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A 'flushed' ring and a potential new romance: Inside Michael Clarke's private life.

Not even a pandemic can keep the paparazzi from former Australian cricketer Michael Clarke. Just last Monday, the 39-year-old batting great was sneakily photographed with fashion designer, Pip Edwards.

The pair were seen buying takeaway juices in Bondi on the morning of the P.E. Nation co-founder‘s 40th birthday. In any other circumstance that would indicate that two mates were a) parched or b) warding off a vitamin deficiency. But when it involves a recently divorced famous person, apparently it indicates a romantic relationship.

If someone fluent in eastern-Sydney-rich-people courting rituals could please confirm, that would be handy. Thanks.

“I’ve apologised enough”: Michael Clarke did things his way.

Video by Channel 9

Clarke’s love life has been a persistent sub-plot of his time in the public eye. From his turbulent engagement to Lara Bingle, to his eight-year marriage to interior designer and television presenter, Kyly Clarke.

Let’s take a look at his past relationships:

Lara Bingle

Michael Clarke and Lara Bingle became engaged in March 2008.

It was a tabloid dream. Australia’s star cricketer with Australia’s ‘it girl’ model.

Just two months later, then-20-year-old Bingle experienced a family tragedy. Her father, Graham, died from complications of bowel cancer at the age of 55. After his death, Bingle became an ambassador for Bowel Cancer Australia, and continues to advocate for the organisation.

Clarke supported her through it all, but after two years, their relationship crumbled.

Lara and Michael in 2007. Image: Getty.
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In early March 2010, Bingle was forced to launch legal action against married footballer, Brendan Fevola, after an intimate image he'd taken of her in the shower during their brief 2006 affair was published by a tabloid magazine. She was just 19 in the photograph.

After Bingle gave an interview to Woman's Day about the scandal, Clarke flew home from a tour of New Zealand, sparking rumours their relationship was crumbling. On March 12, he publicly confirmed their engagement was off.

Amid the breakup emerged those now-infamous rumours that Clarke had flushed Bingle's diamond engagement ring (worth an estimated $200,000) down the toilet.

Last week on his Sky radio show, Big Sports Breakfast, the 115-test veteran once again rubbished the reports.

"There was media parked out the front of my Bondi apartment for probably two weeks and there was a plumbing truck out the front of the apartment," he said. "Just because there was a plumbing truck people just assumed, because we busted up, let's go with this story: 'The plumber's come to get Lara's ring out of the toilet.' Absolute made-up rubbish."

Clarke has spoken about the toll that lingering swarm of paparazzi took on him, during what was an already difficult time.

“That was heavy. That was cameras 24/7,” he told 60 Minutes in 2016. “That wasn’t my dream, I didn’t know that came with playing cricket for Australia.”

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Bingle went on to marry Australian actor Sam Worthington, with whom she has two young children.

Kyly Boldy

Clarke and Kyly Boldy had known of each other for years before they got together. They both attended Westfield Sports High School in Sydney's west before their careers took them in different directions.

In 2007, before he started dating Lara Bingle, Clarke spotted his former schoolmate at a bar in Cronulla.

“We reconnected over a drink, and as we left, I sent my best mate Steve Phillips to ask for her number," he wrote in his 2016 autobiography, Michael Clarke: My Story.

“She declined, saying I could come and ask myself. Now I was so embarrassed, I decided to leave it to chance, hoping we would bump into each other at another stage.”

His gamble worked.

Michael and Kyly in 2012. Image: Getty.

The interior designer was single when his relationship with Bingle ended in 2010, and she reached out to him on Twitter while he was on tour in the West Indies later that year. They started dating a short time later.

Clarke and Boldy married at the luxury Wolgan Valley Resort the NSW Blue Mountains on May 15, 2012.

Boldy was by Clarke's side through a number of difficult moments in his life; the death of his friend, fellow cricketer Phillip Hughes, who was fatally struck by a ball in 2014, and his emotional decision to retire from international cricket a year later.

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But joy followed that year with the birth of their daughter, Kelsey Lee.

 

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Media speculation about a breakup surfaced in late 2019, but were squashed by Boldy as recently as January: “We’re not, never were and never will be splitting," she told The Daily Mail.

The following month the pair announced their divorce.

"After living apart for some time, we have made the difficult decision to ­separate as a couple, amicably," they said in a statement.

"With the greatest of respect for each other, we’ve come to the ­mutual conclusion that this is the best course for us to take while committed to the co-parenting of our daughter."

They have spoken little more of the split since.

Feature images: Getty.

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