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 even 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 & Marty, has written two children's books and is the face of brands including QV Skincare and Jockey Underwear - Stuart has faced several run-ins with the law that could put his marriage with Kate seriously on the line.
Stuart, Kate and Mae on the red carpet in Sydney recently. Getty
The couple have been unable to escape rumours that they are "on the rocks", fuelled by Stuart's absence from Kate's very popular Instagram feed - she regularly shares photographs of Mae to her 290,000 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 last October that the rumours are "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."
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 says.
"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 now, the rumour mill has moved from just that - gossip - to run-ins with the law.

Stuart's drink driving charge

These two used to pose up a storm on the 'gram. Instagram
Kate and Stuart in an old Insta pic. Instagram
In March this year, 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 shares with Kate and Mae, four.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Stuart allegedly recorded a blood alcohol level of 0.083, well above the legal limit of 0.05.
It is also alleged that when police officers pulled Stuart over, he was driving with a cancelled licence.
He was charged with driving while his licence was cancelled and mid-range drink-driving.
If Stuart is convicted, the 38-year-old could be banned from driving for six months, plus be forced to have an electronic breath-testing device attached to his car, which would prevent the car from being able to start until the he presents a breath sample with no blood alcohol.
Driving with a cancelled license carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail plus a $3300 fine.
It's understood the matter is still before the courts.
Stuart was found guilty of drink driving in 2012 and 2017.
In 2012, Stuart told police he drunk five schooners of beer and multiple vodka-cranberry mixer drinks before getting into his car and being pulled over for a random breath test.
WATCH BELOW: Kate Ritchie's adorable video of her daughter Mae enjoying Christmas carols. Story continues after video.

Now Stuart is banned from approaching Kate

This is the last time Kate and Stuart were pictured together on social media. Instagram
This week, it was revealed that police applied for an apprehended violence order (AVO) on behalf of Kate, against Stuart, and on Thursday that temporary AVO order was upheld.
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."
In some cases, the court can impose extra condition, such as cutting off communication or insisting they stay a certain distance away from the protected person.
The AVO was sought following an incident at a residential property in Randwick, in Sydney's eastern suburbs, which is where the couple live.
"Officers from Eastern Beaches Police Area Command are investigating an incident at a home in Randwick on Thursday, October 17," a NSW Police spokesman said in a statement.
There is currently a temporary AVO in place, with Stuart also forbidden from approaching or being with his wife "for at least 12 hours after drinking alcohol or taking illicit drugs".
On Thursday, a lawyer for Stuart appeared at Waverley Local Court in Sydney's eastern suburbs, as the order was extended for two weeks while the case was adjourned, until November 7.