To say it's been a trying few months for Kate Ritchie is an understatement.
With her husband Stuart Webb facing possible jail time on drink driving charges and their nine-year marriage believed to be under strain, you can't blame the radio star for throwing herself into her work as a distraction.
But there's one man who has been able to put a smile back on Kate Ritchie's face – her long-time colleague Tim Blackwell.
Earlier this month, the pair were spotted chatting and laughing together at Sydney airport, browsing the shops while they waited for their flight.
Kate, 40, and Tim, 37, have become great friends over the past five years, spending every weekday afternoon together co-hosting Nova's drive radio show with Marty Sheargold.
They often hang out after hours, too, whether it's travelling for work or heading to parties to promote their radio show.
"Tim is very easy to talk to and they've been friends for so long, she finds him a strong shoulder to lean on when things are tough in her personal life," says a source.
Indeed, insiders reveal the stress of her husband's court battles has gradually taken its toll on Kate, who has been trying to keep a brave face on at home for their four-year-old daughter Mae.
But rumours their marriage has already been on the rocks for years has only added further tension to the fragile situation.
"Kate is keeping a low profile and preparing for the worst," a source says of dealing with Stuart's troubles.
The former footballer, 38, was arrested on March 26 after he was pulled over in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs for allegedly running a red light, just streets away from the mansion he lives in with Kate and Mae.
Police went on to charge him with drink driving and driving on a suspended licence, and while he was set to face the charges in court last week, his case has been rescheduled for May 7.
If he's convicted, the former footballer could land up to 12 months behind bars, as well as a further six-month licence suspension.
"Kate was worried about what might come out about their personal life in court, but now that worry is just dragging on and on," adds the insider.
With so much weighing on her mind, it's no surprise that Kate has turned to good friend Tim to help her through her crisis – away from the scrutiny of the public eye.
Their closeness is evident on social media, with Kate often posting work pictures and fun selfies with Tim, a family man who has three young children with his wife Monique.
And Kate's young daughter Mae is helping her through the hard times, too. "Having children is a wonderful distraction from yourself," Kate has said.
- CompetitionsPick up a bamboo eco travel cup for just $2.50 at Woolworths*
Now To LoveToday 2:10pm