Connect with us

News

Inside Megan Gale’s difficult move from model to business woman

Published

on

For Megan Gale, her brother’s tragic death in the middle of a pandemic hasn’t been her only source of heartache.

Earlier this week, Gale revealed that not only was she grieving the loss of brother Jason but she had also made the “hard call” to close her baby and children’s skincare start-up, Mindful Life.

In a video posted to Instagram, Gale said she had “trusted the wrong people … in some pretty major elements of the business”.

Gale said she had realised she needed to pull the plug after spending two weeks in Perth hotel quarantine prior to her brother’s funeral, which had given her “a lot of time to think”.

“There’s nothing like the death of someone extremely close to you to make you stop and take stock and reassess what you’re doing with your own life and underline the complete importance of how precious life is and what little time we really do have here,” she said.

Gale has enjoyed unprecedented success in Australia for two decades, first as David Jones’ longest-ever ambassador and then as a businesswoman selling swimwear, homewares and skincare.

The 45-year-old, who is engaged to former AFL player and Survivor star Shaun Hampson, describes herself as a private person with a public profile, suffering any setbacks with grace.

The mother-of-two gave up her lucrative gig with David Jones to star in the lead role of a superhero movie that ended up getting shelved, went through a heartbreaking miscarriage, saw the closure of her beloved swimwear line as well as unfair criticism of her romantic relationships.

But these hurdles haven’t stopped Gale from staying positive, telling her Instagram followers last week that she was “not amazing but doing OK”, adding she was “happy and grateful” for her family.

ACTING ROLE THAT FELT ‘MEANT TO BE’

By 2008 it was hard to go anywhere without seeing Gale everywhere.

The supermodel had been a David Jones’ ambassador for the past seven years and one half of Australia’s most popular couple with comedian Andy Lee.

But Gale was keen to explore her options overseas and asked the department store if she could step back from some of her ambassador duties so she could try her hand at acting.

The decision coincided with Gale being asked to audition for the lead role in an upcoming Wonder Woman film slated to be directed by George Miller.

Her likeness to the comic book superhero blew Warner Bros away and she was cast, signing a three picture deal.

“We started pre-production and then they flew all the cast down to Australia, very top secret, and we all were sitting there working … and then the writer’s strike happened in the beginning of 2008,” Gale told Mamamia’s No Filter podcast in March this year.

“Having been cast, I had to sign for a three picture deal which was great but in turn I went to David Jones and said, ‘Hey you know the way I said I was going to pursue other things? It’s kind of happened now and I have to leave you guys unfortunately’.”

But the writer’s strike dragged on for months and ended up closing down many movie productions, including Gale’s Wonder Woman film, permanently – leaving her with no three-picture deal or ambassador role with David Jones.

The loss of her Wonder Woman role saw doors that had been flung open then slammed shut to Gale.

“As soon as I got signed as Wonder Woman I’d had – I don’t even know to this day how they got my email address – I had CAA, William Morris … all the big agents they all emailed me wanting to represent, so I went over there and met all of them,” she told No Filter.

“But then as soon as the film got shelved, I was invisible.”

Despite missing out on her shot at the Hollywood big leagues, Gale said she accepted that it simply wasn’t meant to be and went on to have a role in another Miller movie, Mad Max: Fury Road.

Gale continued to work for David Jones in a smaller role until 2015 when she decided to retire from modelling for the department store completely.

The supermodel left on a high as the store’s longest-running ambassador and a highly successful swimwear brand under her belt.

Gale’s departure also coincided with the launch of a limited edition homewares line with Target, MG Homewares which proved popular with shoppers.

BLINDSIDED BY SWIMWEAR SHELVING

But just months after being feted during her David Jones departure, Gale’s swimwear line hit a snag.

Gale had teamed up with Seafolly to launch Isola by Megan Gale in 2010, with the collection a hit with shoppers and other Australian celebrities alike.

But in August 2015, just two months after ending her David Jones role, Seafolly announced they were ending their partnership with Megan’s line Isola.

At the time L Capital Asia had just bought a stake in the Seafolly, with the company saying they had discontinued Isola because of difficulties trademarking the name internationally.

Gale has said she was left “in absolute shock” by the decision, given Isola was “selling brilliantly” at the time.

“When Seafolly was looking to sell to their new buyers, I was given absolute assurance Isola was not only included in this arrangement, but there were big plans to both invest in and grow the brand, so based on that, I approved the sale,” she told the Herald Sun in 2016.

“It is only in hindsight I have to wonder was this ever the intention. Never ever would I imagine that a few months following I would be facing the news that I was. It was really hard to process that after years of putting my heart and soul into a partnership that I trusted.”

Since then Gale has developed “a very thick skin” and said she has learned to “always have a good, trusted lawyer that you can call upon”, she told whimn.com.au earlier this year.

‘ABSOLUTELY THE HARDEST THING I’VE EVER DONE’

Gale launched children’s skincare line Mindful Life in early 2019, revealing she had taken her time getting the business off the line after coming up with the idea in 2014.

This time the business wasn’t backed by investors with Gale funding the entire start-up herself, she told Business Chicks.

“I wanted to have my own business where I could control my time and where I spent it,” she said. “I was finding it really hard to be answerable to people. That had to stop until it could be on my terms.”

Gale told No Filter that self-funding Mindful Life was “absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever done … but it’s mine”.

“After having a couple of unsavoury business ventures, ones that went well, but I guess what I learnt from partnering with other people was that ultimately you can put in all that hard work, effort, your name, your brand, your likeness, everything,” she said.

“(But) ultimately if someone else holds control, it means nothing.”

BROTHER’S DEATH A ‘HUGE SHOCK’

Tragedy struck for Gale in July when her brother Jason was discovered dead in Karragullen, Perth, after being missing for more than a week.

In a video posted late last month, her first social media post in two months, Gale explained that her brother’s death had been a “huge shock”.

The coronavirus pandemic had meant that Gale had had to make an important decision quickly, hopping on a plane from Melbourne to Perth to go through two weeks of hotel quarantine before attending his funeral, essentially cutting herself off from her life for a month.

“I had a very short period of time to make the decision to travel over, because travelling over meant hotel quarantine for two weeks and then planning the funeral and attending the funeral, so I knew that I could be a month away from my kids and my man,” she said.

“And I also knew that by going to Perth that I would be responsible for risking there being more media attention and more focus on it, which I didn‘t want to do. I already felt bad enough, that I’d be the cause of that.”

‘I WAS SPENT’

But in a video announcing the closure of Mindful Life this week, Gale revealed the tragedy had also given her the clarity she had needed.

She had closed her business after outsourcing “certain responsibilities and tasks” to third parties.

“When you are a very small basic start-up and you don’t have a lot of infrastructure and you don’t have a lot of things done in-house, you have to outsource certain responsibilities and tasks to third parties, other businesses, which is what I had to do,” Gale said.

“In short, I trusted the wrong people … in some pretty major elements of the business.”

A clinch point was when she realised that the business wouldn’t be able to deliver stock in time to customers.

“It wasn’t until I got to about June this year when I realised how much time I’d lost and how I couldn’t come back from it,” she said.

“So at that point I was completely spent. I mean, I’m a pretty tough chick, I’ve got a lot of fight in me. I had used up all of my reserves of resilience and tenacity and just sheer determination.”

The supermodel said she had been “super proud” of the business, which managed to withstand COVID as sales continued to come through.

“It’s not been without its challenges, however. I knew going into a start-up it wouldn’t be without its challenges. I was prepared for that. I was warned about that,” she said.

“What I wasn’t prepared for was that these teething issues would grow into big issues, that they would be ongoing and they would be just ceaseless, really.

“It’s got to the point where these issues are quite insurmountable.”

News

Ex-Trump aide Meadows cooperating with House Jan. 6 panel

Published

on

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, is cooperating with a House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, putting off for now the panel’s threat to hold him in contempt, the committee’s chairman said Tuesday.

The panel “will continue to assess his degree of compliance,” Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson said in a statement. He said Meadows has produced records and will soon appear for an initial deposition.

The agreement comes after two months of negotiations between Meadows and the committee and after the Justice Department indicted longtime Trump ally Steve Bannon for defying a subpoena. Meadows’ lawyer had previously indicated that his client would not comply, a stance the committee said was unacceptable.

“The Select Committee expects all witnesses, including Mr. Meadows, to provide all information requested and that the Select Committee is lawfully entitled to receive,” Thompson said.

Under the tentative agreement, Meadows could potentially decline to answer the panel’s questions about his most sensitive conversations with Trump and what Trump was doing on Jan. 6 as hundreds of rioters violently broke into the Capitol and interrupted the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.

Trump — who told his supporters to “fight like hell” that morning — has attempted to hinder much of the committee’s work, including in an ongoing court case, by arguing that Congress cannot obtain information about his private White House conversations.

Meadows’ lawyer, George Terwilliger, said in a statement that “we appreciate the Select Committee’s openness to receiving voluntary responses on non-privileged topics.”

Terwilliger said he was continuing to work with the committee and its staff on a potential accommodation that would not require Meadows to waive the executive privileges claimed by Trump or “forfeit the long-standing position that senior White House aides cannot be compelled to testify before Congress.”

The deal with Meadows highlights how the committee is trying to balance its need for information about Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection against the desire to complete the investigation quickly. While the committee has rejected Trump’s legal arguments and Biden has waived executive privilege to hand over documents and records, the panel wants to avoid lengthy legal entanglements that could delay their work.

Still, Meadows’ intention to work with the panel is a victory for the seven Democrats and two Republicans on the committee, especially as they seek interviews with lower-profile witnesses who may have important information to share. The panel has so far subpoenaed more than 40 witnesses and interviewed more than 150 people behind closed doors.

Terwilliger had previously said that Meadows wouldn’t comply with the panel’s September subpoena because of Trump’s privilege claims. But the House panel insists it has questions for Meadows that do not directly involve conversations with Trump.

In the committee’s September subpoena, Thompson cited Meadows’ efforts to overturn Trump’s defeat in the weeks before the insurrection and his pressure on state officials to push false claims of widespread voter fraud.

“You were the president’s chief of staff and have critical information regarding many elements of our inquiry,” Thompson wrote. “It appears you were with or in the vicinity of President Trump on January 6, had communication with the president and others on January 6 regarding events at the Capitol and are a witness regarding the activities of the day.”

Lawmakers on the committee had hinted for several weeks that they were prepared to hold Meadows in contempt, as they had Bannon. But Thompson said just before Thanksgiving that the committee “won’t rush the effort” to make clear that they had given Meadows, a former Republican congressman from North Carolina, every chance to cooperate.

On Wednesday, the committee will vote on whether to pursue contempt charges against a separate witness, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, after he appeared for a deposition earlier this month but declined to answer questions. The House could vote to hold him in contempt as soon as this week. It would be up to the Justice Department to decide whether to indict him.

A report from Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee detailed how Clark championed Trump’s efforts to undo the election results and clashed as a result with Justice Department superiors who resisted the pressure, culminating in a dramatic White House meeting at which Trump ruminated about elevating Clark to attorney general. He did not do so after several aides threatened to resign.

Continue Reading

News

Israeli doctor believes he caught Omicron variant of Covid in London | Coronavirus

Published

on

A doctor who was one of the first people in the world to become infected with the Omicron variant says he believes he caught the virus when he was in London for a major medical conference attended by more than 1,200 health professionals.

The disclosure from Elad Maor will raise fears that the variant may have been in the UK much earlier than previously realised – and that other medics could have been exposed to it too.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Maor, a cardiologist at Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv, described how he returned to Israel on 23 November after the three-day meeting at ExCeL London, a large convention centre in Newham, east London. He began experiencing symptoms within days, and tested positive on 27 November.

The time from exposure to symptom onset (known as the incubation period) is thought to be up to 14 days, though symptoms typically appear within five days of exposure.

The 45-year-old, a father of three and an associate professor of cardiology at Tel Aviv University, arrived in London on 19 November and stayed four nights at a hotel in Islington, north London. Maor has so far shown mild Covid-19 symptoms, including a fever, muscle ache and a sore throat.

Delegates at the London conference.
Delegates at the London conference. Photograph: c/o Elad Maor

Speaking to the Guardian from his home in Israel, where he is self-isolating, Maor also said he had probably infected a 69-year-old colleague with the virus after flying back from London. The colleague has since tested positive for the Omicron variant.

While he cannot be certain how or when he became infected, Maor, who had received three doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, is convinced it occurred in the UK. “I got the Omicron in London, for sure,” he said. “That is interesting because that was 10 days ago in London – really, really early.”

The revelation will raise fresh questions about how early the new variant may have been present in the UK and Europe. Governments around the world are urgently scouring databases for recent cases of Covid infections, screening travellers and decoding the viral genomes of the new variant as they try to measure how far it has spread and where it originated.

Data shows it was circulating before it was officially identified in southern Africa last week and it has since been detected in more than a dozen countries. Work to establish if it is more infectious, more deadly or can evade vaccines will take weeks.

UK map

Maor said he had nothing but praise for the organisers of the PCR London Valves 2021 conference, who asked for proof of vaccination before allowing entry to ExCeL London. However, pictures of the meeting taken by Maor and reviewed by the Guardian show not everyone was wearing masks. The conference was attended by 1,250 people in person and a further 2,400 watched online.

The doctor, who travelled to the conference in east London using the tube and Docklands Light Railway each day, noticed similar behaviour on public transport. “Many of the people on the tube were not wearing masks,” he said. “I was actually surprised by that.”

He undertook a PCR test on 20 November – his second day in the UK – and again on 21 November – the first day of the medical conference – as per UK and Israeli travel rules. After attending the final day on 23 November, he flew from London via Heathrow airport at 9pm. Upon arrival at Tel Aviv in the early hours of 24 November, he had a third PCR test – which also came back negative.

“The only reasonable explanation is that I got infected on the last day of the meeting – maybe at the airport, maybe at the meeting,” he said. “That’s why the [third] PCR was too early to detect the infection. So either the second day of the meeting or the last day of the meeting because there is a lag between the time you get infected, and when the PCR turns positive.”

Having initially tested negative for Covid-19 when returning to Israel, he returned to work at the Sheba Medical Centre before developing symptoms, and a fourth PRC test said he was positive. Maor has since been told he is the third confirmed Omicron case in Israel, and the first in the country with no travel links to southern Africa.

Maor said it “feels weird” to be one of the first people in the world to become infected with the Omicron variant. “As a physician I am not used to being under the spotlight.”

Although his wife accompanied him to London, neither she nor any of his children have experienced symptoms or tested positive for Covid-19. “That’s reassuring, I think,” he said. “I think the transmissibility of this [variant] is not completely different or extremely different to what I know about Delta.”

Maor urged people to get vaccinated and to have a booster jab if eligible. “I can’t emphasise the importance of that enough,” he said. “Things could have ended much worse for my family and friends – I am sure that my disease could have been worse if not for the vaccine.”

The Europa Group, which is based in Toulouse and organised the PCR London Valves 2021 conference at ExCeL London, posted a message on its official conference website confirming it had learned on 30 November that a delegate had tested positive for Covid after returning to their home country.

Speaking from France, a spokesperson for the Europa Group said: “As you may imagine, the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone who visited PCR London Valves was our number one priority.

“All protocols mandated by the UK government were put in place. Anyone entering the congress centre had to present a valid health pass and were requested to wear a mask. Hydro-alcoholic gel and masks were made readily available for all participants and disposal bins for used protective equipment were provided.”

Israel shut its borders to foreigners from all countries for 14 days on Saturday to try to contain the spread of Omicron and has reintroduced counter-terrorism phone-tracking technology to trace contacts of a handful of people who have likely been infected. The UK has added 10 countries to its travel “red list”.

Continue Reading

News

Manchester United plot move to sign Real Madrid superstar for free

Published

on

Premier League club Manchester United have entered the race to sign Real Madrid star Luka Modric when his contract expires next summer. Earlier, it was being reported that the Croatian skipper is open to a move to Manchester City.

If El Nacional is to be believed, the interim manager of Manchester United, Ralf Rangnick, is interested in signing Luka Modric next summer. This could also be due to the fact that Modric has had a successful professional partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane. All three players used to play for an extremely successful Real Madrid side.

Rumors of Modric looking for a move have emerged after a delay in his contract extension with Los Blancos. The addition of Luka Modric to Manchester United’s squad would bring tons of experience in midfield. His time and pairing with Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid would be of immense help to the team.

Real Madrid were in the process of extending Luka Modric’s contract ahead of its expiry in 2022. However, nothing seems to have advanced since the initial reports. It was also reported that Serie A giants Inter Milan are also planning to have Modric’s services once his contract with Los Blancos expires.

Former Manchester United player Ryan Giggs has also revealed in the past that he wants Luka Modric to sign for Manchester United.

Ryan Giggs wants Luka Modric to join the Red Devils.Just imagine, Manchester United fans… https://t.co/E5E2dBFugA

Meanwhile, the new interim boss of the Red Devils was spotted at Old Trafford today. He is expected to be present as hosts Manchester United take on Arsenal in the English Premier League on Thursday.

Ralf Rangnick was at Old Trafford today together with John Murtough. It’s his first time into the stadium – he was dreaming of Premier League chance, it’s now time to start. 🔴 #MUFCHe’s expected to be there in the stands also tomorrow for Man Utd-Arsenal.@oliverhunt111 📸⤵️ https://t.co/M5oK1YEqO7


Former Real Madrid players can help Manchester United find the European glory again

Manchester United last won the UEFA Champions League in 2008, when Cristiano Ronaldo was living his youth dream at Old Trafford under Sir Alex Ferguson. Ronaldo was a sensation back then as he won everything with the Red Devils.

He then decided to make a move to La Liga giants Real Madrid in a then-record deal of around £80 million. The Portuguese has won everything with Real Madrid as well. He is now back again with Manchester United in probably the last leg of his career.

Manchester United have roped in Jadon Sancho, Donny Van De Beek and Raphael Varane in recent times to challenge again in the Champions League. The Red Devils have had an eventful group stage. But they have managed to qualify for the knockout stage, thanks to the Champions League supremacy of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ralf Rangnick will take some time to bring in his managerial impact upon the Premier League giants. Once it is settled he will eye nothing shorter than the league title and the Champions League. It is here that former Real Madrid players like Ronaldo, Varane and Modric (if and when signed) will prove to be his king makers.



Continue Reading

Trending