NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has always considered herself to be "a very private person".
It's a characterisation she makes of herself even now, a period in which her national profile has never been higher.
By virtue of steering our most-populous state through the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Premier's name was already on front pages, at the top of news bulletins and on the lips of ordinary Australians in all corners of the country.
Then came October and headlines of a different ilk.
Gladys Berejiklian tells ICAC she had a 'close personal relationship' with ex-MP Daryl Maguire. Post continues after video.
Evidence presented during an Independent Commission Against Corruption probe into former Liberal MP Daryl Maguire revealed that he and Premier Berejiklian had been in an on-and-off relationship for five years.
While she was not accused of any wrongdoing, the revelation drew fevered commentary; from the sympathetic ('Gladys Berejiklian is guilty — of falling for a bloke named Daryl Maguire', one headline read) to the scathing ('Time for the Premier to pick a story; ideally one that's real') and the salacious ('Ex-MP's secret nickname for Premier revealed in texts').
In an exclusive interview with Mamamia's No Filter podcast, Premier Berejiklian shared what it was like behind the scenes when her private world became public.
"It was a nightmare because a lot of things that were said or asserted weren't even true," she said. "But you just have to deal with what is thrown at you, and for me, the most important thing was not losing focus of what I had to do every day."