Former Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, 65, and long-term beau David Panton, 61, have officially called it quits after eight years together.
A representative for Panton confirmed the shock news to The Sydney Morning Herald, revealing the couple would be going their separate ways.
“I’m going to be focused on living in Manly and Melbourne for the foreseeable future,” Panton said in a statement.
Despite the unexpected revelation, the property developer seemed to hold no ill feelings towards Bishop.
“I wish Julie all the best in her ongoing stellar career,” he said.
According to WA Today, the couple ended their relationship during a dinner at Eastbank restaurant on Sydney’s Macquarie Street on Tuesday, July 5, Panton reportedly initiated the breakup.
The news comes just a week after the couple attended a special dinner with Prince Charles at St James’ Palace in London in honour of Charles’ national charity, The Prince’s Trust, which is dedicated to helping young people, veterans and their families, and the environment.
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The couple is reported to have begun their relationship around 2014, during the peak of Bishop’s political career as Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. At the time, Panton had only recently moved from Melbourne.
Despite living in different cities, the couple pursued a long-distance relationship during their eight years together with Bishop residing in Perth and Panton in Harbour City, Sydney.
In a 2019 interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Bishop gushed over her relationship with Panton and their shared appreciation for fitness.
“I think that’s self-evident, have you seen him?” Bishop joked.
“He’s a swimmer, I’m a runner.”
At the time, Bishop praised her beau for his “successful” career and witty personality.
“He’s a very independent-minded and successful businessman, and he has a delightful sense of humour. He makes me laugh,” Bishop admitted.
Despite the couple’s love for each other at the time, Bishop revealed the reason for the couple’s decision to remain living apart.
“[We] meet constantly, travel together and travel overseas to keep it fresh,” Bishop revealed.
“I think long distances can be a lot of fun.”
When the pandemic hit in 2019, Bishop admitted it had been FaceTime that kept the couple’s relationship strong.
“It isn’t great, but it is all you can do because he can’t get in here [WA], and I can’t go there without having to get an exemption. It is very difficult but I know a lot of families have been separated in this way, it is challenging,” Bishop said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.