Two marriages, multiple affairs, 5 or 6 kids: The complicated private life of Boris Johnson. 

If you look at recent history, you could be forgiven for believing that the key to becoming a successful politician is to have a bad haircut, make up your own facts, say a series of controversial statements regarding minorities and have a very questionable personal life.

This formula was hugely successful for one particular world leader… and it also seems to have been working for Boris Johnson as UK Prime Minister.

The former London Mayor Johnson, 55, replaced Theresa May as Prime Minister back in July after winning the leadership of Britain’s Conservative Party, receiving almost twice as many votes as his rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

And now, after calling a general election in October, Johnson is in his final hours of campaigning against Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn ahead of the December 12 vote, in which he hopes to regain a Conservative majority.

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Famed for his self-deprecating humour, many gaffes, scruffy blonde hair and that video of him tackling a child (seriously watch it, it’s basically the perfect summation of who he is as a person), Johnson also brought his chaotic personal life to 10 Downing Street.

You see… Johnson’s Wikipedia page is even confused about how many children he has.

boris johnson children

Johnson lives at Downing Street with his girlfriend, PR guru Carrie Symonds, 31, which makes him the first non-married British PM in 45 years.

There were initial fears last June that a fight Johnson had with Symonds, in which the police were called to an alleged altercation at her south London home, would damage his bid for the top job, but it didn't.

In a recording made by neighbour Tom Penn, Symonds is heard telling Johnson to "get off me" and "get out of my flat," The Guardian reported.

Johnson has repeatedly refused to speak about the incident.

carrie symonds
Carrie Symonds takes part in an anti-whaling protest outside the Japanese Embassy in central London in January 2019. Image: Getty.

But it's far from the first time his personal life has made headlines.

Johnson married his first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen in 1987. They divorced in 1993 and just a couple of weeks later, he married barrister Marina Wheeler.

Five weeks after their marriage, Wheeler gave birth to their first child Lara Lettice, now 26.

Johnson and Wheeler were married for 25 years, having three more children: Milo Arthur, 24, Cassia Peaches, 22, and Theodore Apollo, 20.

About seven years into their marriage, Wheeler became aware that Johnson was having an affair with journalist Petronella Wyatt.

In November 2004, tabloids discovered that Wyatt had an abortion a month earlier confirmed by her mother. Johnson denied the affair, calling it "complete balderdash". However, it was true and his lies cost him his post as shadow culture minister at the time.

Boris Johnson and Marina Wheeler
Boris Johnson and Marina Wheeler in 2009.

Only 18 months later, the News of the World announced that Johnson was having another affair with journalist Anna Fazackerley. The paper had hacked her phone and hired a private investigator to follow her.

In 2009 Johnson fathered a daughter named Stephanie with arts consultant Helen MacIntyre.

In 2012 Britain's High Court ruled the media was justified in publishing stories about the child "because the mayor’s 'recklessness' in conducting extramarital affairs, which has resulted in two children being born, called into question his fitness for public office", The Times reported.

This is why Wikipedia lists Johnson's number of children as "5 or 6". The court case claimed Johnson had fathered a sixth child, but there has never been any public information about this.

In 2018 yet another affair scandal dogged Johnson - this time with Symonds, the Conservative Party communications chief who left the Tories after eight years in August 2018.

But just weeks later in September, Johnson and Wheeler announced they had begun divorce proceedings and after 25 years of marriage had separated "several months ago".