter doesn't give a XXXX about his drugs past.
But today Dieter Brummer - the guy who plays do-gooder bimboy Shane in Home And Away - wants us to believe he's a bad boy.
He's dressed head-to-toe in black leather jacket, trousers and boots - which he thuds onto the coffee table - after a spending spree in London.
He's shorn his locks and sports a menacing skinhead haircut with a hint of a beard lurking under his bottom lip.
And he's been in trouble with the law. In July last year, 19-year-old Dieter was caught with five bags of cannabis in his car.
Not that he sees anything wrong with being arrested, charged and pleading guilty to possessing the drug. He says: "In Australia it's something that a lot of young guys and girls my age go through.
"Unfortunately, I was unlucky enough to be caught and it was only publicised so much because I'm in the public eye."
But wasn't the good-guy teen heart-throb even a tiny bit scared by the arrest?
"Of what? No, it's like when you get a parking ticket. Scared of what? Going to jail?" he says
"I'm not a big drug user. I don't smoke cigarettes. I'm a pretty clean- living guy - I go to the gym. I eat pretty healthily most of the time, although I like the occasional Mars bar."
So isn't he embarrassed about the attack he made on River Phoenix after the Hollywood actor's drug-related death in 1993?
"I stand by it. I just said River Phoenix was a hypocrite saying people shouldn't use drugs and yet he died of an overdose," says Dieter.
"I don't think people should get into anything harder. Nobody's ever died using cannabis."
But, however much he tries to justify his own drug use, surely he has now ruined his reputation as a teen idol?
"Uh, yeah - but I don't know if I really want to continue that kind of a thing," he confesses.
Dieter left Home And Away - which made him a star in more than 30 countries - at the beginning of December, although he'll still be on British screens until spring.
"I figured just under four years was long enough to be in a soap," he says. "It was just time to move on and do other things. You can't do the same thing forever."
"At least now if I'm spotted in a pub getting drunk it's not seen as such a big deal. After all, I'm not Shane who lives in Summer Bay who's an all-round good guy.
"So maybe it's a good thing. Maybe it will lead into tough roles in films," he adds. "I want to go to the States like Mel Gibson did, I guess. The money there is just phenomenal."
He's clearly out of love with the whole Aussie soap scene, which his former co-star Melissa George (Angel in Home And Away) still thrives on.
"We're two very different people," he says, shaking his cropped head.
"She likes the limelight and the publicity which I tend to stay away from because it's all hyped up and fake."
So we've got it clear that he's not a good boy or a fake. Does he have anything else to get off his chest - a broken heart, a stream of lovers?
Dieter is adamant that there's no gossip when it comes to his sex life.
He's been dating a girl called Amy--he coyly won't reveal her last name - for four years. And he's very much in love. "I'm a very loyal boyfriend - we stick by each other," he says. Has he always been so successful with girlfriends?
"No, not really, not overly," he says. "I had a few, but they were the ones that last about two weeks."
So what kind of partner is he?
"Oh, the best. I'm the best boyfriend you could ever wish for," he says with a smile."
But he can't recall what he bought Amy for Christmas.
"We did our Christmas- present swapping before we left Australia,"' is all he can manage.
Dieter may be adamant that he's a one-woman guy suffering from sudden gift-amnesia, but he's certainly not ready for anything as grown-up and boring as marriage.
He was less than impressed when his Home And Away character took a trip up the aisle with Angel. He says: "That was another reason why I left - I had nowhere else to go. The guy's married now and starting a family. There's no exciting television there. It's the death of a character."
Now, as Dieter develops a new phase of his life, the question is: will he drop the bimboy tag and become a real bad boy?
"You've just got to do what you want to do," he says, mysteriously.
"I don't believe in sticking with what's safe. In one way you've got to think it out sensibly, but at the same time have your fun."
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jan 10, 1996|
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