Opening up on Mamamia’s No Filter podcast, Gale said she felt the public’s perception of her shift following the break-up, having been part of what many considered Australia’s golden couple for four years.
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“It was very demeaning … It was really challenging to navigate for a while,” the former model told host Mia Freedman.
“It wasn’t a good time. It almost felt like I had done something wrong and I had been tarnished like I’d done something wrong. When I was with (Andy), everyone loved us together,” she said.
She went on to explain that while it appeared she moved on with AFL player Shaun Hampson shortly after parting ways with Lee, their break-up was confirmed long before the news was made public.
“We were going through what we were going through very privately for quite a while, so when people found out we were broken up, I think it came as a bit of a shock and I did appear to have moved on relatively quickly.
“It was new for other people, but it was old for us.”
Gale and Australian Survivor star Hampson began dating in January 2011, announcing news of their engagement in July 2017.
In their nine years together, the couple have had two children: River, five, and Rosie, two.
But when news first broke that they had struck up a relationship, Gale said she felt their age gap was given unnecessary focus.
Gale is 44, and Hampson 32.
“If he was 12 years older than me, it wouldn’t have been a problem. But because I was the woman and I was older, and it made it a bit salacious,” she said, revealing she was “aggravated” by the harsh double-standard.
While guest starring on Anh’s Brush With Fame in 2017, Gale said she felt this affected her reputation.
“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,” the brunette beauty continued on the program.
Those days seem far behind them now, however, with Gale posting a cheeky snap on Instagram in 2017 announcement her engagement to Hampson.
“For goodness sake, can’t a girl go for leisurely beach stroll without chipping a nail?!,” she wrote.
“Well. at least I had some nice rocks to look at. I know you’re not supposed to remove shells and rocks from the beach and take them home with you, but I did find one rock that was pretty special and I just had to keep it,” the former Project Runway host said beneath a photo providing merely a glimpse of her sparkling engagement ring.