Cost of Michelle Bridges’ drink driving charge

IN AN unexpected twist, marketing and media executives believe Michelle Bridges' drink driving charge won't have any ramifications on her fitness business.

The Biggest Loser star was forced to apologise for a "terrible mistake and error of judgement" after allegedly being caught mid-range drink driving with her son in the car on Sunday.

Bridges, 49, was driving with her four-year-old son, Axel, in the car at the time she was arrested and taken back to Waverly Police Station and returned a breath test reading of 0.086.

"It depends how she plays it from here on in," publicist and media commentator Prue MacSween told Confidential.

Michelle Bridges apologised on Monday while confirming her split from Steve Willis.
Michelle Bridges apologised on Monday while confirming her split from Steve Willis.

 

Bridges at her Potts Point apartment after the alleged incident.
Bridges at her Potts Point apartment after the alleged incident.

"If she shows a vulnerability that even the most staunch and dedicated people who are applicants of good health can fall by the wayside, she has admitted it was totally irresponsible, I think she can survive it.

"Her brand has obviously been damaged and it will take a while but there will be a lot of empathy from the people that like her and a lot of vindication for people who don't."

Bridges built a multimillion-dollar empire of fitness coaching and wellbeing products off the back of appearing as a judge and trainer on The Biggest Loser, including her hugely successful 12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT) program.

Not excusing the incident, Bridges apologised and confirmed on Monday that she and partner Steve 'Commando' Willis had split.

Happier times: Michelle Bridges and Steve Willis. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Happier times: Michelle Bridges and Steve Willis. Picture: Dylan Robinson

"I would like to express my deep regret for breaking the law, this was a terrible mistake and an error of judgment," she said. "This behaviour is inexcusable, and I am absolutely devastated and embarrassed to find myself in this position. It has been a very difficult time for me the last few weeks dealing with the break-up of my long-term relationship. This is by no means an excuse for my behaviour but I feel the emotional turmoil I have been going through has impacted my decision making."

Marketing expert Dee Madigan commended Bridges for owning her actions.

"Even though she mentioned the break-up, she didn't use it as an excuse," said Madigan, creative director at Campaign Edge. "There was none of that faux-pology stuff that goes around. It humanises her a bit. It was a stupid mistake she won't make again so no lasting damage."

Michelle Bridges, dressed as Taylor Swift, for Dancing With The Stars. Picture: Justin Lloyd.
Michelle Bridges, dressed as Taylor Swift, for Dancing With The Stars. Picture: Justin Lloyd.

Questioned on the possible impact to Bridges fitness businesses, Madigan continued: "It has got really nothing to do with fitness. Most people would see it for what it is, clearly just one stupid mistake. In some ways it humanises her because she always appears almost scarily in control. I don't think it will hurt her business. Her core business would be women 35 to 45 and they would probably relate to her a little bit, not the drink driving but to the relationship break-up and whatever."

Long time Sydney publicist Max Markson agreed.

"One mistake, people will forgive her for this," he said. "She has been incredibly inspirational to many people. She is one of the biggest success stories in the entertainment industry, crossing over from sport to entertainment and taken it globally. People make mistakes and she will be forgiven for this. It won't affect her brand in any way, shape or form."

Bridges will appear in Waverley Local Court on February 18.