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"It felt harder to walk away than stay." Alison Brahe and Cameron Daddo on navigating infidelity.

They were touted as the “golden couple” of 90s Australia, but for Cameron Daddo and Alison Brahe, “easy” is certainly not the word they’d use to describe their 28-year marriage. And they want you to know it’s not supposed to be.

Cameron – the former host of game show Perfect Match turned-heartthrob and star of US sitcom Models Inc – met 90s ‘It girl’ and frequent Dolly magazine cover star, Alison, in 1989.

Their attraction was instant, and chemistry undeniable. Within two months they were engaged, and 18 months later they married.

They became Australia’s answer to Brad and Jen. The glamorous power couple everyone aspired to be.

But with their highly publicised whirlwind-romance beginnings, came a price. However, unlike their Hollywood counterparts Brad and Jen, they fought through the dark times.

“Weʼve come so incredibly close to splitting,” Ali wrote last year in an article for Mamamia about marrying young.

“I have hated, loved, hated Cam more times than I can count. Each time we nearly separated, we dug back into the “shit” and grew. We learned a little more about ourselves and each other and what love really looks and feels like. What commitment means.”

Speaking on Studio 10 on Thursday morning, they said while their beginnings were fraught with conflict, despite their hardship, their love never faltered. It was a battle worth fighting.

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“There was so much that we did in those early years that we just didn’t settle and it blew apart, but we were still so in love,” Alison said.

Watch a snippet from the Studio 10 interview below. Post continues after.

In many ways, they told the panel, it was Cameron’s rising international fame that drove a wedge between them.

Models Inc. was massive in America, with millions of people watching it, and very seductive,” he said of the Melrose Place spin-off.

“Suddenly you become attractive to a lot of people, and that was part of it. That was all part of a fabric of problems that I needed to move through.

“For me, what I discovered through counselling and therapy, was that I had a very childish need to be liked – which is probably why I ended up in [show] business.”

Cameron Daddo and wife Ali in 2014. Image: Getty.
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Soon after they wed, they had moved away together to LA, where they went from two of the most recognisable faces in Australia to relative nobodies. They were, by every definition, small fish in a big pond.

The plan was only to stay in the US for three years, a decision the couple made eight months into their marriage to benefit Cameron's acting career. They stayed for 25, and for Alison, a few of those years away from her family and the comfort of home were spent feeling ever-so-slightly resentful towards her husband.

"I didn't really want to go. I was devastated when Cam said we were going. I didn't even want to visit America, I was like 'That's the land of riots, and danger and who'd ever want to raise a child there?'," she told Mia Freedman on No Filter in 2017.

"It was a choice I eventually had to make but I was very, very reticent. So for two years I was flying back and forth constantly to Australia as I still had the Portmans contract."

Listen to the full interview with Alison Brahe below. Post continues after audio.

Just a few years into their marriage, "cracks started to show," as Cameron explained on Studio 10. 

Following a brief split, an affair, and Cameron's struggle with addiction, the pair decided therapy was the answer. And they haven't looked back since.

"We dove into therapy and we dove into our issues," Alison said. "We were so young, engaged after two-and-a-half months and then we threw ourselves into another country."

Earlier this year, Cameron opened up about his infidelity in an interview with dad blog The Father Hood. It occurred around 20 years ago, he had said, and was the point at which he realised their marriage needed work.

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“In my case, I was the one that left the marriage,” the actor explained.

"How do you repair a marriage after infidelity? Honesty is the best policy. I can only speak from my experience, and for me it really is about, understanding why I did it. What was the need? If your needs are not being met, that can lead to difficulty."

The singer and actor said it was a combination of alcohol and feeling alone that made him feel distant from Ali.

"Repairing a marriage takes two. In my case, I was the one that left the marriage," he said. "But we both had counselling afterwards. Ali took responsibility for what she was doing in the relationship and how that was working, and it all became more about a willingness of each person to go into their own pattern of behaviour and work out what creates it."

He added that after his affair, their relationship was not broken, but different.

“Don’t try to make your relationship what it was before, because it will never be that way again,” he said. “But it can be something new, something that you grow from.”

Speaking to Mia Freedman in a separate No Filter interview, he said his addiction to a "two-legged bottle" was always his number one concern.

"I was 28 years old. I was in AA not because of a drinking issue, it was more to understand addiction and understand my addiction to [not alcohol] but a two-legged bottle," he said.

Ultimately, for Alison, turning her back on the marriage was never an option, even with the pain of being betrayed by her husband.

"It felt harder to walk away than stay," she told the Studio 10 panel.

The parents to Lotus, 22, River, 18, and Bodhi, 13, were on Studio 10 to promote their new 10-part podcast, Separate Bathrooms and Other Handy Marriage Tips, which focuses on their relationship.

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