David Warner’s wife Candice attends press conference with PR queen
DISGRACED cricket star David Warner is at the centre of one of the biggest cheating scandals the sport has ever seen so it was always going to be a challenge for any publicist to help pull him and his family out of it.
But the decision by PR queen Roxy Jacenko to attend the press conference with Warner's wife Candice, a former ironwoman, as a support person appeared to backfire as the cricketer fronted a press conference in Sydney for the first time since news of the scandal broke.
"I've let you down badly," he told the Australian public as he confessed to his role in the ball-tampering saga.
Watching on as her husband burst into tears and struggled to get his words out, Candice cut a shattered and distraught figure, and cried. Ms Jacenko, who was sitting next to Candice, leant in closely and wrapped her arms around her for comfort.
But it didn't go down well with many viewers who immediately suggested the appearance was a contrived "PR stunt" concocted by Ms Jacenko. Dozens of Twitter users accused Ms Jacenko of using the situation to promote herself and labelled it a "PR disaster".
By giving him rehearsed lines to avoid questions and stay on message, the minders have done more harm than good to the situation.— Chris Urquhart (@chrisurquhart) March 31, 2018
The press conference appearance followed the Warners' tearful return to Sydney a few days earlier in which some critics also accused Ms Jacenko of "parading" the family in front of media at the airport. Ms Jacenko vehemently denied all allegations and told news.com.au the claims were "offensive".
"The family walked out of the airport with their children getting straight into the awaiting car stopping to be polite to media and give them some info," Ms Jacenko said.
"If you review the footage you will see I was not in fact at the airport for the arrival so a suggestion that they paraded for my personal gain is nothing short of pathetic.
Several critics also lashed out at Warner's publicity team and said the apparent coaxing of him by minders to avoid answering key cheating scandal questions had done him "more harm than good" as he desperately seeks to restore his reputation.
News.com.au has contacted Warner's representatives - which are not affiliated with Ms Jacenko - for comment.
Ms Jacenko said the fallout of the cheating scandal was severely affecting the Warner "family's livelihood"
"I will continue to be a support to the family as they deserve and will not participate in giving air to this pathetic 'kick them while they are down' mentality," she said.
"I've lived it - don't forget that."
On Friday, Ms Jacenko told Yahoo Be that Candice was "doing as well as can be expected given the situation".
Earlier in the week, Ms Jacenko told news.com.au that she had nothing but admiration for Ms Warner in the face of what she's had to endure in recent weeks.
"Candice is an exceptional mother, wife and friend and given the circumstances and the barrage of online abuse is coping as best as can be expected," Ms Jacenko said.
"For now, her main focus is to be a support to Warner and protect her children."
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story suggested Ms Jacenko had attended the press conference as a PR representative for the couple. This is incorrect. Ms Jacenko says she attended the press conference to offer personal support to the couple.