After a week of rumours his spotlit five year marriage to social influencer Nadia Bartel is in trouble, former AFL star Jimmy Bartel broke his silence to say the situation is “not great.”
Bartel, 35, called for privacy when addressing the alleged split on Melbourne radio station 3AW’s pre-game AFL coverage on Saturday.
“I am probably not going to provide any commentary on it,” he said.
“I know I am in the public eye and people are interested, but it is a private matter and I ask for a bit of respect because obviously Nadia and the boys [are] involved.”
Nadia, 33, would make no comment when contacted by The New Daily about reports the couple has called it quits.
A work commitment has kept her on the Gold Coast this week, which a source told The New Daily has “made things even harder.”
The couple has two sons, Aston, 3, and Henley, whose arrival was joyfully announced (“Our hearts exploded”) on social media in October.
Bartel friends have circled the wagons this week amid reports of the shock breakup.
“It’s a cliche, but it’s all really out of the blue,” the source told The New Daily.
“The truth will come out eventually, but I’m not saying any more than that.”
Said a third source, “I love Nadia and totally have her back.”
Both have also been photographed without their wedding rings.
Former magazine sales executive Nadia last shared a photo of her 2007 Brownlow Medal-winning husband with her 549,000 followers on June 2.
“Hubby time,” she captioned a photo of herself with Jimmy at the wedding of her long-time hairdresser Marie Uva.
Also photographed with Nadia that day was her close friend and former workmate Ellie Pearson.
Ms Pearson’s own breakup with a Geelong player, Josh Hunt, made headlines in 2011 when she slammed him over cheating allegations in an email that went viral.
On Thursday morning Nadia posted a now-deleted cryptic quote on her Instagram account, which seemed to be a shout out to supportive family and friends.
“You know who you are,” she wrote with a kiss, after the quote, “People who resonate with your energy will always be there. Y’all are on the same frequency you are aligned together.
“It’s a soul family. Know your members.”
Things seemed fine between the Bartels on May 16, when Nadia posted a snap of them in a mirrored lift during a belated celebration for her birthday.
“Thanks for the best night hubby! So spoilt,” she said.
“We barely saw each other on my actual birthday but this definitely made up for it.”
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At her sister Michelle Coppolino’s February 9 wedding, Nadia shared a shot with her head leaning into her husband’s shoulder: “My everything”.
Jimmy was equally as loved-up when he posted a photo of Nadia clasping her sons for Mother’s Day.
“Aston, Henley and I love you so so so much,’’ he wrote with a string of love hearts.
“You hold all of us crazy boys together, the Queen of the family.”
On the couple’s fifth wedding anniversary in February, Jimmy wrote a tribute to his “most stunning, beautiful, Netflix and lollie addicted” wife on Instagram. On Friday he made his account private.
The turmoil is an ugly twist to a relationship which started when university student Nadia Coppolino met Jimmy in 2008.
He was midway through his 14-year career at Geelong, during which he won three flags, the 2007 Brownlow and Norm Smith Medal.
After he proposed on a Mexican beach holiday, Nadia started her popular lifestyle blog Chronicles of Nadia.
She also runs successful online fashion business The Connection.
Calling it “the most magical day of my entire life,” the bride wore custom J’Aton at their February 2014 wedding at a Bellarine Peninsula vineyard.