Celebrity Families

Inside Kate Ritchie and Stuart Webb's tumultuous relationship

From marital bliss to drink-driving charges and AVO applications.

By Rebecca Sullivan
2008 was a big year for Kate Ritchie.
It was the year she bid farewell to her iconic character on Home and Away, Sally Fletcher, and she also started dating her now husband, former NRL star Stuart Webb.
The pair dated for less than two years before they announced their engagement in 2009, and 12 months later they tied the knot in a beautiful countryside wedding at the luxurious Quamby Estate in Tasmania.
The couple enjoyed four years of marital bliss, looking loved-up on red carpets and glamorous media events, and welcomed their daughter Mae in 2014.
But the past few years have been anything but smooth-sailing for Kate and Stuart, who have both kept a low-profile, avoiding the spotlight and refraining from posting couple pics on Instagram.
While Kate's professional career has continued to soar - she's part of the hugely popular Nova drive team Kate, Tim & Joel, has written two children's books with a third recipe book on the way, and is the face of brands including QV Skincare and Jockey Underwear - former NRL player Stuart has faced several run-ins with the law.
Stuart, Kate and Mae on the red carpet in Sydney in January 2019. (Getty)
The couple were unable to escape rumours that they were "on the rocks", fuelled by Stuart's absence from Kate's very popular Instagram feed - she regularly shares photographs of Mae to her 320,000 Instagram followers - and her reluctance to talk about her marriage on her radio show.
Kate has previously denied any negative reports about her marriage, telling The Australian Women's Weekly in 2018 that the rumours were "baseless."
"Yes, of course it is wrong. Yes, of course it is baseless. But I don't want to say any more about it because I know that if I do then it will breathe life into it again and I don't want to do that," Kate said.
"I have had to learn not to let it affect. So I consciously refuse to let it affect me."
In 2018, Kate shut down rumours surrounding her husband. (Getty)
These two used to pose up a storm on the 'gram. Instagram
The Gold Logie winner says she refuses to listen to the gossip.
"Firstly, I think good luck to anybody who thinks that they know what is going on in my life because there are times when I am not sure – and I don't mean that in a negative way," Kate explained.
"What I mean is that I am just putting one foot in front of the other and trying to live my life.
"I have given up letting those things into my life. It's not just speculation about my marriage, it is about my career or my parenting or anything that I have ever done or been through."
"There comes a time when you must stop responding to deny oxygen to this speculation."
But then, the rumour mill has moved from just that - gossip - to run-ins with the law.

Stuart's drink driving charge

Kate and Stuart in happier times. (Instagram)
In March 2019, the former NRL star allegedly ran a red light in Randwick, in Sydney's eastern suburbs, when he was just a few streets from the family home he shared with Kate and Mae, who is now six-years-old.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Stuart allegedly recorded a blood alcohol level of 0.083, well above the legal limit of 0.05.
It was also revealed Stuart was driving with a cancelled licence at the time.
Stuart said he had previously gone to Services NSW to check the status of his suspension and thought he'd been given the green light to drive.
He was charged with driving while his licence was cancelled and mid-range drink-driving, and was later put on bail and good behaviour for two years.
The magistrate at the time told him he was "lucky to not have received a jail sentence."
WATCH BELOW: Kate Ritchie's adorable video of her daughter Mae enjoying Christmas carols. Story continues after video.

The AVO

Stuart has had several run-ins with the law. (Instagram)
In late 2019, it was revealed that police applied for an apprehended violence order (AVO) on behalf of Kate, against Stuart, and a temporary AVO order was upheld.
In November 2019, Kate's AVO against her husband was extended for a period of 12 months.
An AVO means the defendant must not "assault or threaten" or "stalk, harass or intimidate" the protected person, or "deliberately or recklessly destroy or damage anything that belongs to them."
The AVO was sought following an incident at a residential property in Randwick, in Sydney's eastern suburbs, which is where the couple live.
Kate was not present for the proceedings, but NSW Police issued the temporary Apprehended Violence Order on behalf of Kate and the protection order was extended for a year.
"Officers from Eastern Beaches Police Area Command are investigating an incident at a home in Randwick on Thursday, October 17 [2019]," a NSW Police spokesman said in a statement at the time the application was lodged.
Kate has never publicly addressed her separation from Stuart. (Image: Instagram)

Moving on

While Kate has never publicly commented on the state of her relationship with Stuart, the mother-of-one was most recently linked to cybersecurity businessman John Bell, 25.
"The relationship is beginning to be extremely hard to juggle for Kate. John has a fairly active social life and she is struggling to keep up. While he isn't a party boy, he is certainly into the expensive holidays and dinners," an insider explained to Woman's Day at the time.