Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has opened up about his shock divorce insisting his ex-wife Carmel Tebbutt blindsided him when she walked out the door.
And he’s revealed – despite reports to the contrary – that he never turned to dating apps to find love before meeting his current partner Jodie Haydon.
During an interview on Melbourne radio, he was asked how it felt to be “the first divorcee to become Prime Minister”.
“It was a very public divorce for you as well, wasn‘t it? It must have been an incredibly challenging time for you and your ex-partner, personally,’’ host Marty Sheargold said.
Mr Albanese admitted he didn’t see the divorce coming.
“It was (challenging), but you live in the public eye,” he said.
“So it was very difficult for me personally. My wife Carmel made a decision that she wanted to move on with her life, it came as a surprise to me, I’ve spoken about that before.”
“Totally out of the blue?,” Mr Albanese was asked.
“Yeah, it was New Year’s Day. So clearly, it was a decision that had been made,” he said.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has opened up about his shock divorce insisting his ex-wife Carmel Tebbutt blindsided him when she walked out the door.Anthony Albanese with then-wife Carmel Tebbutt in 2018. Picture: AAP Image/Mick TsikasCarmel Tebbutt and son Nathan Albanese election night in 2022. Picture: Tim Hunter
“Our son had reached 18, had graduated from school, and so she made that decision which I found difficult, but just had to accept that she, of course, had a right to do that. So I didn‘t quite understand it, so I had to accept it rather than understand it.”
Mr Albanese revealed he took some time off a few months later and started to recover.
“I went away in March, so it was January 1, I went away to London to see friends, and to Lisbon, I had two weeks to clear the air, determine what I wanted to do with my life, whether I was going to run again in the election in May,” he said.
“Tinder profile?” he was asked.
“No, I never did that,” Mr Albanese replied. “In spite of some of the silly stuff that’s been written, of course, I didn’t.
“It would be would be fine except you’d all know about it. So yeah, I just came to terms with it.”
Mr Albanese enjoys a beer as he watches the cricket with partner Jodie Haydon late last year. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images
Around a year later, he met his current partner Jodie in Melbourne. He admitted he couldn‘t believe his luck.
“I’ve been very lucky to find someone to spend time with and to have a terrific relationship with,’’ he said.
“Is it awkward finding language to use around that, as a Prime Minister, to be having emotions attached to that new relationship, and find language that we‘re all going to feel okay with? Because men still find it difficult to say ‘I’m in love with my partner and we’re having a loving time,’’ he was asked.
“Indeed. Thank you for that, Marty. But no, it‘s great. And it has been really important. I have a very complex job that involves a lot of pressure and having someone to spend your life with, your personal life with, along with my son, is fantastic,’’ he said.
Mr Albanese also reflected on the car accident that could have killed him.
“It was head on. He just went on the wrong side of the road. And so he hit the front corner of my car, which was a complete write-off,” he said.
“I was very close to my home in Marrickville, going up Hill Street it‘s called, so there’s a hill funnily enough. And I was going quite slowly, thank goodness, and he wasn’t, clearly, he was just not paying attention and just came across, bang. And I thought as the car was coming towards me, I thought ‘this is it’. This is how it ends. It was not really scary. It was just matter of fact.”
Mr Albanese and Jodie Haydon at the GQ Men of the Year awards. Picture: Jonathan NgMr Albanese and Jodie Haydon at the coronation. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
“And then the bang, and then realising, okay, I’m still here, and making sure that you know, I wasn’t you know, I hadn’t lost anything. But yeah, I was stuck in the car for a while.”
The Prime Minister said it inspired him to “get fit, I dropped almost 20 kilos.”
“And just lived a lot more healthier lifestyle. Because I’m one of those blokes who are hopeless at going to the doctor, like many of us are,” he said.
“And so, when you get everyone from an orthopaedic surgeon, and a cardiologist, and a haematologist – I didn’t even know what that was before. They had all these people looking at me to check that everything was all okay and I thought, ‘oh well, I’m doing okay, but I can’t take it for granted’. So it really provided that impetus to get fitter and to make sure I looked after myself.”
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Asked what he was most proud of, he said his “resilience.”
“I think my resilience, that I’ve hung in there, I’ve stayed true to my values, and I think I’ve made a difference,’’ he said.
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