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Ben Roberts-Smith’s ex-mistress has described how she revealed their affair to his wife when she arrived unannounced at the couple’s Sunshine Coast marital home.
The woman, known as Person 17, had gone to the house the day after Mr Roberts-Smith ended their relationship with one last night in a Brisbane hotel.
Person 17 has denied she revealed the affair out of spite or to seek revenge against her former lover, insisting Ms Roberts deserved to know.
She had spent up to three hours at the Roberts-smith property as she revealed she had fallen pregnant to the Victoria Cross recipient and had slept with him the previous night.
Person 17 is giving evidence for Nine newspapers in the defamation case Mr Roberts-Smith has brought against the publisher.
Nine has accused Mr Roberts-Smith of committing or being complicit in the murders of six unarmed prisoners during his service with the SAS in Afghanistan and also of punching Person 17.
Ben Roberts-Smith’s ex-mistress has described how she revealed their affair to his wife when she arrived unannounced at the couple’s marital home. The woman, known as Person 17, had gone to the house the day after Mr Roberts-Smith ended their relationship
Mr Roberts-Smith has said he had a six-month affair with Person 17 while he was temporarily separated from his then wife. Ms Roberts has said there was no short-lived separation and she did not know of the affair until it was over. The former couple is pictured in London in 2012
Mr Roberts-Smith has denied every war crimes claim made by the newspapers and is just as insistent he did not assault Person 17 after a function at Parliament House.
Person 17 has described her tumultuous six-month relationship with Mr Roberts-smith, which began in October 2017 at a time he says he was separated from his wife.
Ms Roberts has said while there were difficulties in her marriage the couple had never separated and the first she knew of the affair was on April 6, 2018, when Person 17 arrived at her home.
The previous night Person 17 and Mr Roberts-Smith had stayed at Brisbane’s Airport Novotel after agreeing to split up.
The next morning Person 17 got Mr Roberts-Smith’s address from his driver’s licence while he was in the shower and instead of flying home hired a car and drove to the Sunshine Coast.
‘I thought that the affair needed to come out in the open to Emma so that it could end,’ she told the court.
Emma Roberts has said her husband told her the only way their marriage could survive was if she claimed the couple had been separated while he was in a relationship with Person 17. Ms Roberts is pictured after giving evidence in the Federal Court
She denied a suggestion by Mr Roberts-Smith’s barrister Bruce McClintock SC that she was motivated by revenge and was trying to end his marriage.
‘I knew that she wold not leave him because her life seemed to revolve around him,’ Person 17 told the court.
When Person 17 arrived at the Roberts-Smith house the first person she spoke to was housekeeper Diane Young.
She denied telling Ms Young she was a friend of Ms Roberts but said she wanted to talk to her. She also denied saying, ‘I want to surprise Emma’.
Ms Roberts, who had taken her children to an art class that morning, received a phone call from Ms Young’s number but the person on the other end of the line was not Ms Young.
‘It’s not Di, I’m a friend of your husband,’ Ms Roberts has said Person 17 told her.
‘She asked me to come back to the house and that she wanted to see me.
‘I asked her to tell me on the phone what she was going to tell me. She said no, she needed to see me in person. I asked what her name was and she told me her name.’
Ben Roberts-Smith’s defamation trial has taken another turn as his onetime mistress gives evidence about their tumultuous affair. Mr Roberts-Smith is pictured with his wife Emma Roberts, who has dropped the Smith from her surname
As Ms Roberts drove home she called the housekeeper again and asked if Person 17 was still at the house. ‘I said, “Is it what I think it is?” and she said “Yes, Ben’s girlfriend”.’
Ms Roberts said she was severely distressed as she drove to the house and called her husband to ask about the identity of his lover.
‘He said, “Who are you talking about?” I said, “Ben, she’s on our front door”.’
When Ms Roberts arrived at the house her parents were sitting with Person 17 in the front garden.
Person 17 was wearing a pink and black dress, a ‘very big’ pair of black sunglasses and was crying, Ms Roberts has told the court.
‘Please remove your sunglasses so I can see your face,’ Ms Roberts said she told her.
‘She took them off and I noticed a black eye. I asked her, “What happened to your face?” She said, “I fell down drunk on a set of stairs at Parliament House”.’
Mr Roberts-Smith finally broke up with Person 17 over dinner on April 5, 2018. The spent a final evening together in Brisbane’s Airport Novotel Hotel. Mr Roberts-Smith has denied telling Person 17 that night: ‘You’re like crack and I’m going to find it very hard to give you up’
Nine alleges Mr Roberts-Smith punched Person 17 in the head in a Canberra hotel room after a Parliament House function on March 28, which he denies.
Person 17 said she had taken off her sunglasses before Ms Roberts arrived at the house and Ms Roberts’s mother had already seen her black eye.
She told Ms Roberts of the affair and said the last time she had slept with her husband was the previous night.
Ms Roberts asked if she had come to the house wanting money, or had ever taken money from her husband.
‘I said, “No, I’m not a prostitute. We were in love and planning a life together”,’ Person 17 told the court.
She told Ms Roberts she was married, had children and fell pregnant during her relationship with Mr Roberts-Smith.
Ms Roberts has said she suspected her husband of having an affair during a difficult period in their marriage in late 2017 but he repeatedly denied it. ‘He would constantly be taking selfies of himself and I knew they weren’t for me,’ Ms Roberts told the court
Person 17 said she missed about five calls, a text and a Telegram message from Mr Roberts-Smith while she was talking to Ms Roberts, who took several breaks to make calls.
Ms Roberts, who is now divorced from Mr Roberts-Smith, then read text exchanges between Person 17 and her husband. There were pictures of the pair together and pictures of the Roberts-Smith children.
‘It was very clear that they were having an affair,’ Ms Robert has said. ‘They were planning to be together.’
Ms Roberts had asked why the relationship had ended and Person 17 said she had embarrassed her husband by falling down drunk after the Parliament House function.
Mr Roberts-Smith left his wife on January 20, 2020 and settled their divorce in February 2021. He is pictured with his girlfriend Sarah Matulin attending the Magic Millions together on the Queensland Gold Coast in January last year
Person 17 agreed with Mr McClintock she had been crying during the confrontation but denied she had become hysterical.
‘I wasn’t hysterical but I was very upset because I knew how awful it would be for her to be hearing that,’ Person 17 said. ‘It was not a nice situation.’
Mr McClintock: ‘If you knew how awful it would be for her, why did you do it?’
Person 17: ‘I thought she was better off knowing’.
Person 17 said Ms Roberts ended their conversation by saying: ‘I have to go back to being a mother now. You can go.’
‘I remember it because it was so dismissive and I was thinking that I had to go back to being a mother as well.’
On Wednesday, Mr McClintock had suggested going to the Roberts-Smith house was ‘strikingly vindictive’ and ‘quiet spiteful’. When he said the mission was intended to hurt Ms Roberts, Person 17 replied, ‘Absolutely not’.
‘What you wanted was to end my client’s marriage so you could have him to yourself,’ Mr McClintock said.