It all started with a curious newspaper interview.
Speaking to the Herald Sun this week, Essendon forward Jake Stringer told the publication he hoped his two young daughters, Milla and Arlo, would be on hand when he plays his 100th AFL game on Saturday night.
“My kids Milla and Arlo… haven’t been able to watch me play this year, so fingers crossed, I can run out with them on Saturday night, and have a very special moment with them,” he said.
“That is something that hopefully will get done and hopefully I can enjoy it with them.”
Jake, 24, continued, saying it was “pretty likely” his daughters would be there to help him celebrate the milestone.
“They are my whole world, so having them there and to be able to run out with them, and give them a hug and a kiss and to be able to spend time with them after the game will be good,” he added.
But according to his ex, Abby Gilmore, Jake knows full well that his daughters won’t be attending the football match on Saturday – and that the interview was an intentional attempt to make the mother of his children look bad – because that day daughter Arlo is having a party to celebrate her second birthday.
It isn’t the first time the couple – who split in 2016 after Stringer was allegedly caught having an affair with a schoolgirl – has had a public falling out. The highs and lows of their co-parenting have, in spurts, played out in the media.
In 3 days my baby girl is 2. How on earth did that go so bloody fast! Excited to see this birthday cake the gorgeous @asprinkleontop_ are creating for her ???? This girl brought light to a very dark time and she continues to do just that – love you miss Arlo Lauren, more than chocolate xxx #threebestfriends
Responding to Jake’s interview on Instagram, Abby was all too happy to share her side of the situation.
“Haha no she’s having a birthday party! That was just a cool trick to try make me look bad,” Abby responded to one fan.
“Oh and ps [sic] I offered to take them to the game so they could run out and he said no.. we also can communicate through phone but for some reason he thought he [sic] do it over the news.
“The other alternative was I take them, they run out with him and I bring them home which he said no so I can’t do much more than that hey. Didn’t realise we were communicating through the news but anyway that light doesn’t shine over my eyes ha.”
Gilmore told Herald Sun on Grand Final Day last year how her engagement disintegrated after receiving a text message. She was pregnant at the time.
“I was just chilling with [Jake’s teammate Jason Johannisen] when I got this message and just went pale,” Gilmore told Herald Sun journalist Alice Coster.
“I showed Jason. We both had no idea.”
“I immediately thought I must be doing something wrong. I think that is what so many women first feel, I’m not good enough,” Gilmore told the Herald Sun, adding she felt “so ashamed” that her ‘perfect life’ had come “crumbing down”.
“I had just done an article on how beautiful my family was and the very next day I got this message and my life crumpled to pieces,” she said.
“The worst part for me was all these girls knew I existed, they knew I was pregnant with a child and it’s just wrong.”