Australian cricket great Shane Warne has opened up on just how intense the media scrutiny was during his relationship with English superstar Elizabeth Hurley.
Having made his Test debut as a 21-year-old, Warne was no stranger to the paparazzi but things went up several gears when his relationship with Hurley became public.
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“It was chaos to be fair,” Warne said of the media attention on episode five of Fox Cricket’s A Week With Warnie, airing Friday night (8pm AEDT). “I suppose it was the sporting world meeting her world (the celebrity world).”
And things got very real for his family when Hurley came to Australia to visit in 2011.
“When she first came to Australia we had been seeing each other for about six months or so, so I didn’t introduce her to my children until it was real and I believed it had a future — it wasn’t just a bit of fun.
“So six months down the track she finally comes to meet the children in Australia and it was an absolute circus.
“I mean, the next door neighbour’s kids were selling cordial for a buck out the front!
“All sorts of things were happening. They were dropping off golf clubs at the front trying to put her name on them.
“We tried to keep things as normal as possible but it got scary. Some of these rogue photographers trying to get exclusives — I remember my youngest daughter Summer screaming in the back seat ‘dad, dad slow down’. Cars jumping in front of us, running red lights.”
With the media following them everywhere they went, there were few places Warne and Hurley could go for a quiet meal. One of those places was the Capitol Golf Club in Victoria, but even then there was the problem of getting there in the first place.
“We couldn’t go anywhere else because we’d just get 30-40 people, photographers, news crews, everywhere we went.
“We had seven cars following us and a helicopter over our head just following us, running red lights, cutting off in front of us.”
The delivery of a new mattress at Warne’s home during Hurley’s visit particularly raised eyebrows at the time, both in Australia and the UK.
But Warne said on the program that there was an innocent explanation for the timing of the purchase.
“I was renovating my house and we got all new bedrooms and we all got new beds, so I said, ‘we may as well get new mattresses too’,” Warne said.
“And so I got a new mattress delivered.
“The one thing out of all the stuff that got delivered, whether it be couches and all that, they got that picture of a guy carrying a bed …
“Of course, ‘Shane Warne wants to get rid of the old mattress, let’s put in the new one’.”
Speaking about his relationship with Hurley, Warne added: “(I’m) quite sad it’s over because I still care about her deeply and she’s a wonderful person.”