For the sake of honesty, I’ll admit that I haven’t always been your biggest fan. You’ve been sneaky and deceptive, you’ve lied repeatedly, and you tried to pass your actions off as some weird, half-arsed version of feminism. You’ve screwed up repeatedly, almost determinedly.
That said, it’s not a large leap for me to imagine how your life got to this point. After all, while I’m a good ten years older than you, the pressures faced by your generation are nothing new to me. See, I have a younger sister, about your age, perhaps a few months older. As I’ve watched the scandals unfold around you, I’ve felt continually relieved that she hasn’t gotten into the scrapes you have.
Like you, my sister is attractive, athletic and popular. Unlike you, she’s mostly stayed out of trouble. Still, just from looking at her peers, I can see that her life was only ever a couple of choices away from being very different – she’s got many friends who, thanks to lying and poor judgement, have found themselves in trouble sexually, physically and emotionally.
I’ve always quietly hoped that my influence has helped keep her on the right path. My sister comes to me with her confessions and questions, and I’ve been happy to offer her advice, counselling, or just a sympathetic ear.
I’d been feeling a bit superior whenever I read about your latest drama (arrested because of breaking Ricky Nixon’s intervention order against you? Really, Kim?). I thought to myself, “Thank goodness my sister isn’t like that.” Then, I read the account of your interview on Channel 7, and realised something. You never had an older sister to look out for you – but you are an older sister yourself, to a ten-year-old girl.
To a little girl, a big sister is kind of like a fusion between Mum and some kind of eternal god, only cooler and funkier, with better clothes. I can promise you, Kim, that your sister worships the ground on which you walk.
So, here’s my suggestion. Even if you don’t want to step out of the limelight for your own sake, do you think you could do it for hers?
Right now, I have no idea what you’re hoping to gain from the constant media exposure and, let’s face it, rather stupid decisions. I don’t even understand how you got mixed up in this whole mess – you were a talented sportswoman in your own right, on track for your own successes. Why you decided to hitch your wagon to being a WAG is a mystery to me.
I don’t know why you lied about things (such as the source of the naked photos, or your pregnancy) when they were so clearly going to blow up in your face when the truth came out. I don’t know why you keep trying to pick fights at the footy. I don’t know why you can’t leave Ricky Nixon alone – I really don’t.
Kim, you’re trading in all your education and athletic talent for… what? A shot at a Maxim cover? “Fame”? I have a sneaking suspicion that you’re just so hurt and embarrassed that you’re letting fly with everything you’ve got. After all, who could possibly get hurt now?
Your sister, Kim. Your sister is the one who can still get hurt.
I’m not talking about the fact that she was shown on TV with you – that’s your parents’ fuck-up. Between you and me, they’ve let you down. I’m fairly certain you’ve been a horror teenager, but why they were letting you jet around the country to sneak into footy parties, at sixteen, leaves me baffled. Plus, they should never have abandoned you when the shit started hitting the fan, just as they should never have let your sister in front of a TV camera.
No, your sister’s media exposure is not your fault. But the example that you’re setting for her is. What do you want your sister to hope for in her future, Kim? Notoriety? Scandal? Do you want her to grow up thinking that the best case scenario is a chance to give the entire world the finger?
I know that’s not the future you want for her, Kim. You’re her big sister. You want her world to be perfect.
So please, Kim, just stop. Put down your mobile phone. Leave Ricky Nixon alone – what can you possibly want from him now? (And if you’re still trying to apologise, forget it. You’ve cost him too much – he doesn’t want to hear you say, “SRY.”) Stop accepting interviews. Keep your knickers on.
Figure out what you actually want from your life, in a long-term sense. This is never easy, and I know that with your high profile, it’ll be even harder. But it must be done.
Most importantly, spend some time with your sister. Look after her. Help her stay on track. Even with so many people trying to tear you down, you’re still the centre of her world. It’s your responsibility to be worthy of that honour.
Even as I write this letter, numerous news stories about Nixon’s court order against you are disappearing. I only know about your arrest because of a tweet from a radio station. It’s possible that you’ve really dug yourself into a hole this time, the kind that can’t be fixed by press interviews and apologies, and no doubt many of your detractors will cheer if that is the case. I won’t be among them, though, because I know your sister will be shattered if anything happens to you. She needs you.
Good luck, Kim. As one big sister to another, I wish you all the best.
For one of the best pieces of reporting on the Kim Duthie scandal and the AFL’s attitudes towards sex, please see Anna Krien’s excellent article over at The Monthly.