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Roberts-Smith's ex-wife tells: How I met his mistress


Ben Roberts-Smith’s former wife has described in court the day his girlfriend turned up at their home with a black eye and of discovering the decorated soldier’s USBs buried in their backyard.

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Emma Roberts’ first day of evidence for media outlets being sued for defamation detailed the moment her then-partner’s mistress turned up at her doorstop in April 2018.

Mr Roberts-Smith had previously denied having an affair, after Ms Roberts received an anonymous letter and witnessed strange behaviour including him continually taking “selfies” she later learned weren’t for her, she said.

The woman codenamed Person 17 wearing a pink and black dress was “crying a lot” and removed a pair of sunglasses to reveal a black eye Roberts said she asked about.

Person 17 said she had drunkenly fallen down a set of stairs at Parliament House.

“I asked why she had come to the house, what did she want. I said ‘was it money or did she want to go to the press’?

“She said I’m not a prostitute.”

The woman revealed she at some stage had become pregnant with Roberts-Smith’s baby and showed her a ream of text messages she sat and read for “three-hours,” she said.

“It was very clear they were having an affair, they were planning to be together.”

“I asked why she was not seeing him (anymore). She kept pointing to her black eye and she said because of this.”

The Victoria Cross recipient is suing The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times and denies their reports that he committed war crimes and murders in Afghanistan between 2006 and 2012.

Roberts-Smith has strenuously denied all wrongdoing including allegations he assaulted the woman.

Soon after she came face-to-face with Person 17, Roberts-Smith threatened Roberts to say they had been separated at the time, she said.

“I knew at that point I had to lie for him,” Roberts told the Federal Court on Monday.

After a newspaper article surfaced detailing the affair, Roberts-Smith organised a story in The Australian and Roberts was told to “look sad” for their photograph together.

“I said ‘I didn’t want to do it … I said I’m not speaking to the media’.”

Later she got wind of authorities becoming “very interested in what Ben was doing in Afghanistan”.

Nearing their separation in January 2020, Roberts became suspicious her partner was withdrawing cash from their joint bank accounts and “stashing it” in their garden.

She described the “very obvious” location hidden underneath a rock and a hose reel where she and her best friend Danielle Scott together dug 30cm underground.
Buried in the soil she found a pink lunchbox containing several USBs in duffle bags, which she gave to her friend who downloaded them onto a laptop.

“I said ‘I do not want to see what’s on them’,” she said.

She placed the stash back into the ground. Later she distinctly recalls Roberts-Smith leaving “sweat drops” around the home when he came to collect the package.

Roberts-Smith recently failed in his bid to cross-examine Roberts about confidential information in an email account.

The SAS veteran claimed Roberts handed over private communications to the mastheads in preparation for the defamation trial, but his claim was dismissed as “ill-founded” in January.
He recently lodged an appeal against the decision.

His barrister Bruce McClintock SC accused Ms Roberts of making up her evidence on Monday.

She denied she was.

The trial continues.

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