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Naitanui's girl - My sister's debut

Date

Jerrie Demasi

You'd be forgiven for not recognising this young woman's face, she's notoriously media shy. 

I should know. I'm her sister.

In fact that's the only reason I can put my pen to her very first media interview.

At just 21 years of age Elle Demasi was placed at the top of every tabloid reporter's hit list when her relationship with West Coast Eagles ruckman Nic Naitanui went public.

Since then, she's been turning down media requests left, right and centre – cover shoots, fashion spreads, features, exposes, you name it.

Well the proverbial cloak of privacy is about to be lifted tonight when she makes her blue carpet debut at the Brownlow Medal ceremony.

Elle says it's a great honour to be invited; nonetheless she's extremely nervous.

"It intimidates me a lot, I'm not sure what to expect because I've never had to answer to the media," she said.

"I've been looking online and some of the comments from the public and reporters can be pretty nasty. I feel sorry for the girls. It's like people will pick on any little thing.

"Nic's told me not to read that stuff but it's hard not to, I guess that's why we just want to keep our own business private."

Being privy to the goings-on of the media I can't help but feel a little sorry for my sister.

I don't think she quite anticipates the barrage of tabloid interest that's about to pursue her.

I mean we're not talking Kate Middleton nipple-party hysteria ... but it's Nic Naitanui.

He's kind of a big deal.

Granted, my sister has never had the slightest interest in AFL.

In fact she didn't even recognise the footy player when he first approached her at a rap concert in 2009.

"He'd just been drafted and I'd never watched a footy game in my life so I didn't know who he was," she said.

"We were sitting near each other so we started chatting and we just became friends, then eventually it turned into something more."

In December 2011 after several months of dating, Elle and Nic made their relationship official.

Shortly after that my sister and I attended our first Eagles game.

Surrounded by screaming fans holding up posters with Nic's giant head plastered across them, we exchanged looks of disbelief.

Was that the same little punk that sits on my couch almost every night and always polishes off the cutlets before anyone else can get to them?

It's hard to comprehend the hype.

But in my opinion, celebrity aside, the couple couldn't be any better suited.

The young ruckman towers over most people but he's surprisingly shy and softly spoken, not to mention humble.

The pair enjoys each other's company to an almost nauseating degree – from a sister's point of view that is - preferring to hang out and watch movies all day rather than attend premieres and parties.

But being slightly reclusive comes with the territory.

For anyone who ever ventures out on the streets of Perth with Nic Naitanui, I advise you: don't have a time schedule of any sort.

A five-minute walk from the coffee shop to the car can easily turn into a prolonged autograph session where someone's granny stops to tell you how much her grandson and husband and next door neighbour "really love you Nic and can you please sign this crumpled napkin that I just found in my handbag?"

For most it would be completely overwhelming and somewhat intrusive but the big boy just takes it in his rather oversized stride - and I have no idea how he does it.

Nic Nat loves meeting his fans, he loves chatting with strangers and he even loves the endless invitations to junior football games - this is a young man who is completely aware of his fortunate position, and he certainly knows who to thank for it.

Nic is always quick to remind my sister that the privileges they enjoy would never be possible if not for his supporters.

Privileges such as an invitation to the Brownlow for example, which in my experience, would rate for many women as the absolute highlight of their social lives.

I know I'd burst a blood vessel or two in excitement.

But not my sister. I don't think I've ever seen such a look of pure anxiety on her face as the one that surfaced when she received her invitation.

It's a stressful step out of everyday life - finding the dress, perfecting the blue carpet walk, preparing to talk to the media and let's not forget that dreaded giant WAG rotisserie.

Luckily, family friend Aurelio Costarella came to the rescue with a stunning gown.

The internationally acclaimed designer dressed Chris Judd's wife Rebecca at last year's medal count and has turned down more than 50 requests to dress WAGs this year.

Costarella said he was more than happy to dress the Brownlow debutante and no one else besides host Rachel Finch.

"Elle's gorgeous and she's going to look stunning," he said.

"It's daunting and she's obviously really terrified, and these girls are open to so much scrutiny that they have every reason to be.

"But we've kept her look very simple it's just a really beautiful, classic, elegant style and that's really the way forward for Brownlow."

In her final year of study to become a primary school teacher, Elle has always had her sights set on pursuing her passion for working with children and then someday enjoying her own.

In my eyes my little sister was always destined to be covered in baby spew, smelling like bolognaise and putting her Italian vocal chords to good use yelling at little Antonio to stop forcing Tiny Teddies into the DVD player.

Who would've thought she'd be draped in diamonds and clad in couture with every TV network camera wanting a money shot of her face?

"I never thought I'd be at a Brownlow, this is so funny it just makes me laugh," Elle said.

"I would never have imagined myself being there, but now that I'm with Nic, I can't imagine things being any different.

"I've got the dress and everything sorted now so I can finally relax, and I'm just really looking forward to having a great night with my boy."

So despite what you may or may not hear along the way, that's the kind of girl my sister really is.

Call it journalistic self-indulgence, call it exploiting family contacts - call it whatever you like.

She's my sister and I'm getting in with the good word first ... this is Elle Demasi, and she is an absolute gem.

2 comments so far

  • What on earth is this ridiculous article? Lift your game The Age. Honestly.

    Commenter
    Gg
    Date and time
    September 24, 2012, 6:40PM
    • well all i can say is she is beautiful and nic nat is a fantastic young man, good luck to the both of them

      Commenter
      SG
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      September 25, 2012, 11:45AM

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