The loyal wife of former Australian Test cricket captain Tim Paine has stood by him for the past three years, despite knowing he sent lewd texts to a female staffer.
Bonnie Paine was aware of her husband’s indiscretion back in 2018 when he was investigated by Cricket Australia and eventually cleared of misconduct.
The matter was kept secret until Friday afternoon, when Paine, 36, stepped down and tearfully apologised at a press conference for his behaviour.
Standing by her man: The loyal wife of Australian Test cricket captain Tim Paine (pictured with wife Bonnie) has stood by him for the past three years, despite knowing he sent lewd texts to a female staffer
It’s believed his decision to go public and resign as captain was prompted by media outlets learning of the 2018 investigation.
Despite the devastating revelation, Bonnie has maintained the carefully crafted image of a picture-perfect marriage on social media in the three years since she learned of her husband’s sexts to the woman.
Forgive and forget: Bonnie Paine was aware of her husband’s indiscretion back in 2018 when he was investigated by Cricket Australia and eventually cleared of misconduct
She regularly shares loved-up photos with her husband of five years and their two young children, daughter Milla, four, and son Charlie, two, on Instagram.
As recently as November 2, Bonnie shared a cosy photo with her family and captioned it: ‘The most perfect birthday’.
The couple regularly enjoy date nights together.
‘My hot date. Does anyone else prefer having a quiet date night at home rather than going out? Or we the only boring oldies out there?’ she wrote in July.
In April, the couple attended the Cricket Tasmania Awards Night, and in January Bonnie admitted she was ‘devastated’ at having to say goodbye to Paine when the pandemic kept them apart.
‘Devastated that we have to say goodbye to our man today. Bloody Rona. En route back to Hobart far earlier than expected,’ she captioned a photo of them together.
Resigning: The matter was kept secret until Friday afternoon, when Paine, 36, stepped down and tearfully apologised for his behaviour at a press conference
In December last year, she shared a heartfelt message to her husband on his 36th birthday, saying she was ‘so proud’ of him.
‘Happy birthday to TP (I’d write a soppy, heartfelt message but I’ve sent him one via text instead). We love you so much, and we are so proud of the man you are. 36 never looked so good,’ she wrote.
They enjoyed a ‘staycation’ together at the Crowne Plaza in Hobart in September 2020, a month after they had a ‘mandatory parental weekend away’.
The couple attended the Australian Cricket Awards together in both February last year and February 2019.
They also spent the last two New Year’s Eves in Sydney, and flew to Europe for a holiday in September 2019, visiting France and Spain.
In May 2019, they visited Melbourne for the Australian Cricket Society dinner, and jetted to Bali that same month.
Making art: The couple regularly enjoy date nights together, painting in September (pictured) and relaxing at home in July
Prior to that, they enjoyed a holiday in Cape Town in March 2018, with Bonnie sharing a loved-up photo of herself and Paine at the beach.
‘Falling in love with Cape Town. Tim’s love for the camera is about as subtle as a fart in an elevator. But when the background is THAT – you have no choice,’ she wrote.
Paine on Friday stepped down as Australia’s Test cricket captain amid a sexting scandal which saw him send a lewd photo and explicit messages to a female staffer.
He was investigated by Cricket Australia in 2018 after the woman complained, but was cleared of misconduct and the matter was kept secret.
Paine sent a photo of his penis to a female co-worker along with a stream of lewd text messages, many of which are too raunchy to publish.
‘Will you want to taste my d**k?? F**k me, I’m seriously hard,’ one of the messages sent to the Cricket Tasmania employee read.
Pushed into admission: It’s believed Paine’s decision to go public and resign as captain was prompted by media outlets learning of the 2018 investigation
Paine, who has led the team since the Sandpapergate scandal in 2018, held a press conference at 2.30pm on Friday where he tearfully apologised and announced he would step down.
‘It’s an incredibly difficult decision, but the right one for me, my family, and cricket,’ he said.
Paine is available for selection for The Ashes, but his place in the team hangs by a thread.
The lewd messages were sent on November 22 and 23, 2017, the eve and morning of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Cricket Australia was not aware of the messages until after Paine was appointed Test captain in March 2018 in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal.
So in love: Despite the devastating revelation, Bonnie has maintained the carefully crafted image of a picture perfect marriage on social media
Paine was brought in as the saviour of Australian cricket after captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were suspended, along with opener Cameron Bancroft.
The trio was caught on camera using concealed sandpaper to rough up the ball during the tour of South Africa.
Cricket Australia is believed to have found out about Paine’s sexts in June 2018 and launched an investigation, along with Cricket Tasmania.
The woman complained in 2018 about ‘Mr Paine’s sexually explicit, unwelcome and unsolicited photograph of his genitals in addition to the graphic sexual comments’.
She is said to have been taken aback by the comments and pornographic photo, which she found offensive.
However, the complaints were only made about seven months later when the woman was charged with stealing. Those charges are still before the courts.
Romantic getaways: They enjoyed a ‘staycation’ together at the Crowne Plaza in Hobart in September 2020, a month after they had a ‘mandatory parental weekend away’
Cricket Tasmania chairman Andrew Gaggin said the woman was earlier sacked by the organisation, but did not bring the messages up at the time.
Mr Gaggin said the organisation investigated the complaint as soon as it was received but ‘determined the interaction was consensual, private, occurred on the one occasion only, was between mature adults and was not repeated’.
‘Cricket Tasmania clearly does not condone this type of behaviour and addressed the matter directly with Time Paine,’ he said.
‘However, because of the consensual nature of the actions it was determined that no further action was required or appropriate.’
Taking a holiday: In May 2019, they visited Melbourne for the Australian Cricket Society dinner, and visited Bali (pictured) earlier that same month
Paine said at his press conference that he was exonerated by these investigations, which found he did not breach the code of conduct.
Bonnie was also aware of the messages but chose to stick by him.
‘Although exonerated, I deeply regretted this incident at the time, and still do today,’ he said on Friday.
‘I spoke to my wife and family at the time and am enormously grateful for their forgiveness and support.
‘We thought this incident was behind us and that I could focus entirely on the team, as I have done for the last three or four years.
‘However, I recently became aware that this private text exchange was going to become public.
‘On reflection, my actions in 2017 do not meet the standard of an Australian cricket captain, or the wider community.
‘I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and pain that I have caused to my wife, my family, and to the other party. I’m sorry for any damage that this does to the reputation of our sport.’
Life’s a beach: They enjoyed a holiday in Cape Town (pictured) in March 2018, with Bonnie sharing a loved-up photo of herself and Paine at the beach
The woman interacted with Paine on and off for about a year, and both parties were flirtatious in the leaked messages.
But the conversation took a sudden turn with the cricketer’s explicit messages just before the woman resigned from Cricket Tasmania.
She sent a letter to Cricket Australia and Cricket Tasmania, as well as the Australian Human Rights Commission, complaining of sexual harassment.
Paine broke down in tears at his press conference where he apologised to all those he hurt and let down, including Australian cricket fans at large.
Trouble: Paine sent a photo of his penis to a female co-worker along with a stream of lewd text messages, many of which are too raunchy to publish
He said he decided to resign because the messages were about to become public, and he didn’t want to be a distraction during The Ashes, which begin on December 8 in Brisbane.
‘I believe that it is the right decision for me to stand down as captain, effective immediately. I do not want this to become an unwelcome disruption to the team ahead of what is a huge Ashes series,’ he said.
‘I have loved my role…’ he said, his voice cracking as he wiped away a tear, ‘as captain of the Australian cricket team.
‘It’s been the greatest privilege of my sporting life to lead the Australian men’s test team. I’m grateful for the support of my teammates and proud of what we’ve been able to achieve together.
‘To them, I ask for their understanding and forgiveness. To Australian cricket fans – deeply sorry that my past behaviour has impacted our game on the eve of the Ashes.
‘For the disappointment I have caused to fans and the entire cricket community, I apologise. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful, loving and supportive family, and it breaks my heart to know how much I’ve let them down.
‘They have always stood by me, been my most loyal fans, and I’m indebted to them for their support.’
The right thing: ‘It’s an incredibly difficult decision, but the right one for me, my family, and cricket,’ Paine said
Cricket Australia chairman Richard Freudenstein minutes earlier issued a statement on Paine’s behalf, announcing the resignation as Test captain.
‘Tim felt it was in the best interests of his family and Australian cricket to take this decision to step down as captain,’ he said.