Embattled war hero Ben Roberts-Smith has publicly debuted his new relationship with his former employee, Sarah Matulin.
On Saturday, the 42-year-old cut a dapper figure as he sweetly held hands with the TV executive, 28, at the Magic Millions Race Day on the Gold Coast.
Ms Matulin was, until recently, an employee at Channel Seven – but Daily Mail Australia understands she recently decided to leave her role at the network to avoid any workplace conflict so their romance could continue.
Embattled war hero Ben Roberts-Smith has debuted his new relationship with his marketing executive girlfriend at the Magic Millions Race Day
At the event, a smitten Ms Matulin looked sophisticated and stunning in a one-shoulder floral mini-dress, which showed off her svelte frame and toned arms.
She teamed her ensemble with a statement pearl headband, and wore a dash of makeup to accentuate her striking features.
Meanwhile, Mr Roberts-Smith looked suave in a grey suit, teamed with a crisp white shirt and a black tie.
At the event, a smitten Ms Matulin looked sophisticated in a one-shoulder floral mini-dress, which showed off her svelte frame and toned arms
Mr Roberts-Smith is said to have taken Sarah home to Perth with him for Christmas, having first struck up a relationship after she joined Channel Seven in mid-2020.
The Victoria Cross recipient is general manager of the company’s Queensland office.
Daily Mail Australia understands that Mr Roberts-Smith’s bosses – including his close friend and Channel Seven’s CEO Kerry Stokes – were informed about the burgeoning relationship last year.
She teamed her ensemble with a statement pearl headband, and wore a dash of makeup to accentuate her striking features
The TV executive finished her look with a pair of strappy stiletto heels, and carried a hot pink handbag by her side, while Mr Roberts-Smith looked suave in a grey suit teamed with a crisp white shirt and a black tie
Ms Matulin is understood to have left Channel Seven in mid-December to return to a Brisbane-based PR firm.
Despite being based in Brisbane, Ms Matulin did not report to Mr Roberts-Smith but rather to the company’s head office in Sydney.
Sources close to the couple say that over recent months they have spent increasing amounts of time together.
He appeared to be in a good mood as he walked beside the blonde beauty, as the duo enjoyed their day at the races
Together they flew to Mr Roberts-Smith’s hometown of Perth in late December and it is understood Ms Matulin joined him at his parents’ home for Christmas.
Mr Roberts-Smith finalised his split from wife Emma in recent days, just weeks after the couple sold their sprawling country mansion.
The four-bedroom home where they raised their two daughters sold for more than $2million in a pre-auction deal in December.
Mr Roberts-Smith is said to have taken Sarah home to Perth with him for Christmas, having first struck up a relationship after she joined Channel Seven in mid-2020
Mr Roberts-Smith’s marriage had faced numerous hurdles through the years, among them allegations of a tumultuous affair with a married woman.
In documents filed in the Federal Court she accused the 2.2 metres tall solider of assaulting her, and leaving her with a black eye.
The court heard claims last year that Mr Roberts-Smith asked his wife to lie after she found out about the affair.
Mr Roberts-Smith strongly denies the affair and assault allegations.
One of Australia’s greatest modern war heroes, Mr Roberts-Smith is fighting war crimes allegations levelled against him by Nine Newspapers. He denies all claims made about his tours of Afghanistan
Mr Roberts-Smith, who is considered to be one of Australia’s greatest modern war heroes, is fighting war crimes allegations levelled against him by Nine Newspapers.
He has denied any wrongdoing during his time in Afghanistan or Iraq.
Mr Roberts-Smith has launched defamation action against Nine and is being financially backed in part by Mr Stokes.
Mr Stokes’ private investment company Australian Capital Equity has reportedly extended a $1.9million line of credit to Mr Roberts-Smith.
Mr Roberts-Smith split from wife Emma last year after a tumultuous relationship that included claims he had cheated
Daily Mail Australia understands that as the relationship intensified Mr Roberts-Smith made all the necessary disclosures to his bosses, including close friend and Channel Seven CEO Kerry Stokes (pictured). Mr Stokes is also financially backing Mr Roberts-Smith’s defamation action
The former soldier has provided his Victoria Cross and other battlefield decorations including a Medal for Gallantry as security for the loan.
‘The funding of his legal action is a private matter, however he has put his medals up as collateral on a loan and will relinquish them if required,’ Mr Stokes said.
‘If this eventuates, I will donate his medals with Ben’s approval to the Australian War Memorial, as I have done so with other VCs and medals in the past.’
A report by the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence released last year found credible information of an alleged 39 unlawful killings by special forces soldiers in Afghanistan, mostly by the SAS.
Mr Roberts-Smith has been linked to some of these alleged killings but denies any wrongdoing.
Victoria Cross recipient Mr Roberts-Smith and his ex-wife bought the property for $1.45 million in 2015, before making several extensions to the home, including adding a pool and poolhouse
Justice Paul Brereton recommended 36 matters involving 23 incidents and 19 individuals be referred to the Australian Federal Police for criminal investigation.
Despite those condemning him, Mr Roberts-Smith has his powerful supporters in the form of not only Mr Stokes, but also broadcasting legend Alan Jones.
Mr Jones recently told Daily Mail Australia he believed that despite the allegations made against the war hero would not be convicted.
‘We’ve got an eminent VC who has been virtually persecuted,’ Mr Jones said.
‘They will never, ever find anything against him, Ben Roberts-Smith.
‘(It’s) appalling. But that matter’s before the court. I can’t say much more about that.
‘Ben Roberts-Smith (is) an outstanding Australian. And Kerry Stokes I know has been very supportive of Ben Roberts-Smith and Kerry Stokes is an outstanding Australian as well.’
Mr Roberts-Smith and Ms Matulin have both been contacted for comment.
Despite those condemning him, Mr Roberts-Smith has his powerful supporters in the form of not only Mr Stokes, but also broadcasting legend Alan Jones