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Scolaro  so sorry for glassing
Stronger person: Eva Scolaro. Picture: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

Eva Scolaro can vividly recall the split-second decision in a nightclub that changed her life and propelled her into notoriety as the "model" responsible for leaving another woman needing plastic surgery.

But it is with the same clarity she can remember her first night in Perth's maximum security women's prison, locked in isolation as other inmates threatened to bash her, almost rioting at the news they were about to meet Perth's latest "glassing" culprit.

"One of the units was going a bit wild and there was a lot of abuse being hurled at me, people wanting to physically abuse me, and so based on that the superintendant of the prison said, 'You are going to have to go into isolation til such time as the prison calms down'," Ms Scolaro told The West Australian this week in an in-depth interview.

For more than four years, Ms Scolaro has remained silent about the out-of-character crime that propelled her into an environment about as far removed from her past life as possible.

Pretty, employed and with a loving family and private-school background, it was a shock to many when at age 24 she inflicted severe cuts on Roxanne Hemsley at Perth's Library nightclub in March 2009.

She also became the first woman to be banned from entering a pub or club in WA.

Ms Scolaro has always maintained the glass slipped from her hand when she went to splash her 26-year-old victim in the face after Ms Hemsley poured her drink on Ms Scolaro during a verbal dispute.

The State's top judge, Chief Justice Wayne Martin, later found Ms Hemsley sparked the physical altercation, meaning Ms Scolaro's 18-month jail term should be cut to one year. But even if it was not "unprovoked", the crime was still a "violent and dangerous assault", he said.

This week, Ms Scolaro said she accepted that in life there were consequences to be paid. But after years of silence, she felt the "circus" had died down enough for people to listen to her story.

"I think any time you do something and something terrible happens out of it, there is a consequence to pay," she said. "I am just hoping people will see what I have to say . . . and then they can make their own decision.

"I am so sorry for what's happened, that (Ms Hemsley was) injured that night, and it was just a terrible accident."

Ms Hemsley told The West Australian yesterday that she was beginning to move on with her life with the support of friends and family. But she said Ms Scolaro was "not a victim of any kind", whereas she had permanent damage as a result of her actions.

Ms Scolaro understood some people would see her penalty as small compared with the dozens of stitches and scarring suffered by her victim.

But her punishment had not been a slap on the wrist, she said.

Things "took a long time" to improve in prison. "When you go to maximum security these are not the people that are walking next to you every day . . . these are people that for me it's like I have only ever read about in a crime novel," Ms Scolaro said.

"Some of the things that I got told that people did were so horrific that I chose to tell myself that that was just a story because if I thought that was real I wouldn't be able to cope."

In the end it was her family's emotional support and her "use" to some illiterate inmates as someone who could help them write to lawyers and relatives that got her through.

"One of the girls, when I left she said, 'You are probably one of the luckiest people I have ever known to leave Bandyup with all your front teeth'," Ms Scolaro said.

But challenges continued after her release on parole after six months, she said, describing how her efforts to take any job going were studded with hoax call-outs, including one interviewer asking her to sign a front-page article on her case, while another admitted he just wanted to see what she looked like in person.

Fuelling the sentiment, she suggested, was the infamous Halloween photo showing her with a fake slash wound to her face months after causing Ms Hemsley's injuries.

"I had a cut on my face, yes, but on the opposite side, I also had a cut on my neck . . . in no way shape or form was I dressed as a glassing victim," she said.

Her only real prospect of work, Ms Scolaro said, was now running her own business - a shoe and accessories label called Gorge Design. She spends half her time in Indonesia.

"I just want to get on with my life and I mean that in the nicest possible way," she said.

"All the soles of the shoes are blue, which is the same colour as my prison uniform. People say, 'Don't you want to forget?'

"I think, 'Well, it's made me a stronger person and appreciate my life in a different way'."