Cody Simpson’s mother believes the Australian swimmer is more than equipped to deal with media scrutiny as his personal life continues to be put under the spotlight.
The pop icon picked up a gold medal in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay at the Commonwealth Games earlier this week, swimming in the heats before missing out on a spot in the final.
But Simpson’s relationship with Australian champion Emma McKeon has dominated the headlines, with the power couple embroiled in a reported “love triangle” with Olympic gold medalist Kyle Chalmers.
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During an interview on Channel 7’s SunriseAngie Simpson claimed that the relentless media attention won’t bother her son, who previously dated American singer Miley Cyrus.
“I think he has been lucky because he has had so much history with press and media before, performing on stage for thousands of people,” she said on Wednesday morning AEST.
“I think the pressures of what he has dealt with in camp and at the Commonwealth Games has been pretty easy for him.
“It has given him an advantage to deal with a lot of those pressures and not let that stuff bother him.”
Angie also confessed she was initially skeptical about her son’s return to competitive swimming.
“I feel like a bad mum… I just didn’t think he could transition from so many years of that to then go to such isolation,” she explained.
“But he proved me wrong and once he convinced me he wanted to do it I was 100 per cent behind him.”
Simpson began his swimming comeback journey in 2020 after 10 years away from the pool as something of a sideshow alley attraction — but the Queenslander has quickly proven he’s box-office on his swimming credentials alone.
On Wednesday, Simpson finished fifth in the men’s 100m butterfly final, with Dolphins teammate Matt Temple winning a silver medal.
The 25-year-old’s time of 52.06 seconds was the second-quickest of his career, but still outside his personal best of 51.79 seconds.
“I want to inspire young people to know that they can do whatever it is they want to do, even if they feel like it’s too late or they’re too old to pick something up, because it’s never too late,” Simpson told Channel 7 after the race.
“I think with experience comes confidence. And I’m still gathering the experience, so still gaining confidence.
“I am happy to be here. And I think, win or lose today, I’m going to go back to the drawing board and make sure I come back stronger. I’m already way ahead where I thought I would be at this stage.”
Earlier this week, Chalmers slammed the media for focusing on “clickbait” rather than the Dolphins’ impressive results in Birmingham, declaring he’s not sure he wants to continue in the sport if it means dealing with this kind of attention.
The 24-year-old — who has won three gold medals this week — has been forced to repeatedly deny there is any tension between himself, Simpson and McKeon, who was romantically linked to Chalmers last year.
After his golden swim in the 100m freestyle on Tuesday, Chalmers put his finger to his lips to silence the critics, revealing he’d planned the celebration to send a “powerful message” as he affirmed his desire not to let the media “win” .
“It’s all just false news that is actually just crap. It’s honestly just a load of s**t that is not true,” he said.
“I do nothing but be as positive as I possibly can. I support him on the team but, again, people just want clickbait on the article.
“It’s unfortunate that I can’t do anything right at this point in time.
“I think it’s fantastic that he’s here… it’s fantastic for our sport, it brings new viewers in. What he has achieved in two years of swimming is incredible.”