real life

Julie Bishop's partner's ex-wife is dealing with their relationship like a total adult.

“I’m happy for them, of course.”

When a media organisation secures an interview with the ex of someone dating a high-profile person, we settle in and wait for the claws to come out.

We wait for the scandals to emerge. We wait for the dirty little secrets to be laid upon the table.

And often they are, because break-ups are tough and can leave a trail of bitterness, hurt feelings and emotional scarring.

But not so for the ex-wife of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s boyfriend, dapper property developer David Panton.

Julie Bishop is all smiles with her partner David Panton.

The pair made headlines last week when the outrage police discovered Mr Panton, 55, accompanied Ms Bishop to New York’s United Nations headquarters in what was dubbed “Bring Your Boyfriend to Work Day” by the media.

Related: So, Julie Bishop took her partner to work with her yesterday.

News Limited visited his former wife, Karen Panton, and probably expected some juicy goss.

But Ms Panton – who was divorced from her former husband five years ago – was nothing but kind and lovely about her ex.

She even gave her blessing to Mr Panton and Ms Bishop, who have been dating for close to a year.

Image via Twitter.

Her approach was totally refreshing and heartening.


Ms Panton, 53, said the three adult children she raised with her former husband have only good things to say about their father’s new love.

“Our children tell me she is an absolutely delightful lady and that I would really enjoy her company,” she told News Limited.

“I’m happy for them, of course.

“He’s the father of my children and there is no ­animosity.”

Julie Bishop, David Panton and his two daughters dine with celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. Image via Instagram.

Ms Panton, who runs the Mornington Peninsula winery she and Mr Panton worked hard to build together, said: “I’ve got my chooks, ducks, fruit trees, trout in the lake, horse, dog, cat, cows… what could be better?”

Unlike many, she did not delve into the reasons behind the demise of their relationship, instead said: “We were very young when we met, just 16.”

“Time is a great healer,” she said.

“We have three wonderful children together.”

Julie and David at the opening of Collette Dinigan’s exhibition. Image via Instagram.

The journalist writes that there are many similarities between Ms Panton and Ms Bishop – they share a love for running and oversized pearls and are both “blonde, sporty, whippet-thin and clever”.

And, apparently, they are both mature women able to navigate the difficult world of relationship politics with class.