Nadia Bartel was filmed snorting a white substance at a party and has earned a place in The Frownlow Medal WAGS club. The ex-wife of AFL star Jimmy Bartel is the latest wife or girlfriend of a professional footballer to create her own public scandal.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.
A video of Bartel appearing to snort cocaine at a party and breaching Victoria’s COVID public health orders was posted to social media by a friend, who claimed it was not meant to go public. The video was apparently supposed to be sent to the woman’s sister only, but went viral and did enormous damage to Bartel’s public reputation, and potentially to her personal brand.
Bartel’s friend blamed a cracked screen for her error. As excuses go, it’s in line with those of countless Frownlow nominees who have incriminated themselves on social media.
Bartel joins the following women in the Frownlow WAGS club:
Amelia Miller is the most famous WAG in Frownlow circles. She not only stood by her boyfriend Nick Stevens when the ex-AFL player was in court for domestic violence charges. She not only listened to details of the horrific and repeated assaults on his ex-girlfriend which earned him a prison sentence, but she verbally attacked the victim via social media. Her verbal attacks only ceased when she posted updates boasting about the designer-label clothes she was wearing to the court case every day.
Taylor Winterstein is the wife of Frank, and Shanelle Cartwright the wife of Bryce. Both of the NRL WAGS made headlines for their public stance against any form of vaccination, even when Bryce’s refusal to get vaccinated almost ended the season for his Gold Coast Titans team in 2020.
Belinda Simmonds is the wife of former NRL player Reece, and was accused of misappropriating more than $330,000 from a Shellharbour-based child care business between 2013 and 2018.
Nicole McGregor leapt to the defence of her husband Paul, a former NRL player and coach, when he was caught drink driving in 2016.
NRL WAGS were caught on camera passing items to each other in adjoining rooms and in rooms on other levels in 2021, which was a clear breach of the rules surrounding the NRL hub in Queensland. The photos forced the Queensland government to threaten to shut down the NRL competition.
Time will tell if Bartel is able to influence other woman to become Frownlow WAGS.