reality tv

Nadia Bartel just left Dancing With The Stars. Three years ago she was issuing an apology.

After an all-too-brief stint on this year's Dancing With The Stars, Nadia Bartel has been eliminated. 

While fellow contestants Ant Middleton and Ben Cousins are still in the running for the famed mirror ball trophy, Bartel followed Julie Goodwin's early exit, after the former Masterchef Australia star injured herself early in the competition.

"I was so looking forward to learning to dance so it’s not the best feeling but I'm looking at all the positives,’’ said Bartel of her elimination — the first of the 2024 season.

"I still dance and do some of the steps and joke around with the boys at home. The juggle with the kids and business was really hard, but I'm so glad I did it.

"Sometimes you’re just hard on yourself but you've got to celebrate the wins."

But well before Bartel was dazzling with her dance moves, she was in the spotlight for other reasons. 

Here's a look back at her rise to fame, her family life — and an incident that saw her at the centre of a media storm.

Who is Nadia Bartel?

Nadia first stepped into the spotlight as the glamorous wife of AFL star Jimmy Bartel. The couple were a fixture on Melbourne's social scene, often seen at high-profile events and gracing the pages of fashion magazines.

Nadia's former fashion blog, Chronicles of Nadia, and her online clothing store, Henne, further solidified her status as a style icon.

She soon moved on to securing countless lucrative brand sponsorships as an influencer, thanks to her substantial social media following. But her journey to the dance floor has not been without its bumps in the road.


Nadia and Jimmy Bartel's marriage breakdown.

Nadia and AFL star Jimmy Bartel were married in 2014 in a lavish ceremony on the Bellarine Peninsula, in Victoria. Together, they became one of the most high-profile couples in Australia, often photographed at events and enjoying the socialite lifestyle

They have two beautiful sons, Aston and Henley, who were frequently featured on Nadia's social media, painting a picture of a perfect family life.

Jimmy and Nadia Bartel. Image: Instagram.

However, behind the scenes, their relationship was on shaky ground.


In August 2019, Nadia and Jimmy announced their separation, which sent shockwaves through their fanbase. The split was public and messy, with rumours swirling about the reasons behind their breakup.

Jimmy was linked to another woman, Lauren Mand, which only added fuel to the fire. Nadia, on the other hand, focused on her children and her business, trying to navigate the public scrutiny with grace.

Reflecting on the split at the time, Nadia said in 2020: "I was at the hardest point in my life and then to have articles written that weren't true, and to have hundreds of hate [comments] on Instagram and the continual pounding... it was difficult.

"Just because [you] date or are married to a sportsperson, people think you're fair game; you can say whatever you want. If you look at any other industry, do you critique their partner like that?

"I want to continue to be the best mum and role model for my sons," Bartel continued.

"They are amazing and such a gift, and I want them to have a really happy childhood. I plan to do everything I can to make that happen for them."

Nadia Bartel shares two sons with her ex-husband, Jimmy Bartel. Image: Instagram

Nadia has since moved on with Peter Dugmore, who she has reportedly been dating since January 2022. Peter, a former semi-professional AFL player turned model, works with agency Giant Management in Melbourne.

The couple made their first public appearance in January 2024 at the Australian Open after keeping their relationship relatively private. 

Nadia recently told Herald Sun of her new partner, "I like to be private in some things but we're so happy. He's a really good person, and we're enjoying our time together."

Nadia Bartel and her partner, Peter Dugmore. Image: Instagram


The 'white powder' controversy.


In September 2021, Nadia's world was again turned upside down when a video surfaced online, showing her breaching COVID-19 restrictions. The four-second video was reportedly leaked by a friend after it was accidentally shared to an Instagram Story.

The footage, which quickly went viral, showed Nadia and a group of friends attending an illegal gathering during Melbourne's strict lockdown period, which was a major breach of the public health orders in place.

The footage also showed Nadia snorting a white substance off a Kmart plate — and the backlash was swift.

Nadia faced a torrent of criticism on social media, with many expressing their disappointment and anger over her actions. As a result, the mum-of-two also lost several brand sponsorships, including JSHealth Vitamins, who condemned Nadia's "illicit behaviour".

"JSHealth fundamentally supports all public health orders in place to keep us safe in this hugely difficult time for so many. We do not tolerate illicit behaviour," they said.

"Please know we have taken immediate action and will no longer be working with this individual – or anyone who does not align with our values."

Listen to the Out Loud hosts discuss *that* Nadia Bartel controversy. Story continues below.


In the wake of the scandal, Nadia issued a heartfelt apology on her Instagram, expressing her regret and acknowledging her mistake. 

"I have let you all down by my actions. I take full responsibility and am committed to taking all necessary steps to ensure I make better choices in future," she wrote on Instagram in September 2021. 

"To my family and friends, my business partners and the public health workers trying to keep us all safe, I am embarrassed and remorseful," she continued. "I am truly and deeply sorry. I hope I can earn your forgiveness and, in time, your trust. Nadia."

Victoria Police later confirmed Nadia and three other party-goers were issued $5,452 fines each for breaking lockdown orders.


Despite the controversy, many of her followers appreciated her candidness and willingness to take responsibility for her actions.

In April 2023, Nadia opened up about the incident for the first time in an exclusive interview with Stellar.

"I've never spoken publicly about it. And all of the articles that were written were driven by the media; a lot of it was their own [rumours]. But I understand the interest in it. I understand why they need to write about it," Bartel told the outlet.

"And I accept that. I just feel there's a real, ongoing pursuit of it — still. And that's what feels very hurtful."

Nadia Bartel's comeback on Dancing With The Stars 2024.

Fast forward to 2024, and Nadia Bartel was ready to leave the past behind and shine on the dance floor alongside her professional dance partner, Lyu Masuda.


Her participation in Dancing With The Stars marks a significant comeback, and fans were eager to see how she would fare in the competition.

"This year all the timing was right, and I just thought it'd be nice to try something that was very much out of my comfort zone, because I'd never even done dance as a kid or child, and I'm not that coordinated," Nadia told Perth Now.

She added, "It's really hard for me to get my hips to move in the right way. I think that just might be from pregnancies,” she admitted. "The Cha Cha was so hard for me."

Nadia Bartel for Dancing With The Stars. Image: Seven


Viewers were able to see a different side of Nadia Bartel as she joined this year's, crop that includes Hayden Quinn, James Stewart, Ant Middleton, Julie Goodwin and more.

Watch Dancing With The Stars, Sunday nights on Seven.

Feature image: Instagram.

This article was originally published on July 3, 2024 and has since been updated.

Do you love trying new skincare products? Complete this survey now to go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher.