Christian Porter engaged to criminal lawyer girlfriend Karen Espiner with huge diamond ring


Former attorney-general Christian Porter has asked his girlfriend Karen Espiner to marry him, with the high-flying lawyer showing off her sparkling new engagement ring at a charity event over the weekend.

The loved-up couple happily smiled for the cameras on Saturday night when they walked the red carpet at the Telethon Ball in Perth, where Ms Espiner flashed her large diamond ring and inadvertently showed off a butterfly tattoo on her side. 

Mr Porter, 52, retired from politics and Scott Morrison’s government in December 2021, nine months after revealing he was the anonymous man referred to in media reports about a 16-year-old girl allegedly being raped back in 1988.

Mr Porter denied the allegation and sued the ABC for defamation with the case eventually being dropped and no damages awarded to the former attorney-general.

Mr Porter’s impending marriage to Ms Espiner will be his third after he split from his second wife Jennifer in 2020.

The couple share two children after being married for 13 years.

Christian Porter made a public appearance with his fiancee Karen Espiner in Coogee back in February (pictured together)

Mr Porter and Ms Espiner started dating in 2021 but were not pictured together until February this year, after they spent six hours dining out at the upmarket seafood restaurant Mimi’s in Coogee, in Sydney’s east.

The couple maintained a cross-country relationship for the past year because Mr Porter is back to practicing law in Perth while Ms Espiner has her legal firm – Younes + Espiner Lawyers – in Sydney.

Mr Porter, a former Crown prosecutor for Western Australia, returned to the courtroom last year after retiring from politics.

He is back working at his former firm Henley Stirling Lawyers.

Ms Espiner previously she was not involved in Mr Porter’s defamation case but offered him personal support during the tough time. 

The hotshot law partner is among Sydney’s most high-powered lawyers and was named Criminal Law Partner of the Year at the 2020 Lawyers Weekly Awards. 

Mr Porter's Sydney pitstop with Ms Espiner (pictured together) was the first time the couple was seen together in public

Mr Porter’s Sydney pitstop with Ms Espiner (pictured together) was the first time the couple was seen together in public

Ms Espiner wore a colourful summer dress by the boutique Byron Bay designer Mister Zimi, while Mr Porter stepped out in dark jeans, a sports jacket and Converse Chuck Taylors

Ms Espiner wore a colourful summer dress by the boutique Byron Bay designer Mister Zimi, while Mr Porter stepped out in dark jeans, a sports jacket and Converse Chuck Taylors

Much of her practice is devoted to representing clients in the District and Supreme Courts who have been charged with ‘very serious criminal law matters including murder, sexual offences, drug offences, serious assaults and corporate offences,’ according to the Younes + Espiner Lawyers website. 

‘She also appears in complicated local court matters for clients whose personal and professional reputations are at risk.

‘One of Karen’s strengths is her ability to analyse and explain complex legal issues to her clients in a simple, easy-to-follow way.

‘She is well respected by other members of the profession and the judiciary and is known for her meticulous preparation, persuasive advocacy and professionalism.’

Mr Porter split from his wife Jennifer, also a lawyer, in January 2020, after 13 years together.

‘It is a mutual decision and no third parties are involved,’ the couple said at the time.

‘We have been working hard to see what could be possible because first and foremost we are loving parents to two wonderful little children.’

Although the couple went public with their relationship in June 2021, February was the first time Christian Porter and Karen Espiner (pictured) were photographed in public together

Although the couple went public with their relationship in June 2021, February was the first time Christian Porter and Karen Espiner (pictured) were photographed in public together

Mr Porter (pictured with Ms Espiner) resigned from cabinet in September 2021 after it was revealed he had accepted anonymous donations from a blind trust to cover his legal expenses

Mr Porter (pictured with Ms Espiner) resigned from cabinet in September 2021 after it was revealed he had accepted anonymous donations from a blind trust to cover his legal expenses

Mr Porter was once considered a possible future prime minister but ended his political career as a backbencher after suing the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan in a defamation case.

Mr Porter left his attorney-general role after an emotional press conference in March 2021. 

It followed allegations – which he categorically denied – that he was involved in a rape in 1988 when he was 17 while at a high-school debating competition in Sydney. 

An article by the ABC had detailed the accusations levelled at a Cabinet minister but did not name him.

But in the days that followed, Mr Porter outed himself as the minister referred to in the story, but strongly refuted all the allegations and launched legal action against the public broadcaster.

NSW Police found there was not enough evidence to pursue the historical allegations and dropped the investigation.

Mr Porter was moved to the position of Minister for Industry, Science and Technology while he was taking legal action against the ABC as a political compromise on the advice of the solicitor-general. 

The lawsuit was later settled out of court.

When it emerged his huge legal fees were paid for by a blind trust, he resigned from Cabinet completely. 

Mr Porter said the trust was established in a way that he did not know who the funders were.

It is estimated Mr Porter received between $600,000 to $1million from a mystery benefactor.  

The two laughed and smiled as they held hands and wrapped arms while walking by the beach in the trendy suburb Ms Espiner calls home

The two laughed and smiled as they held hands and wrapped arms while walking by the beach in the trendy suburb Ms Espiner calls home

WHO IS HIGH-POWERED LAWYER KAREN ESPINER?

Karen Espiner is a hotshot criminal lawyer based in Sydney.

She co-founded Younes + Espiner Lawyers and was named Criminal Law Partner of the Year at the 2020 Lawyers Weekly Awards.

Much of Karen’s practice is devoted to representing clients in the District and Supreme Courts who have been charged with ‘very serious criminal law matters including murder, sexual offences, drug offences, serious assaults and corporate offences’.

‘She also appears in complicated Local Court matters for clients whose personal and professional reputations are at risk,’ her website states.

‘One of Karen’s strengths is her ability to analyse and explain complex legal issues to her clients in a simple, easy-to-follow way. 

‘She is well respected by other members of the profession and the judiciary and is known for her meticulous preparation, persuasive advocacy and professionalism.’ 

The legal eagle went public with her relationship with Christian Porter last year when he was in the midst of his defamation case against the ABC. 

Ms Espiner said she was not involved in Mr Porter’s defamation case but offered him personal support during the tough time.    

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