Megan Gale on whether she was 'punished' by the media after her break up with Andy Lee.

In December 2010, what was arguably the most high-profile relationship in our country fell apart.

Andy Lee was one-half of the much-loved comedic duo Hamish and Andy, and Megan Gale was, well, Megan Gale. They were likeable, famous but down-to-earth, unaffected by fame and money and the trappings of both.

He was the bumbling comedian, she the beautifully approachable model. And then, after four years together, they broke up.

Since then, both have been reluctant to comment on the break down of the relationship, nor the period the followed. However, in an interview with News Corp’s Stellar Magazine this weekend, Gale has addressed the year later – 2011 – and how, for her, that time was plagued by the first kinds of negative press she had ever received.

The rumours were that she was a diva, her demeanour a little more aloof. The headlines were aplenty: “Is Megan Gale the most misunderstood woman on the planet?”; “Perfection brings out ‘diva’ in Megan Gale on Project Runway”; “Megan Gale blows up at waiting paparazzi”; were just three than ran within weeks of each other in the months after Lee and Gale broke up.

So was she ‘punished’ by the media because of her break-up, and because she moved on a month later with AFL footballer Shaun Hampson?

“[Those stories] blindsided me. I don’t know how or why it started. The only thing I could pinpoint it on was perhaps when I started seeing Shaun, [it] wasn’t long after I broke up with [comedian] Andy Lee. I’d just started doing Project Runway Australia. I had a lot of media to do.

“They wanted me to push the show, but all anyone wanted to talk about was Andy and Shaun. I had to do my job and be professional. I wanted to protect my new partner. I still had a lot of respect for Andy — I wanted to protect him. I was in a position where I had to shut it down. As a result there was probably a perception I was putting a wall up, but it was the best I could do at the time,” she told the magazine, adding “it’s hard to say” whether she was being punished for the break-up.

Image: Getty.

It's the second time in as many months Gale has acknowledged how very public that relationship breakdown was, and how blinding the limelight can be the space between ending a relationship and starting a new one.

In May, in an interview with Anh Do’s Brush With Fame, Gale said she was acutely aware of how the public would consider her relationship with Hampson, who is 12 years her junior.

“I was very aware of the fact that a lot would be made of not just how quickly I happened to move on, but the age difference,” she said.

“I knew, I knew people would eat that up and make that a negative.”

As much as they may have, time has all but quelled any negative press. Perhaps the birth of the her and Hampson's first son, River, in 2014 helped.

This, the media began to understand, was the real deal. And perhaps Gale was, too.