Inside story of how Anthony Albanese sparked up a romance with his girlfriend after the breakdown of his 19-year marriage – as the PM-hopeful’s new lover opens up on her ‘false sense of security’ when their relationship started

  • Albanese and his partner Jodie Haydon met in late 2019 at event in Melbourne
  • Their relationship blossomed amid Covid lockdowns away from the public eye
  • Ms Haydon said she felt like they were in their own ‘bubble’ in early months
  • She said she wasn’t sure how to prepare for a life dating a public figure
  • ‘I am happier with him,’ she said after confessing she feared she’d stay single 

Anthony Albanese’s partner has spoken of the ‘bubble’ they were in when their relationship first began amid Covid lockdowns, and how life has changed by dating the man vying for the country’s top job.

The Labor leader and his girlfriend Jodie Haydon, 43, met in late 2019 and immediately had a bond over their shared love for the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Mr Albanese, 59, had been speaking at an event in Melbourne and upon asking if there were any Souths fans in the audience, Ms Haydon shouted out ‘Up the Rabbitohs!’

He introduced himself and when the pair later met at another work function he asked her for a drink, sparking the beginning of their romance.

Anthony Albanese’s partner Jodie Haydon (pictured together) has spoken of the ‘bubble’ they were in when their relationship first began amid Covid lockdowns, and how life has changed by dating the man vying for the country’s top job

Mr Albanese had split from his wife in January, 2019 after 19 years of marriage and 30 years together (pictured together in 2018)

Mr Albanese had split from his wife in January, 2019 after 19 years of marriage and 30 years together (pictured together in 2018)

Ms Haydon said the first few months of their relationship were spent at home during lockdown, with the pair getting to know each other through binging TV, cooking and listening to music together.

She told News Corp they were in ‘a bit of a bubble’ in those first few months locked down together.

Mr Albanese had split from his wife Carmel Tebbutt in January 2019 after 19 years of marriage and 30 years together. 

‘I probably in some respects went into it with a false sense of security that I was in a really normal relationship and it wasn’t until we were photographed that I realised, yeah, this is going to be very different,’ Ms Haydon said.

She described herself as a ‘private person’ by nature, and the sudden publicity of her relationship was unlike anything she’d experienced.

Ms Haydon said it was a challenge dealing with life in the public eye, saying she was a 'private person by nature'

Ms Haydon said it was a challenge dealing with life in the public eye, saying she was a ‘private person by nature’

Ms Haydon said while she wasn’t sure how to prepare for her new life, Mr Albanese was ‘really protective and reassuring’.

The 43-year-old grew up on NSW’s Central Coast and spent 20 years working in the superannuation industry. She now works as the women’s officer for the NSW Public Service Association.

Fortunately for her new relationship, her family votes Labor and has always done so. 

Politics was also a common dinner table discussion and Ms Haydon always had an interest in the matter, although admitting she was more of a ‘couch critic’, than an active member of the ALP.

She once handed out how-to-vote cards which – as fate would have it – were voting instructions for her now partner. 

When asked if she’d move into Kirribilli House or The Lodge in Canberra should Mr Albanese be elected as Prime Minister, Ms Haydon said ‘I’m not getting ahead of myself’.

Ms Haydon said the first few months of their relationship were spent at home during lockdown, with the pair getting to know each other through binging TV, cooking and listening to music together. Pictured with the ALP leader and his son, Nathan (left)

Ms Haydon said the first few months of their relationship were spent at home during lockdown, with the pair getting to know each other through binging TV, cooking and listening to music together. Pictured with the ALP leader and his son, Nathan (left)

She said she had been single for a long time before meeting the Labor leader and thought she may never find someone.

‘I certainly thought – and I don’t mean this to sound pathetic – but I honestly thought love wasn’t going to happen for me,’ she said. 

But Mr Albanese, someone she’d always seen as ‘approachable and authentic’, was everything she’d hoped she would find.

She said while at times it was a ‘rollercoaster of emotions’ dating someone in the public eye, she was ready for the challenge.

‘I reflected on my life without Anthony in it and I reflected on my life with Anthony in it and it comes back to the fact that I am happier with him,’ she said.

Mr Albanese was protective and supportive of Ms Haydon when their relationship first became public

Mr Albanese was protective and supportive of Ms Haydon when their relationship first became public

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