Tim Paine's wife Bonnie says the sexting scandal has been 'good for their marriage' even though she was 'completely rocked' his betrayal - and she admits she feels sympathetic toward him at having to stand down as Australia's test cricket captain.
The married father-of-two was discreetly investigated and cleared of any wrongdoing by Cricket Australia in 2018, when he confessed to Bonnie that he had exchanged sexting messages over the course of 18 hours with a female employee of Cricket Tasmania.
In an interview published on Sunday, Bonnie said she'd already 'had her time' of 'getting angry, venting and getting upset' but decided back in 2018 put the incident behind them - and that in doing so, their marriage was stronger than ever.
'I have a bit of sympathy for Tim at the moment. A lot actually. He and I went through all of this privately in 2018. It was horrific then and is really hard now,' she told The Daily Telegraph.
Tim Paine's 'embarrassed' wife feels 'sympathetic' for the former captain of Australian cricket after lewd text messages he sent to a colleague were made public - as she insists their marriage is stronger than ever
Australia test cricket captain Tim Paine, 36, sent a series of raunchy text to a female Cricket Tasmania colleague
Paine, 36, 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.
The messages were sent shortly before Paine was appointed to the Australian captaincy.
'Will you want to taste my d**?? F**k me, I'm seriously hard,' one of the messages read.
Weirdly, this mess actually helped our relationship
The embarrassing sexts have been hanging over the couple's heads since a complaint was made by the other party in mid-2018.
Paine revealed he knew media agencies had received copies of the exchange and he'd been questioned over the matter for 'years' before they were finally made public early on Friday afternoon.
The timing of the matter has left Bonnie feeling frustrated more than anything at the 'injustice' of having their private struggles dragged out all over again.
Tim Paine's wife Bonnie (pictured) forgave her husband after he confessed to the texts when a complaint was filed in mid-2018. Up until that point, he hadn't told her about the late 2017 exchange
Bonnie revealed at the time of the sexting saga, she and Paine had reached a stressful point in their relationship. They'd recently had their daughter, Milla, were already pregnant with their son Charlie and her father had recently died
'We put it to bed years ago... I remember feeling angry because we had a little girl who wasn't too old... Tim and I had been in a long relationship, it'd been 10 years and God knows we had out ups and downs... but I was still completely rocked,' she said.
At the time of the sexting saga, Bonnie and Paine had reached a stressful point in their relationship. They'd recently had their daughter, Milla, were already pregnant with their son Charlie and her father had recently died.
It was a time, Bonnie says, that would have been tough even if they were on completely solid ground.
She has 'huge admiration' for the way Paine handled the incident, confessing to the messages the day he learned a complaint had been filed - which was still months after the incident occurred on November 22 and 23, 2017, the eve and morning of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba in Brisbane.
'You telling me was a huge progression for us. You kept everything so secretive prior to that,' she told Paine during the interview. 'Weirdly, this mess has actually helped our relationship.'
The embarrassing sexts have been hanging over the couple's heads since a complaint was made by the other party in mid-2018
Paine understands he'll be the subject of scrutiny moving forward, and worries about what his peers and fans will think of him.
He's opted to 'go into hiding for a little bit' as he plans his next move, but has vowed he'll be ready for the Ashes series next month.
While he won't be captaining his side, Paine says he has a lot to bring to the team and hopes to still contribute to a series win.
But former great Shane Warne said on Sunday that Paine's time in the test team was now past and he was unlikely to be a contender for a place in the Ashes team.
Warne said Paine was 'on shaky ground' even before news of the sexting scandal broke on Friday after an underwhelming performance in the most recent series.
'There was a groundswell of people starting to ask if Tim Paine was in fact the best option for the Test team,' he said.
'He had his moments during recent series