She is one of the most powerful women in Australia, leading the most populous state in the country through the worst pandemic the world has faced in a century.
He is a divorced former shopkeeper and father-of-two forced to resign from New South Wales Parliament after seeking payment from a property deal.
So just what was goody two-shoes Premier Gladys Berejiklian doing maintaining any sort of relationship with Daryl Maguire, a big-talking disgraced MP?
A defiant Ms Berejiklian described the relationship as a mistake at a press conference on Monday afternoon, saying she had kept it secret from all her friends and family.
Its exposure was a ‘personal nightmare’, she said. ‘I can’t tell you what it’s done to me personally.’
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Gladys Berejiklian is one of the most powerful women in Australia, leading the most populous state in the country. So what was she doing maintaining any sort of relationship with Daryl Maguire, a big-talking disgraced MP? Ms Berejiklian is pictured at ICAC on Monday
A defiant Ms Berejiklian described the relationship as a mistake at a press conference (pictured) on Monday, saying she had kept it secret from all her friends and family. Its exposure was a ‘personal nightmare’, she said. ‘I can’t tell you what it’s done to me personally’
While Mr Maguire made comments such as ‘they are sucking people’s d***s’ and ‘they can get f**ked’ in the pair’s tapped phone conversations, the onetime Girl Guide often simply replies to his remarks with ‘Mmm’. The pair is pictured together
‘It’s been devastating, and I’ve had to bear this on top of everything else,’ Ms Berejiklian added, referring to her leadership during COVID-19.
Ms Berejiklian was less strident when called to face the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Monday morning after becoming embroiled in an inquiry into Mr Maguire’s business dealings.
Shortly after swearing an oath on the bible, Ms Berejiklian was asked about the nature of the relationship she had with her onetime colleague.
‘I would like to say at the outset that Mr McGuire was a colleague of 15 years, he was someone that I trusted… ‘ she said.
‘And that developed into a close personal relationship.’
Ms Berejiklian, 50, told the inquiry her relationship with 61-year-old Mr Maguire had begun about the time of the state election in 2015.
He resigned from parliament in August 2018 after his appearance at another ICAC inquiry and she stopped their relationship ‘a few months ago’.
‘When I was asked to support this inquiry, it became apparent to me that I should have absolutely no contact anymore with that individual,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has admitted she shared a private relationship with disgraced former colleague Daryl Maguire while he was in office. Secretly recorded phone conversations the pair had have been played at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (pictured)
Ms Berejiklian had not spoken previously about her personal relationship with Maguire because she was a ‘very private person.’
What followed at ICAC was the tendering of old emails and text messages between the pair and the playing of secretly-recorded phone calls.
What is the Maguire ICAC inquiry about?
The Independent Commission Against Corruption is investigating whether the former MP for Wagga Wagga, Daryl Maguire, engaged in conduct that breached public trust by using his public office to improperly gain a benefit for himself or entities close to him including the company G8wayInternational.
He was forced to quit the Berejiklian government in 2018 after a separate ICAC inquiry heard evidence he sought payments to help broker deals for property developers.
Ms Berejiklian was reportedly wincing when those phone conversations were made public, perhaps due in part to Mr Maguire’s colourful language.
While Ms Berejiklian told the inquiry she had trusted Mr Maguire she would have had no compunction in reporting him if she knew he was engaged in wrongdoing.
As happens within many relationships, when Mr Maguire spoke about himself and what he was doing Ms Berejiklian was not always listening.
But Ms Berejiklian was not just another woman bored by her partner big-noting himself and Opposition Leader Jodi McKay said she should quit immediately.
‘Her political judgement has been poor, her behaviour has been reckless,’ Ms McKay said. ‘She has known her own dirty little secrets.’
Mr Maguire told Ms Berejiklian in September 2017 he had ‘finally got Badgerys Creek stuff done’ – referring to a western Sydney development when he was the member for Wagga Wagga, 435km away.
When Mr Maguire told Ms Berejiklian he stood to make a substantial amount of money on the potential land deal, she replied: ‘I don’t need to know about that bit.’
The premier admitted that over the course of their relationship Mr Maguire frequently spoke of his finances and was ‘obsessed’ with them.
Mr Maguire calls Ms Berejiklian ‘babe’ and she says to him: ‘You will always be my numero uno.’ Asked at the inquiry what she meant by ‘numero uno’, Ms Berejiklian said: ‘I think what I would have meant there is that in my personal life I placed importance on how I felt about him’
In one phone call, Mr Maguire says: ‘So I think what I’ll do is, if they give me a cheque for my tax, I think it’s better taken off my mortgage. I think what I’ll do is I’ll whack it into shares.’
Ms Berejiklian: ‘You told me that before.’
In the phone conversations Mr Maguire calls Ms Berejiklian ‘babe’ and she says to him in another: ‘You will always be my numero uno.’
Asked at the inquiry what she meant by ‘numero uno’, Ms Berejiklian said: ‘I think what I would have meant there is that in my personal life I placed importance on how I felt about him.’
In 2017 the pair spoke about their future shared plans, including making their relationship public if Mr Maguire resigned before the 2019 state election.
In other private correspondence the two called each other ‘hawkiss’, an Armenian term of endearment.
One call between Ms Berejiklian and Mr Maguire played to the ICAC took place before a trip he planned making to China in 2017.
Mr Maguire was concerned about looming job losses at a company which was based outside his electorate.
Ms Berejiklian said she had a ‘personal attachment’ to Mr Maguire and their relationship – which began in 2015 – had been kept under wraps as she was a ‘very private person’. Mr Maguire is pictured outside ICAC on July 13, 2018
Ms Berejiklian can be heard telling Mr Maguire her then chief-of-staff Sarah Cruickshank had concerns about his travel.
‘All right babe, what do you think?’ Mr Maguire says.
‘I just got home, did Sarah ring you from my office?’ Ms Berejiklian replies.
‘No why?’ he says.
Ms Berejiklian: ‘She sent me a text, when she has to ring a member of parliament she lets me know.’
‘They seem to think it’s in your electorate. I didn’t say anything, It’s none of my business, I’m just letting you know.’
Mr Maguire goes on to explain why he wants to go to China.
‘I will [unintelligible]… these bureaucrats don’t care… they’re shaking hands, they are sucking people’s d***s and they are turning up to everything and they do nothing,’ he says.
One phone call was played in a private ICAC session after counsel assisting Scott Robertson said it raised ‘questions as to the privacy of the two people involved in the conversation…’ Ms Berijiklian is pictured with Mr Maguire (right) and former premier Barry O’Farrell
Mr Maguire had proposed going on a trade delegation to China where he would discuss a dairy in southern NSW but did not make the trip after a direction from Ms Cruickshank.
Mr Maguire was forced to quit the Berejiklian government in 2018 after a separate ICAC inquiry heard evidence he sought payments to help broker deals for property developers.
Ms Berejiklian said on Monday her last contact with Mr Maguire was on September 13.
She also admitted Mr Maguire had told her about some of his business interests and she presumed the former MP had appropriately disclosed them.
Mr Maguire is accused of using his public office and parliamentary resources to improperly gain a benefit for himself or for G8way International, a company Mr Maguire allegedly ‘effectively controlled’.
One message from 2014, before Ms Berejiklian was premier, appears to reveal Maguire telling Mr Berejiklian about how a motel had sold for $5.8 million, and how he was entitled to $5,000
Ms Berejiklian denied distancing herself from specific details on Mr Maguire’s affairs in an attempt at self-preservation.
‘I would never, ever, ever turn a blind eye from any responsibility that I had to disclose any wrongdoing that I saw, or any activity that I thought was not in keeping with what a member of parliament should be doing,’ Ms Berejiklian told the inquiry.
‘I would suggest that I was either not interested or I thought what he was raising with me was fanciful. He was a big talker.
‘A lot of the time, I would have ignored a lot of what he said as fanciful and information that I didn’t care to be involved in or interested in.’
The premier also said she did not take a personal interest in Mr Maguire’s finances, despite their relationship, as she was an ‘independent woman’ with her own means.
She was never concerned Mr Maguire might be attempting to use the influence of her office to promote his own business activities.
NSW police guard a driveway at the Independent Commission Against Corruption ahead of premier Gladys Berejiklian’s appearance on Monday morning
Ms Berejiklian was dragged into the saga last week when the ICAC heard Mr Maguire gave racing heir Louise Waterhouse the premier’s email address to help her lobby for rezoning changes that would benefit a parcel of land she held.
ICAC heard Mr Maguire had suggested the premier would be able to provide a ‘tickle from up top’, but Ms Waterhouse said Ms Berejiklian never responded.
The inquiry had heard Mr Maguire looked to make about $1million if the Waterhouse land was sold to a Chinese buyer called Country Garden.
In a call played to ICAC, Mr Maguire referred to property broker William Luong who was working with him to help Ms Waterhouse with the western Sydney land sale.
‘William tells me we’ve done our deal,’ Mr Maguire says.
Ms Berejiklian replies: ‘I don’t need to know about that bit.’
The hearing continues.
Source: Daily Mail AU