Kim Kardashian Arrives in Australia for First Public Appearance
Kardashian sisters arrive in Sydney on Wednesday to promote their line of handbags Brian Prahl/Splash News Online

Kim Kardashian has packed her suitcases and fled her visit to Australia early, bailing on her Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival commitments at the last minute.

Three days after announcing the end of her 72-day marriage to NBA player Kris Humphries, the 31-year-old American reality TV star has ditched her commitments with Melbourne's annual horse racing event, abruptly leaving the Emirates Stakes Day without a celebrity attraction this Saturday.

Kardashian was believed to have been offered AUD$150,000 (£97,000) for a one-hour appearance in the Swisse marquee at Flemington racecourse but announced that she would not be able to attend in the midst of her "devastating" divorce.

In an exclusive statement to Melbourne newspaper Herald Sun, Kardashian said: "I am very disappointed that I am unable to attend the Swisse marquee but I hope to come back and work with the Swisse team at another time."

It could not be confirmed whether Kardashian would forfeit her appearance fee from Swisse.

It's rumoured Swisse tried to lure Kim's sister Khloe as an eleventh hour replacement, but was turned down.

Kim and her sister Khloe visited Australia on business to promote their new line of handbags, Kardashian Kollection. They arrived in Sydney on Wednesday and made an instore appearance at David Jones, one of Australia's leading department stores.

Earlier, the Kardashian sisters appeared on Australian breakfast news program Sunrise and reiterated their love for their Australian fanbase.

On the breakfast show, Kim said she was a professional who kept her word. "I really wanted to stick to my commitments to come out here," she said.

''Of course I do want some time to myself and it's a really tough thing to go through, but I didn't want to bail on everyone.''

In a radio interview on Wednesday, Kim spoke with presenter Kyle Sandilands and his 2DayFm host, Jackie O and said she would "never marry for a TV show, for money, for anything like that."

"It's ridiculous that I have to defend that, but I guess that's what comes along when you film your wedding for a reality show," she also acknowledged.

Celebrity entertainment and news site TMZ has reported that Kim is telling friends she is so "distraught" over the divorce and deluge of publicity that followed that she cannot function. She has also supposedly told friends, "I need to take care of me now, and I can't work for a while."

The Kardashian sisters were expected to fly home to Los Angeles on Thursday.