NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has delivered an eye-opening confession while being pressed for details on her relationship with disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire.
The former Wagga Wagga MP is currently subject to damning allegations at the Independent Commission Against Corruption relating to using his public office to seek personal financial gain.
Ms Berejiklian last week revealed that up until recently, she had been in a secret “close personal relationship” with him – the extent of which has since been largely unknown.
On Monday however, the premier confessed that while she was in love with Mr Maguire, he was not her boyfriend, and the pair were in an unconventional relationship.
“It wasn't a normal relationship ... he wasn't my boyfriend, it wasn't anything of substance ... I certainly hoped it would be,” she told reporters.
“Irrespective of how I felt we led completely separate lives.”
She denied any knowledge of his dodgy deals, saying she wasn't interested and that she often got lobbied by MPs over issues in their electorate and had showed no favouritism to Mr Maguire.
“I did nothing. Absolutely zilch,” she told Sydney radio 2GB.
“I think a lot of my colleagues have been shocked as well because a lot of us knew him over a long period of time and none of us picked up on the extent of what he was up to,” Ms Berejikilian said.
“We thought he was someone of honesty and integrity.”
She said she could not remember a phone call that was played at the ICAC when Mr Maguire was talking to her about a potential land deal he was involved in, and she responded that she didn't “need to know about that bit”.
“I probably wasn't paying attention and listening properly ... or I dismissed it because I thought that's his business and it's got nothing to do with me.
“It did not cross my mind that there was anything untoward.”
‘I’ve given up’
Her first reaction to the matters revealed at ICAC hearings was “shock and disgust” but she said she had yet to process the hurt and pain of their failed personal relationship.
“Have I stuffed up in my personal life? Absolutely? Am I devastated by what's happened? Absolutely,” she said.
“Am I embarrassed and and do I accept that people will cast judgement? Of course. But my job is my job and I will keep doing it.”
In an interview with KIIS’ Kyle and Jackie O on Monday, Ms Berejiklian said she had been put off the prospect of finding love again following her fallout with Mr Maguire.
“I just can’t see it happening again ... I’ve given up.”
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