Her life has been unravelling at the rate of knots since it emerged she was at an illegal party – but things have taken an unexpected turn.
While Nadia Bartel’s life was looking up after her shock split from her footy star husband, it’s fair to say her new world has come crashing down around her this week.
After losing two major brand deals and copping a $5453 fine for breaking lockdown orders – the former WAG emerged on Wednesday looking understandably exhausted and downtrodden.
But there has been an unexpected turn of events in the saga that began when the 36-year-old was filmed snorting a white powder while at a friend’s home on September 2.
The mum-of-two was quick to issue a grovelling apology on Instagram, stating she was “embarrassed” by her actions, which were in stark contrast to her squeaky clean image.
However, she received some good news this week when Victoria Police confirmed on Thursday they would not be pressing charges as officers had been “unable to determine what the substance on the plate was”.
And now there’s another sign of light at the end of the tunnel – an upturn in her number of Insta followers. Now what influencer doesn’t like that joyous news?
After splitting from Jimmy Bartel in 2019, Bartel’s enjoyed incredible personal success as a business woman and influencer.
She’d partnered with huge beauty companies in countless sponsorship and ambassador deals, while her own business, fashion label Henne, had become a 2020s must-have brand.
Bartel 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.
The backlash was swift for one of the country’s most popular influencers – with JSHealth Vitamins and Hairhouse Australia both dropping her as their ambassador.
Nadia has also removed all mention of the two businesses she co-owns from her Instagram bio – SprayAUS and Henne.
Nadia’s ‘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 detailing her struggles.
“Every day is tough,” she told Stellar in April last year, thanks to the trolls that would send her mean 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 blogger to social media star
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 she 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.
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 she 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 ambassador for the 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
But after the now infamous video of her “snorting” a white substance made headlines, her deals began to slip away.
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.
However, it might not be all doom and gloom for Nadia, as the embattled influencer’s followers have grown over 2 per cent in the last week according to Influencer Marketing Hub.
It’s not a huge figure, but it is notable considering how followers are known to abandon influencers in droves amid controversy, as seen with Gold Coast wellness guru Chloe Szep recently.
For Nadia, it’s a promising sign she’ll weather the storm.