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From homelessness to heartbreak: The surprising life of Kyle Sandilands.

This post deals with abuse and might be triggering for some readers.

Kyle Sandilands has lived many different lives over the past 50 years.

Whilst today he is one half of the highest-paid radio duo in Australia, he has also been a survivor of family abuse, a scared homeless teenager, a nightclub king and someone who has nearly lost his job several times.

In the most recent episode of Mamamia's 'No Filter', the controversial breakfast presenter sat down with Mia Freedman in a candid conversation about growing up in an abusive household, being kicked out of home as a teenager and his current relationship with his communications manager Tegan Kynaston.

Here are the most surprising moments of their interview. 

Kyle Sandilands on his relationship with Tegan Kynaston.

Kyle and Tegan have been together for over a year. Image: Instagram/@tegankynaston.

Sandilands is now in a relationship with his communications manager, Tegan Kynaston.

"We knew each other five years before we worked with each other, then a job came up in my office... She worked with me for quite a few years. And then once Imogen [Anthony] and I split up, there was a bit of time where I was by myself," the 49-year-old explained. 

"She happened to be single at the same time I happened to be single and I think we just admitted to each other - this is a long time after Imogen and I finished - that there are feelings here," he recalled. "I didn't even bring it up first because I'm really her employer... So she asked me, 'Why did we never date?' And then it just sort of developed slowly from there. It was nice. It came from a real friendship place."

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The couple have been together since late 2019. 

Kyle Sandilands' pay parity with Jackie O. 

Kyle Sandilands and Jackie 'O' host the top rating radio show in Sydney. Image: Instagram.

From the beginning of their on-air partnership, Sandilands insisted he and Jackie O be paid equally. 

Sandilands explained that when he first joined Jackie O on the radio, he was offered a salary of $258,000 whilst Jackie was on $80,000 a year. 

Sandilands went to to his general manager and demanded pay parity, even if that meant taking a cut out of his own salary. The manager agreed they should be paid the same and since then the radio duo decided to negotiate their salaries together. To this day, they are paid the same.

"From the beginning, it was just expected. I wouldn't expect to earn any more than her," Sandilands said.

'I'm neutral towards becoming a father.'

Kyle Sandilands said he is "neutral" to the prospect of becoming a father. Image: Getty.

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Sandilands said that whilst he has never "desired to have kids," he would be open to having them.

The 49-year-old revealed he's nearly become a father "three or four times" over the years, with partners becoming pregnant. 

"Each time the girl I was with has decided it's not the right time for us, or it didn't carry on to full term. I've had both and both is sad," he shared.

Sandilands said he now feels neutral about the prospect of becoming a father.

"I'm a big believer, coming from a broken childhood, that you've both got to really dedicate your life [to your children]," he said. "You've got to not be selfish. You've got to not let that kid come second; that's just not an option."

Watch: Kyle Sandilands on the prospect of becoming a father. Post continues below


Video via Mamamia


Kyle Sandilands on growing up in an abusive household.

Sandilands grew up in an unhappy, abusive household with an angry father. By the time he was in Year 10, he was living on the streets behind a supermarket - the only place he felt "safe". 

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Before his days on the street, Sandilands lived with his mother and step-father in Brisbane. But he was thrown into homelessness after hosting a party for his school friends while his mother and partner were away one weekend. 

"It was one of those big out-of-control Facebook looking parties before Facebook existed," Sandilands recalled. "I was out in my mum's car and my other friends were in my stepfather's car and other people were having sex in their bed. It was wild."

Kyle Sandilands grew up in an abusive household. Image: Getty.  

When his mother and step-father unexpectedly returned in the early hours of the morning, he was kicked out and told by his step-father he was "never welcome back here". 

"Because they were so strict, I just believed every word. I was a bit terrified as a kid. So I just rode off on my bike."

As a victim-survivor, the abuse suffered by Sandilands' mother meant she was "very soft and never spoke up".

"I didn't blame her for that because I lived through those early years with my dad drinking and the abuse. It was horrible. So I was just glad that she was with someone that wasn't hurting her."

Sandilands says that witnessing the abuse of his mother shaped who he is in romantic relationships today. 

"I'm very soft with women. I believe it's because I watched my mum live a torturous life. So I am a little bit more sensitive. I couldn't stand seeing her screaming or crying or being injured. That was very difficult. I witnessed all of that and I was too small to do anything. I physically tried to stop it many times, but I got injured myself."

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'I was really scared.'

Sandilands says his primary concern after being rejected from his family home was his safety.

"The first night I was really scared. I think I rode my bike around and cried and cried and cried until I stopped in the park somewhere and I was just scared," he remembers. "I didn't know where to go or who was around."

But Sandilands said his concerns eased once he found somewhere safe - on the streets, nevertheless. 

"For the first few months [of being homeless], I stayed behind a local supermarket where they throw all their boxes out. I would steal a loaf of bread and a carton of milk from the early morning deliveries, and I would eat the whole loaf of bread and drink the whole carton of milk. And that's all I'd eat every day, day in, day out."

A year later he was living with his Aunty in Townsville when he came across an advertisement for a radio job, looking for someone to drive around town for one hour a day and give away free stuff. He got the job by lying that he had his driver's licence. 

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'My first divorce left me heartbroken.'

Kyle Sandilands and Tamara Jaber in 2007. Image: Getty.  

Many moons later, when Kyle Sandilands was a rising star on the radio scene, he met Tamara Jaber, of Popstars fame, when she was 18.

The couple were together for eight years before they married in 2008 and then split two years later.

"I had my heart broken," Sandilands shares. "I was devastated. I ran away and lived in America in a hotel for six months and did the [radio] show from America."

"I handled it pretty immaturely because I just sort of shut everyone out and ran away."

The 49-year-old said he "felt like a bit of a failure from the marriage not working out" and distracted himself for a while after by being frequenting the nightclub scene.

The media personality added that he isn't in touch with Tamara Jaber now. 

Why Kyle Sandilands' relationship with Imogen Anthony ended.

Kyle Sandilands and his former girlfriend, Imogen Anthony. Image: Instagram.  

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Sandilands' most high-profile relationship was the one he shared with Imogen Anthony, a model who is 19 years his junior. 

The two had an eight-year relationship before they parted ways in November 2019.

Sandilands said Anthony "went from a young girl into a woman," having first met her when she was 20 years old and he was 39. 

"It's not as if we couldn't get on. It's just I was going in my twilight years and she was just becoming a woman. 

"It was fun while it lasted and it was great. We enjoyed a lot of things about each other, but some of these things they come to an end sometimes," he added. 

'Am I a narcissist?'

Despite his humble beginnings, Sandilands is now known for his extroverted, egotistical personality. 

But he says he doesn't know if he truly is a narcissist, despite admitting he's also "surprised not everyone listens to [his] radio show".

"Every argument I've ever had with a girlfriend - they say, 'you're narcissistic'. Am I? I don't know. Maybe I am. I don't even care, really."

You can listen to the full episode of No Filter with Kyle Sandilands here

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home. 

You can also call safe steps 24/7 Family Violence Response Line on 1800 015 188 or visit www.safesteps.org.au for further information.

Feature image: Instagram/@kyleandjackieo.