JENNIFER Hawkins is counting down to Christmas in Newcastle, after a busy year that has included celebrating her mother’s cancer recovery, her tequila company winning an international award and being caught up in a Donald Trump “media storm”.
Hawkins hit headlines this week when a video from 2011 resurfaced, showing the Republican presidential candidate telling guests at the National Achievers Congress in Sydney that he was angry when he thought she did not want to introduce him at the event – and that he considered lying about her intellect.
Trump then leaned in for what appeared to be an attempt to kiss her on the lips.
“That video was from years ago, so I don’t know the big deal about it because it’s been out since then,” Hawkins told the Herald. “It’s been a big media storm. His family has always respected me. It doesn’t mean I believe or agree with every single action or word that he’s said, but that’s all I’m going to say.”
Hawkins said she hadn’t been following Trump’s campaign closely. “I’ve had other work things on, so I just haven’t really been thinking about it, to be honest.”
Hawkins is currently on screens as host of Foxtel’s Australia’s Next Top Model, a role she has reprised for the third time. Of this season’s 13 contestants, only six remain, including “extremely driven” Kassidy Ure of Elermore Vale and “so beautiful” Aleyna Fitzgerald, from Thornton.
“I really enjoyed chatting to the girls on and off camera, whether I’m introducing the challenges or going to their house or seeing them on set, I always take time to give them even a little bit of advice or chat with them,” she said. “You become invested in the girls so you really want to help them in any way that you can.”
The Holmesville-raised supermodel has been juggling her roles as ambassador for Trinity Point and Myer and continuing to develop her businesses Jbronze and swimwear brand Cozi. She was “elated” when her and husband Jake Wall’s tequila company Sesion won three medals at the San Francisco World Spirits competition.
“My mum [Gail, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer last August] got her yearly results for her tests,” she said. “All of her results came back positive and her kidney is working well. To know we can stop worrying and relax, that was a massive highlight.”
Hawkins said she would return to Newcastle for family birthdays this weekend and for Christmas.
“It’s not even whether it [seeing family] is important, it’s my priority. It keeps you present and puts everything in perspective.”