The West

X Factor appeal reunites family
X Factor hopeful Justin Standley has emotional reunion with his daughter Ophelia, 18. Picture: Channel 7

Desperation pushed Queensland singer Justin Standley to audition for X Factor in the hope that his children would see him on the Channel 7 talent show.

The 41-year-old lost contact with his three young children 12 years ago after the breakdown of his relationship with their mother and had tried many ways to find them before making his X Factor plea.

And this week his efforts were rewarded when Standley flew to Perth for a tearful reunion with his 18-year-old daughter, Ophelia, who saw the show and made contact.

Standley said he felt overwhelmed seeing his eldest child grown up.

"I have had so much worry and stress and angst and years of bottling up emotions," he said. "But from the first moment I saw her, all those bad feelings disappeared and I feel so uplifted."

Standley had worried how his daughter might react after he revealed during his X Factor audition that he was gay.

"It's a really big decision going on television saying you are looking for your children, let alone saying, 'Oh, by the way, I'm also gay'," he said.

"But I thought I had to do it because if I went on national TV and said I was looking for my children, and then later on it came out I was gay, it might look like I was trying to keep a secret.

"As it turns out, Ophelia knew already and it hasn't been a problem."

Standley's performance of Elton John's Rocket Man saw him progress to the next round of X Factor.

Ophelia said it took her a few days after the show to call him.

"There was a lot of fear leading up to it because I was like, what if he doesn't like me," she said.

"Curiosity drove me in the end."

Now that Standley has found his children, he said he did not want to lose contact again and was considering a move to WA.

But he will remain in Sydney for the next few months while he continues with X Factor.

The West Australian

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