United Kingdom

Gladys Berejiklian finally kicks off her heels following months of covid stress

Gladys Berejiklian has been spotted enjoying a festive dinner out with colleagues after months of turmoil. 

The New South Wales premier was all smiles as she sat down to a Christmas dinner at high-end restaurant China Doll on the scenic Finger Wharf at Woolloomooloo in Sydney on Wednesday night. 

Ms Berejikilian appeared to be nursing a cocktail while wine flowed among her Liberal ministers.  

Gladys Berejiklian (pictured at her work Christmas party on Wednesday night) has been spotted enjoying a festive dinner out with colleagues after months of turmoil

And while the wine was flowing for the jovial guests, which including ministers Victor Dominello (left, looking down ). Ms Berejiklian opted for a pink cocktail, believed to be a Rose Tattoo, instead 

The cocktail, thought to be the $19 Rose Tattoo, is a popular choice at the luxury venue which is known for its celebrity patrons.

Filled with London dry gin, lillet rose, raspberry, rose and egg white, it makes for a perfect summer tipple for the busy politician. 

Ms Berejiklian appeared relaxed as she chatted among the group, which included Liberal ministers Victor Dominello and Andrew Constance. 

The dinner marks an end to a tumultuous year for the premier who has had to deal with the repercussion from coronavirus pandemic while trying to manage the economic fall out. 

She was also thrust into the spotlight when her secret relationship with disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire became public. 

The leader, who is known for being incredibly private, was forced to admit to the relationship after she was called to give evidence at an Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry in October. 

Ms Berejiklian told The Daily Telegraph having intimate details of her private life laid bare was a nightmare situation and left her feeling 'humiliated and embarrassed'.

'I'm still trying to process it. I feel like it's someone else living this… It's like I'm the main protagonist in a movie,' she said.

The dinner marks an end to a tumultuous year for the premier who has had to deal with the repercussion from coronavirus pandemic while trying to manage the economic fall out.

Ms Berejiklian appeared relaxed as she chatted on Wednesday night with her Liberal ministers Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello (left) and Transport Minister Andrew Constance (far right).

The premier was in good spirits as she was pictured next to Mr Dominello in Sydney's China Doll restaurant  

'It's like I'm the feature and the film is going to end and my life is going to go back to normal but it will never be normal again.'

The premier said she would continue to put her professional career above her personal life.

'I can formally say to people I've given up on love. I'm just going to say I have always put my job first, rightly or wrongly, and that will now continue indefinitely,' she said.

But that wasn't always the case.

At the height of their relationship, Ms Berejiklian hoped to one day go public with Mr Maguire, and even dreamed of marrying him.

Throughout the ICAC inquiry and several media appearances afterwards, Ms Berejiklian appeared stoic, but confessed she had shed tears in the privacy of her own home over the embarrassment of the entire experience.

The New South Wales Premier was forced to unceremoniously sack disgraced Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire in 2018 after learning he was making dodgy deals

Not even Ms Berejiklian's own family knew about her five-year affair with Mr Maguire

Ms Berejiklian continued a 'close personal relationship with the 61-year-old until as recently as this September

She learned during the corruption hearing just how much Mr Maguire had relied on her name during discussions with business associates and her government's resources in his dodgy side deals.

'I'm never going to speak to him again. My life's changed forever,' she said.

Ms Berejiklian is a notoriously private woman who had never spoken publicly about her personal affairs or relationship status before details of this romance became public last month.

Not even her own family knew about her five-year relationship with Mr Maguire.

The premier informed her two sisters that she was about to be publicly humiliated during the hearing, but couldn't go into detail with them for legal reasons.

But she asked them to watch over their parents in case things got 'messy'.

Ms Berejiklian still has not defined what exactly her relationship was with Mr Maguire, admitting to the publication that it was difficult to label.

'It wasn't a traditional type of relationship,' she said.

The duo had been friends for more than 20 years before becoming intimate around 2015.

While she never introduced him to her family, she admitted that she did love him and considered marrying him after decades of being 'married to the job'.

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