NSW state minister's ex-girlfriend reportedly loses job after exposing ‘sexts’

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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reacts as he walks in central Brisbane, Australia, July 25, 2016. AAP/Dan Peled/via Reuters

A senior adviser to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has exposed what appeared to be “sexting” messages, is reportedly “no longer working” with him. The adviser was reported to have lost her job after revealing some texts that a Liberal minister supposedly sent to a fellow MP.

Caitlin Keage is a former girlfriend of a Liberal minister. The texts were allegedly sent between Fair Trading Minister Matt Kean and Liberal NSW backbencher Eleni Petinos. Keage posted screenshots of these messages online.

Based on the post, Kean sent a text message to Petinos on December 27, saying he was “tempted to drive down to see” her. He also wrote, “Really need to f*** you.” Petinos replied he already has “CK” for that. Kean asked, “Is that a no?” and Petinos told him it’s “that time of the month.”

Keage took to her Instagram page to expose the text messages and accused Kean of cheating. “When your boyfriend cheats on you when you're away with family,” she wrote alongside the post.

Keage was reportedly encouraged to resign. She was a senior adviser to the prime minister and a Coalition staffer since 2010 and has worked in both media and policy roles. She is no longer working as part of Turnbull’s office, a spokesman for the Australian leader told News.com.au. It was not clear whether she was pushed to leave, fired or made a decision by herself. The date when Keage left her role is also unknown.

The Instagram post of the alleged exchange of texts between Kean and Petinos has been deleted, but media circles were quick to get a copy of it. It was widely shared among political circles, too.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Kean's boss, earlier declared that she would not sack him over the scandal, although she has admitted that what she “read this morning” is extremely disappointing. Berejiklian said she was personally disappointed in him and have told him so, but believed it is nonetheless a personal matter.

Kean said he was deeply sorry that his relationship with Keage ended “in such a spectacular and sad fashion.” He added that he wishes her all the best.

Petinos has also released a statement shortly after Keage’s Instagram post has been shared. She said she was saddened that she has been drawn into the relationship breakdown. She denied the allegations, adding that it pained her as a person making a statement about matters outside the scope of work.

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