Daily Telegraph columnist Annette Sharp landed herself in rather familiar territory when she penned a column in The Daily Telegraph over the weekend urging Jesinta Campbell and Buddy Franklin to consider postponing their summer wedding after Franklin took indefinite leave from the Sydney Swans to receive treatment for a mental health issue.

She offered 13 “reasons”, including:

  • “The rumours that simply won’t quit”;
  • “Jesinta may still be absorbing the news that mental illness can be hereditary”; and
  • “Because Franklin’s career and earning power is less certain than it was a month ago.”

Campbell didn’t welcome the “advice”, writing in a statement posted to Twitter that while she didn’t usually bother with Sharp’s column, she considered it important to tell those struggling with mental illness that Sharp was wrong.  “Your challenges do not define you, and your suffering does not make you less appealing as a life partner. You deserve love and happiness and to find someone who will love you, completely. Today’s article was shallow and given the seriousness of mental health challenges, in my opinion, irresponsible!”

Sharp responded that her advice had been meant in good faith and has been misrepresented, and she has been defending the column all weekend on Twitter. “I wish Jesinta [and] Buddy all the very best for the future — hence the column. I wrote it because I’m concerned [for] them,” she tweeted.

According to reports first in the Oz this morning, Campbell is considering suing the Daily Tele over the column. If she does, it wouldn’t be the first time the lawyers were called in over Sharp’s unwanted advice. Earlier this year, the Fin’s Rear Window reported that Candice Falzon and her husband, cricketer David Warner, had gotten a $200,000 payout after Sharp wrote a piece suggesting that Falzon had married Warner for his money (the article has since been deleted). 

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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