In an extraordinary public confession, Prime Minister Bob Hawke tearfully admitted to a national TV audience today that he had been unfaithful to his wife of 33 years.
Hawke made the admission in a taped interview on Channel 7’s Newsworld program. His confession made headlines in every Australian newspaper this morning.
Hawke, 59, acknowledged reports of his womanizing, saying it was in the past. He pledged his love for his wife, Hazel, calling her an “incredible woman.”
The last time Hawke broke down on television was when he referred in 1984 to drug problems among members of his family. Hazel Hawke later went on television to explain that their daughter, Roslyn, and her husband, Matt, had been treated for heroin addiction.
A spokesman for Hawke said today’s admission is not new. “All this has been said before,” the official said.
Hawke has said he will seek a record fourth term as prime minister.
In the interview, Hawke was asked what people mean when they accuse him of being a womanizer.
“They mean I was unfaithful to my wife,” Hawke replied.
Robertson: “Is that true?”
Robertson: “Did you stop that?”
“Yes,” Hawke replied in tears, and then, “I guess there are not many women who would have put up with me all that time. But my love for her never changes. I have always loved Hazel, always will.”
Hawke also referred to his past drinking, which his biographer Blanche d’Alpuget says earned him an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records when he drank 2 1/2 pints of beer in 12 seconds while studying at Oxford University in Britain. Hawke quit drinking in 1979.