Labor leader Anthony Albanese has opened up about his shock divorce over the holiday season and the bizarre way he met his younger new girlfriend.
Mr Albanese and former NSW deputy premier Carmel Tebbutt announced their split in early January 2019 after 19 years of marriage and 30 years together.
The 57-year-old reflected that he ‘didn’t see it coming’ when Ms Tebbutt abruptly ended their marriage on New Year’s Day 2019.
‘It was a really tough period and that’s the truth and I’ve acknowledged that. I think part of going through a difficult period and coming out the other end is acknowledging that you’re going through it,’ he said.
‘I found it very tough. The relationship was 30 years old.’
Mr Albanese and former NSW deputy premier Carmel Tebbutt announced their split in early January 2019. They are pictured together in 2018
Speaking on ABC local radio this weekend, the 57-year-old admitted Ms Tebbutt, who was a NSW Labor MP for 17 years, ended their marriage on New Year’s Day in 2019
Mr Albanese said the couple’s only child, their son Nathan, had just completed his HSC exams and turned 18 when Ms Tebbutt dumped him.
‘It’s made for a difficult period. I certainly will always, always remember New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day for that momentous event in my life,’ he said.
Mr Albanese said he didn’t see the split coming, nor did he understand where it came from.
‘I needed to stop trying to understand it and just accept it and accept that it was a decision that had been made and she was moving on with her life in a different direction and I needed to do the same,’ he said.
‘You can tie yourself in knots trying to understand someone else’s decisions and thought processes.’
In March 2019 Mr Albanese took three weeks off and visited London and Portugal – a trip he credits for helping him heal after the break up.
‘You make plans in your head about what you think the future looks like and I saw the future as being me and Carmel and Nathan and our dog continuing on,’ he said.
Mr Albanese has since started seeing 41-year-old Jodie Haydon, whom he introduced himself to at a dinner event in Melbourne.
The avid South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL supporter said he took to the stage and addressed the guests.
‘I said there’s always a random Souths supporter in the room and she yelled out ‘yep, me. Go the rabbits’,’ he said.
Mr Albanese said he was making his way around the function introducing himself to other guests when he met Ms Haydon.
Mr Albanese met his former partner in Young Labor during the late 1980s. They were together for 30 years
‘It turned out she lives in the inner west of Sydney and we had a fair bit in common,’ he said.
‘She suggested we might like to catch up so we caught up for a beer basically and we found that we got on pretty well.
‘We caught up for a beer a few weeks later and things went from there. It’s nice to have someone to spend time with.’
In June last year the couple were seen dining together at China Doll restaurant on Sydney’s Woolloomoolo Wharf.
Ms Haydon, who is 16 years younger than Mr Albanese, is the manager of strategic partnerships at First State Super.
She has more than 20 years experience in the industry, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Mr Albanese joked that he and Ms Tebbutt, who departed state politics in 2015, have joint custody of their dog.
Mr Albanese revealed he has since started seeing 41-year-old Jodie Haydon, who he was introduced to at a dinner event in Melbourne. Pictured going out for dinner last June
In June last year the couple were seen dining together at China Doll restaurant on Sydney’s Woolloomoolo Wharf
He also said their son Nathan, who is now 20 and at university, spends time between both their homes.
In January last year, Mr Albanese declared his relationship with Nathan to be the strongest it’s ever been as they were forced to rely on each other more than ever in their two-person household in Marrickville.
The Labor Leader added his son spends time with his mother and the pair have a good relationship.
Mr Albanese met his former partner in Young Labor during the late 1980s.
Ms Tebbutt was deputy premier between 2008 and 2011 – the first woman to hold the position – under leaders Nathan Rees and Kristina Keneally.