NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has revealed she was in a personal relationship with former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.
The details of Ms Berejiklian's private life emerged on Monday morning as the premier took the stand at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry, which is investigating allegations Mr Maguire breached public trust and used parliamentary resources for personal gain.
Ms Berejiklian told ICAC she had a "close personal relationship" with Mr Maguire from about 2015 until she ceased contact with him several months ago when she was privately questioned by ICAC.
Ms Berejiklian, who is not accused of any wrongdoing, told ICAC she requested Mr Maguire's resignation in 2018 when he was first questioned by ICAC, but remained in contact with him because "he was someone who was in a very bad state".
She said the relationship was not generally known among members of parliament.
"I'm a very private person and I didn't feel the relationship had sufficient substance for it to be made public," she said.
Counsel assisting ICAC Scott Robertson on Monday morning questioned Ms Berejiklian on how much she knew about Mr Maguire's business dealings, and whether she ever discouraged him from giving her details.
Ms Berejiklian told the hearing Mr Maguire told her about his dealings "infrequently."
"He was a big talker, a lot of the time I would have ignored or disregarded what he said as fanciful," she said.
"I always made the assumption he was always doing the right thing in terms of his disclosures and his interests."
Ms Berejiklian said in 2017, she knew Mr Maguire was considering retiring from parliament.
She accepted that she had a desire that he would retire from parliament in 2019 and they would begin a "publicly known relationship," and while she believed that was his desire too at the time she is now unsure.
"I cannot account for his position on the matter and given what I know now, I cannot account for his truthfulness on the matter," she says.
Ms Berejiklian said Mr Maguire was "obsessed" with his finances, and intercepted phone calls played at ICAC show Mr Maguire had told her he had around $1.5 million in debts.
She said she understood Mr Maguire's finances to be a factor in whether he would decide to retire, but said it was not something she was "overly thinking about."
ICAC heard several intercepted phone conversations between the pair in which Mr Maguire told Ms Berejiklian he was working on a deal in relation to Badgerys Creek which would have allowed him to pay off about half of his debts.
Ms Berejiklian said she had no independent recollection of these conversations and she would have likely not given them much thought at the time.
"He was always talking big about deals and they always seemed to fall through," she said.
The premier said she also had no recollection of a 'bump-in' meeting with Sydney developer Joseph Alha mentioned earlier in the inquiry, or a meeting a staff member from her office allegedly attended at Parliament House with Mr Maguire, racing heir Louise Raedler-Waterhouse and a representative from the roads department.
Intercepted phone calls show Mr Maguire explained his interest in Ms Raedler-Waterhouse's concerns about an intersection near her property by the Western Sydney Airport and told her about the meeting.
He also told her to expect an email from Ms Raedler-Waterhouse.
Ms Berejiklian received two emails from Ms Raedler-Waterhouse to a direct email address monitored by Ms Berejiklian alone, an address usually reserved for colleagues and staff.
Ms Berejiklian said she likely ignored the email because she would have believed it was not a matter for her to involve herself in.
The hearing was also played phone recordings between Mr Maguire and Ms Berejiklian where Mr Maguire talks about wanting to accompany then-trade minister Niall Blair on a trip to China to intervene on an issue between Riverina company UWE and Chinese parent company Bright Food.
Ms Berejiklian told ICAC he would have needed permission to do this, permission that was denied by her office and Mr Blair's office.
In the phone recordings, Ms Berejiklian does not tell Mr Maguire he cannot go to China.
When assistant commissioner Ruth McColl asked Ms Berejiklian why this was the case, she said it was because she compartmentalised her personal life and her public role and would have allowed Mr Maguire's request to go through the proper channels.
Mr Maguire was due to appear at ICAC on Tuesday, but will now begin his testimony on Wednesday, October 14.