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Lauren Mand ‘wanted her relationship with Jimmy Bartel to make headlines’

Jimmy and Nadia Bartel’s marriage breakdown has taken a nasty turn amid claims the retired AFL star’s new girlfriend may be enjoying her newfound fame.

According to the Herald Sun, British-based Australian socialite Lauren Mand has ‘long been referring to Jimmy as her boyfriend’, despite the fact he is married with two children.

Lauren is also said to have wanted their relationship to ‘hit the headlines’.  

Notorious: Jimmy and Nadia Bartel’s marriage breakdown has taken a nasty turn amid claims the retired AFL star’s girlfriend Lauren Mand (pictured) may be enjoying her newfound fame

Nadia, who shares two sons with the former Geelong Cats player, is now reportedly ‘bracing herself’ for more details of her husband’s private life to be made public.

It comes after Sharyn Hart, a Melbourne-based TV producer who works on The Project, denied being one of several women in a ‘close friendship’ with Jimmy following his marriage split.

Sharyn told Daily Mail Australia that claims she was in a relationship with Jimmy were ‘factually incorrect’. 

When asked if she and Jimmy were ‘just friends’ and had not been in a relationship, Sharyn did not respond. 

Claims: According to the Herald Sun, Lauren has 'long been referring to Jimmy as her boyfriend', despite the fact he is married with two children. Pictured: The Bartels on June 2

Claims: According to the Herald Sun, Lauren has ‘long been referring to Jimmy as her boyfriend’, despite the fact he is married with two children. Pictured: The Bartels on June 2

The pair’s friendship is believed to have begun on Before the Game, a now-defunct AFL talk program that aired on Channel 10.

At the time of the show, Jimmy was still in the middle of his successful AFL career which included three premierships, a Brownlow Medal and a Norm Smith medal.

Having long been regarded as one of the league’s ‘glamour couples’, the end of the Bartels’ marriage has seen rumours swirl in recent weeks. 

Looking for attention? Lauren is said to have wanted their relationship to 'hit the headlines'

Looking for attention? Lauren is said to have wanted their relationship to ‘hit the headlines’

Since his split, Jimmy is said to be in a ‘long-term relationship’ with Lauren, who recently moved from Melbourne to London. 

The footy legend had flown to London in June for what was ostensibly a holiday to watch the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

Nadia, 34, appeared to confirm rumours about her husband’s overseas trip last week when she broke her silence on the split.

Agony: Nadia, who shares two sons with the former Geelong Cats player, is 'bracing herself' for more details of her husband's private life to be made public. Pictured on Wednesday

Agony: Nadia, who shares two sons with the former Geelong Cats player, is ‘bracing herself’ for more details of her husband’s private life to be made public. Pictured on Wednesday

‘It’s been a very difficult month for me and the boys,’ Nadia told the Herald Sun.

‘Although I’m heartbroken, I don’t want to comment specifically on what’s been reported about Jim’s trip to the UK as I don’t think it’s in anyone’s interest.

‘My single focus now is to continue to protect, care and provide for my two beautiful boys as this is a personal matter.’

According to friends of the couple, the break-up had come out of the blue and Nadia was ‘blindsided’ by the end of her marriage.

What went wrong? Having long been regarded as one of the league's 'glamour couples', the end of the Bartels' marriage has seen rumours swirl in recent weeks

What went wrong? Having long been regarded as one of the league’s ‘glamour couples’, the end of the Bartels’ marriage has seen rumours swirl in recent weeks

It comes after the Bartels were pictured having a tense reunion outside of Nadia’s mother’s house in Middle Park, Melbourne on Thursday.

The WAG looked furious during the encounter, glaring angrily at her estranged husband as he handed over the couple’s son Henley in a parking lot.

According to an onlooker, the pair ‘hardly interacted or spoke’ during the handover and Nadia ‘wasted no time’ getting Henley and running back inside.

Denials: It comes after Sharyn Hart, a Melbourne-based TV producer who works on The Project, denied being one of several women in a 'close friendship' with Jimmy (pictured) following his marriage split

Denials: It comes after Sharyn Hart (pictured), a Melbourne-based TV producer who works on The Project, denied being one of several women in a 'close friendship' with Jimmy following his marriage split

Denials: It comes after Sharyn Hart (right), a Melbourne-based TV producer who works on The Project, denied being one of several women in a ‘close friendship’ with Jimmy (left) following his marriage split 

The Bartels’ reunion – the first time they had been seen together since announcing their separation earlier this month – was apparently ‘over in a minute’.

The mother-of-two left her shared home with Jimmy in mid-June, and moved in with her parents ‘permanently’ in July.

Moving on: Since his split, Jimmy is said to be in a 'long-term relationship' with Lauren Mand (pictured), who recently moved from Melbourne to London

Moving on: Since his split, Jimmy is said to be in a 'long-term relationship' with Lauren Mand (right), who recently moved from Melbourne to London

Moving on: Since his split, Jimmy is said to be in a ‘long-term relationship’ with Lauren Mand (pictured), who recently moved from Melbourne to London

It’s believed the split has been a long time coming, with a neighbour saying the Bartels have rarely been seen together over the past year.

‘Last year we saw Nadia at cafés in the area frequently with her parents and kids, but Jimmy was never with her,’ the source claimed.

The Bartels’ split was first announced on August 15, just days after fans noticed the couple were no longer following each other on Instagram. 

Jimmy and Nadia married in February 2014 in a lavish ceremony near Melbourne and are parents to sons Aston, three, and Henley, 10 months. 

In happier times: The Bartels, who married in 2014 and share custody of two sons, Aston, three, and Henley, 10 months, had long been considered one of the AFL's leading couples

In happier times: The Bartels, who married in 2014 and share custody of two sons, Aston, three, and Henley, 10 months, had long been considered one of the AFL’s leading couples

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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