Nadia Bartel: Inside AFL WAG and Melbourne influencer’s fall from grace

As Nadia’s future hangs in the balance, fans are throwing their two cents in – with some spotting an awkward detail in the WAG’s last post.

Things were looking up for Nadia Bartel after a painful period.

Despite going through a challenging (and sudden) split from husband Jimmy Bartel 17 months earlier, 2020 had ended with incredible personal success for the mother of two.

Nadia was one of Australia’s most successful influencers with countless sponsorship deals, while her own business, fashion label Henne, had become 2020’s must-have brand.

She had done this all the while maintaining a dignified front amid her marriage breakdown and former husband’s quick rebound with then-girlfriend, Lauren Mand.

But fast-forward to today and Nadia’s future in the public eye looks uncertain, with the 36-year-old filmed snorting a white powder while at a home gathering last Thursday during Melbourne’s lockdown.

She’s now been fined over the incident, with Victoria Police confirming on Monday Nadia and three other party-goers have been issued $5452 fines each for breaking lockdown orders.

The backlash has been swift for one of the country’s most popular influencers – one brand has publicly disowned her, while others appear to be quietly distancing themselves.

Meanwhile, Nadia has also removed all mention of the two businesses she co-owns from her Instagram bio – SprayAUS and Henne.

It’s the latest tough development for Nadia who has endured private pain in her personal life as she has found incredible success professionally.

‘Every day is tough’: Marriage split

Former Geelong Cats captain Jimmy and Nadia abruptly announced the end of their marriage in August 2019.

The couple had been together since meeting at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2008 and got engaged in 2012.

The end of their marriage came amid speculation about a trip Jimmy had made to London earlier that year – where Lauren, who the AFL star went public with shortly after his split announcement from Nadia, had been living at the time.

Despite all the interest in their marriage breakdown, Nadia has made just a handful of public comments about her split from Jimmy.

Nadia toldStellar in April last year that she was still struggling with her marriage breakdown and the cruel comments that came from trolls as a result.

“Every day is tough” thanks to the trolls that would send her comments claiming Jimmy had “upgraded” with his new girlfriend.

“Being from Melbourne, football is so big here,” Nadia explained. ”I was used to the negative attention I get in my situation. I do put things on social media, so I‘ve put myself out there …

“(But) I was at the hardest point in my life and then to have articles written that weren‘t true, and to have hundreds of hate (comments) on Instagram and the continual pounding … it was difficult.

“Just because (you) date or are married to a sportsperson, people think you‘re fair game; you can say whatever you want. If you look at any other industry, do you critique their partner like that?”

From fashion blogging to lucrative sponsorships

Nadia had just completed a degree in business administration, public relations and applied communication at La Trobe University when she met Jimmy in 2008.

After graduating Nadia worked as an advertising account manager for Pacific Magazines before starting her blog, Chronicles of Nadia, in 2012 to document her favourite fashion pieces.

It was around this time that interest in Nadia’s red carpet presence was growing, with the socialite getting plenty of praise for her outfit choices.

Nadia also wrote about her pregnancy and labour with first son Aston on her blog, famously revealing how she had decided to shave her legs and fake tan before going to hospital to give birth.

In 2015 Nadia’s foray into fashion expanded with the launch of online store The Con-Nection with sister Michelle Ring.

They closed The Con-Nection last December to better focus on their brand Henne, which had a meteoric rise in 2020.

Fashion label Henne was launched in 2019 but last year’s pandemic provided the perfect storm for it to really take off.

Even if you don’t know it, chance are you’ve either seen someone famous or someone you know wear Henne, with celebrities from Bec Judd to Georgia Fowler all wearing the brand.

The range of ribbed basics and knitwear, which come in muted colours and neutrals, turned out to be the perfect WFH wardrobe when the pandemic struck.

Over the years Nadia has moved away from Chronicles of Nadia to focus on Instagram, with her last post on the blog over a year ago.

On Instagram Nadia has some of the most lucrative sponsorship deals around, with big name skincare brands like La Roche-Posay, Ole Henriksen and makeup label Marc Jacobs Beauty.

In October she was also named the ambassador for Melbourne Cup Carnival and Myer.

Instead of just appearing on the Brownlow red carpet in 2019, she hosted it as part of Channel 7’s coverage of the event.

Fallout for ‘embarrassed and remorseful’ Nadia

After the video made headlines Nadia issued a statement via Instagram on Friday apologising for her actions.

“Hi Everyone, I have let you all down by my actions,” she wrote.

“I take full responsibility and I am committed to taking all necessary steps to ensure I make better choices in future.

“To my family and friends, my business partners and the public health workers trying to keep us all safe, I am embarrassed and remorseful.

“I am truly and deeply sorry. I hope I can earn your forgiveness and, in time, your trust. Nadia.”

Despite owning her actions the public backlash continues, with some slamming her apology as “gutless”.

Some have even poked fun at the scandal by pointing out the name of a lingerie brand Nadia recently promoted on Instagram – Fine Lines.

“Favourite part of the Nadia Bartel shenanigans is her lingerie company is called ‘Fine Lines’,” one person joked on Twitter.

“That Nadia Bartel spruiks Fine Lines (lingerie) is kind of funny,” another tweeted.

The underwear brand has since turned off comments on all its Instagram posts.

Vitamins brand JSHealth, which Nadia had been a long-term ambassador for, has also issued a statement confirming they are no longer working with her and condemning “illicit behaviour”.

“JSHealth fundamentally supports all public health orders in place to keep us safe in this hugely difficult time for so many. We do not tolerate illicit behaviour,” they said.

“Please know we have taken immediate action and will no longer be working with this individual – or anyone who does not align with our values.”

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