Entertainment Celebrity Nadia Bartel shows classy way to break up in social media age
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Nadia Bartel shows classy way to break up in social media age

Nadia Bartel Jimmy Bartel
Nadia Bartel with husband Jimmy at the June wedding of her hairdresser Marie Uva. Photo: Instagram
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Imagine being Nadia Bartel this week.

Her five-year marriage to a man she called her “everything”, the father of her two small sons, imploded suddenly and publicly.

She lost her expected future as well as her lovely present. And everyone wanted to know about her agony.

Nadia has made her name and money from being an Instagram influencer and fashion blogger, so her relationship with the media and her 549,000 followers is one of sharing.

A former saleswoman, she’s what you call a good operator. Instinctive about how best to sell her product: Herself.

That’s all fine when you’re posting picture-perfect selfies from Coachella and the races and family weddings.

But with the end of her marriage to former AFL star Jimmy Bartel this week, Nadia has truly learned the price of social media fame is having your tough personal times made public fodder as well as your happy ones.

And so far the 33-year-old has taken her lumps with class and courage, and the result is support from close friends including Bec Judd and stylist Lana Wilkinson.

Anyone here had their marriage end? I have.

And it was about 50,000 times more painful than I’d imagined. It felt like a rat was eating my heart.

The only thing that made me feel better was taking really long baths so I didn’t have to face anyone saying, “So sorry to hear what happened”.

Nadia doesn’t have that luxury.

She and I worked together for years and we’ve been in touch this week. I won’t share the few details she’s told me about how she’s feeling, other than that her house is surrounded by paparazzi and she’s under pressure.

The media cluster outside her place – and her mother’s – is what made Nadia’s manager advise her to make a short statement on Tuesday about her private situation.

“It’s been a very difficult month for me and the boys,” she told Melbourne’s Herald Sun, acknowledging she is “heartbroken” but wouldn’t “comment specifically” on what’s been reported about Jimmy.

“I don’t think that is in anyone’s interests,” said Nadia, whose last social media post was on August 10, with her mother and sisters.

Maybe not, but people are certainly curious.

And what has been reported about Jimmy, 35, is that he is in a “long-term” relationship with a woman about whom not much is known other than that her name is Lauren Mand.

Ms Mand moved to London around March and has made no comment so far about being linked to Bartel. His recent trip to the UK was flicked at by Nadia in her statement.

Media outlets trying to dredge up details about Ms Mand have come up with not much other than that she had a ticket to the exclusive Birdcage enclosure at Flemington last year during the Melbourne Cup carnival.

The story isn’t about her anyway, it’s about the way Nadia has dealt with gossip and speculation.

The Nadia I know is – oddly, given her confident public image – insecure about a lot of things. She worries. The product of a close Italian family, she values loyalty and gives it in return.

If stories about her husband are true, it would have been hugely tempting to go public and grab sympathy by – subtly or loudly – teeing off at Jimmy and declaring herself a blindsided wronged woman.

Despite her huge inbuilt audience waiting to hear her side of the story, she’s kept silent except for the one statement.

She’s stayed off social and kept her head high walking past a pack of photographers with her boys Aston, 3, and Henley, 10 months, in gym gear on Tuesday.

No doubt some of it is advice from managers and even lawyers, and no doubt Nadia will at some stage appear on the cover of a Sunday colour magazine in her own line’s clothes to tell her story.

But for now, she probably already knows that whatever happens with her and Jimmy, he is her children’s father for the rest of his life.

As she said, her immediate focus “is to continue to protect, care and provide for my two beautiful boys”.

One of the best ways of doing that is to have an amicable working relationship with Jimmy. There’s nothing to be gained and everything to lose from airing their dirty laundry.

It’s 17 years since Jodhi Meares was divorced from James Packer. In all that time, she’s never publicly discussed what really led to the end of the marriage.

I’ve asked her twice.

“Thanks for asking babe, but I never talk about it,” she said both times.

It’s world’s best practice when it comes to high-profile splits. And Nadia is following her lead.