Cody Simpson shuts down Karl Stefanovic question amid swimming furore

Cody Simpson, pictured here shutting down a question from Karl Stefanovic about his love life.
Cody Simpson shut down a question from Karl Stefanovic about his love life. Image: Channel Nine

Cody Simpson has side-stepped questions about his relationship with fellow swimmer Emma McKeon in an awkward moment on Channel Nine on Monday morning.

Simpson and McKeon's relationship was thrust into the spotlight last week amid Kyle Chalmers' decision to swim at the world championships and ultimately deny Simpson a spot in the Aussie team.

Simpson finished third in the 100m butterfly final at the national championships in Adelaide, with Chalmers pipping him for second.

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The top two in each final qualified for the world championships, while the top three secured spots at the Commonwealth Games.

While Simpson was guaranteed a place at the Commonwealth Games, it looked like he might also be heading to the world titles because Chalmers had previously stated that he wouldn't be going to the worlds.

But Chalmers had a change of heart and will now swim at the Budapest event, saying he didn't even think he'd be swimming this year let alone qualifying.

Amid Chalmers' heartbreaking dilemma, false reports started swirling that his backflip was due to the fact that Simpson is now dating McKeon - who was romantically linked to Chalmers last year.

Chalmers then slammed the "pathetic" rumours before skipping Sunday night's team announcement due to mental health concerns sparked by the controversy.

On Monday morning, Simpson was asked about McKeon by Karl Stefanovic on the Today Show.

“I can’t go anywhere further than asking you about Emma. How are things on the love front big fella?" Stefanovic asked the former pop star.

Simpson replied: “Mate, I’m here to talk about my swimming.

“It’s nice to be on the same team. We’re going to England, it’ll be a nice holiday.”

Emma McKeon and Cody Simpson, pictured here at the Australian Olympic swimming trials in 2021.
Emma McKeon and Cody Simpson at the Australian Olympic swimming trials in 2021. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Cody Simpson and Emma McKeon address furore

Rather than join his teammates in Adelaide on Sunday night for the official unveiling of the Aussie team, Chalmers decided to be with family in Port Lincoln.

"I need to look after my mental health and get myself right as I prepare for a massive year in the pool," Chalmers posted on Instagram.

"The negative media attention surrounding my decision to compete at the worlds and the made up story lines surrounding my personal life have been more than I can handle.

"After giving my all and being so welcoming to the media all my career, it's a shame to see them publish story lines questioning my integrity all for the sake of extra clicks and money.

"The best thing for me now is to take a break at home in Port Lincoln, surrounded by my friends and family."

McKeon, who didn't swim in Adelaide because her Tokyo Olympics success gave her automatic qualification, described the fictional 'love triangle' narrative as "strange".

"That is my personal life and I am quite a private person so, yeah, I don't really like having it as news," she said at the team presentation.

"I just block it out. As I said, I am a private person and I think I will always be that way.

"I am close to my family, close to my friends, and ... they're the ones I open up with."

Simpson star said he "absolutely" understood Chalmers' reasoning for his change of mind.

"People like to spin a story and find a story out of something," Simpson said.

"He (Chalmers), considering the limited prep he has had, got up and gave an incredible effort so nothing but respect to him for doing that.

"And he's well within his rights to decide to swim.

" ... If the tables were turned and I was in that position and I said I wanted to swim, I'd hope people would understand and respect that I had earned that place."

with AAP

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