Roxy Jacenko on the hardest conversation she’s had with her imprisoned husband.

When Roxy Jacenko‘s husband Oliver Curtis was sentenced to jail time for insider trading, she probably thought it was the worst news she’d receive all year.

When she was diagnosed with breast cancer only weeks later, it should have come as a tragic shock, but Jacenko says a part of her already expected the news.

“It was almost like I knew in my mind,” she told 60 Minutes tonight.

“I was like, ‘So much s*** has gone wrong. This must just be another thing.'”

But unlike other women who face such a frightening diagnosis, Jacenko wasn’t the recipient of an outpouring of love and support. Instead, she was accused of being a “liar” and a “fake”.

“It’s unbelievable,” Jacenko says on the accusations. “You’ve got too much time on your hands if you say that. It is what it is.

“I’m unfortunately the person who has got the cancer. My husband is in jail and I’m now a single mother. I don’t really give a f*** what they think.”

But, of course, the negative press attention has taken its toll.

“Inside, [I’m] probably a broken piece of glass in a million pieces.”

"I don’t really give a f*** what they think." Image via 60 Minutes/Channel 9.

That the public has shown themselves utterly disinterested in extending sympathy to Jacenko isn't necessarily surprising. From starting a business for her three-year-old daughter to Instagramming her outfits on the way to her husband's trial, Jacenko's inability to act within the confines of people's expectations has attracted widespread criticism.


Most offensive, Jacenko thinks, is the perception that her flashy lifestyle is funded by the proceeds of her husband's crime.

"It infuriates me. It’s very, very aggravating... These ill-informed, small-minded opinions... that anything that I have, anything that I’ve given to my family, any luxurious holidays or whatever they may be, were the proceeds of ill-gotten gains, is infuriating, because the reality of it is, everything that I have and everything that I provide for my family is from hard work," she says.

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With Curtis imprisoned, Jacenko is playing the role of single mother. On top of her hugely successful PR business, Sweaty Betty, it's a challenge to step back into full-time mothering - particularly since Jacenko has never learned how to cook.

"Look, it’s definitely a challenge, I won’t lie," she admits.

"Um, I now sort of - I would always work when I came home, but now, obviously, it’s a lot more challenging. Now I sort of go to bed at 2:00 in the morning."

roxy jacenko 60 minutes
"Look, it’s definitely a challenge, I won’t lie." Image via 60 Minutes/Channel 9.

Of all the things Jacenko has been publicly slammed for, a photo of her working from her hospital bed immediately after the birth of her youngest child caused perhaps the most controversy. But Jacenko didn't - and still doesn't - see what all the fuss was about.


"Look, you get wheeled back into your room, the baby is fast asleep next to you. What was I supposed to do, stare into space?"

Regardless, she insists her children "come first". She's shielded them as much as she can from news about their father, and she "darts" to turn off the TV whenever an image of Curtis in handcuffs comes up.

She says Hunter is dealing with the news "exceptionally well", but Pixie is adapting "horribly". Pixie's been told her father is in China, and both children think their father will be home "around Christmastime".

"Pixie’s very upset," Jacenko revealed. "Every day’s hard with her now. She’s reserved and she cries for her dad... It’s not a position I ever wanted to be in."

"I remember when I came home the day Ollie was sentenced, when the kids opened the door, they were so excited to see me and I remember I started to cry because all of sudden, there were these two little kids who had no awareness of what was happening. And Pixie sort of pat me on the back and she’s like, 'Oh, Mum, did you have a bad day in the office? Was someone mean to you?'

"And I was like, 'Very bad day in the office, Pix.” And I cried and she gave me a little cuddle ... I guess it was at that point I went, 'OK, you’ve got to pull your **** together and you’ve got to get on with it.'"

The Sweaty Betty PR founder also recalls the phone call when she informed Curtis she'd been diagnosed with cancer. She was at the doctor at the time.

We asked an expert when and how should you check your breasts. Post continues after video. 

"I actually was probably not going to even tell him I had it, but because I was at the doctor and it was the first call from this no caller ID on my phone, I picked up, and that’s when I sort of, I lost it. I started to cry instantly," she said.

"He was gutted. I mean, he cried. Because, I suppose he thinks that I hope that he would hope that his aggravation didn’t contribute to it."

Jacenko also doggedly maintains her husband's innocence. She's never asked Curtis what happened, and they've never discussed it.

"He pleaded not guilty, and he maintains the not guilty. Papers were served when we were at home and he was waiting for a pizza one evening on a Sunday night, and you know what my question to Ollie was? 'Did you do it?' He said, 'I didn’t do it and I’m gonna fight it because I didn’t do it.'"

She acknowledges that some might find her intentional ignorance strange, but Jacenko maintains she's not interested in knowing.


"He’s got no reason to lie to me. He could tell me the truth, um, and irrespective of what the truth is that he says to me, I’m there. No matter what."

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A photo posted by Roxy Jacenko (@roxyjacenko) on

As for the daily photos in the lift as she ascended to her husband's criminal trial, Jacenko showed no remorse.

"I didn’t alter my day-to-day activities. I didn’t alter my day-to-day lift selfies because of the court.

"I’m in fashion PR. So, of course I’m going to have a nice outfit. That’s what I do. "

Jacenko is clearly a strong woman who's prepared to stand her ground - and that's never been so obvious as when she took on Allison Langdon tonight.

Referring to the timing of Jacenko's cancer diagnosis, Langon observed that it wasn't only online trolls who were questioning the veracity of Jacenko's claims.

"I’ve had smart people, friends of mine, normal people out there, who have questioned the timing of this," she said.

"Well, they’re not normal, Allison. Change your friends, because that’s not a kind person. If someone I knew was in my position and they had been diagnosed with cancer some three weeks after their husband went to jail, I certainly wouldn’t be having an opinion on, 'Is that convenient timing.' You know what I’d say? 'What can I do to help them?'"

As for the cancer diagnosis itself, Jacenko's approach is to "go slow". Image via 60 Minutes/Channel 9.

Considering, Jacenko added: "It makes me angry. You’d have to be sick in the head to think that someone would actually manipulate a timeline on cancer. People die from cancer.

"To be honest, I think it’s pathetic, I really do. I think it’s pathetic."

As for the cancer diagnosis itself, Jacenko's approach is to "go slow". Although doctors recommended she have a  mastectomy, she's decided to have just the cancerous lump — which was revealed to be the size of "a small mandarin" — removed for the time being.

Roxy's tumour, as shown on 60 Minutes. (Screengrab)

But the operation was only the beginning. Jacenko's facing radiation, the possibility of chemotherapy, and she still may need to have her breast removed further down the track.

And when asked whether she thinks she has an image problem, Jacenko has a definitive answer: she doesn't care.

"This is about someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, whose husband has just gone to jail and whose two children have lost their father.

"Forget image. I don’t care about image."

What were your thoughts on Roxy's interview?