Roberts-Smith’s ex-wife tells court she is not out for revenge

Ben Roberts-Smith’s former wife denied she is seeking revenge or hopes to destroy the war hero after her personal text messages describing him as the “Titanic” were aired in court.

Feb 15, 2022, updated Feb 15, 2022
Ben Roberts-Smith's former wife Emma Roberts arrives at the Federal Court in Sydney. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)

Ben Roberts-Smith's former wife Emma Roberts arrives at the Federal Court in Sydney. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)

Emma Roberts returned to the Federal Court witness box on Tuesday for cross-examination by her ex-husband’s barrister Bruce McClintock SC.

“You would love to see my client lose this case wouldn’t you?” Mr McClintock said.

“No,” she said. “I hope Ben survives this nightmare.”

The Victoria Cross recipient is suing The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times for defamation and denies their reports that he committed war crimes and murders in Afghanistan between 2006 and 2012.

The former SAS corporal has strenuously denied all wrongdoing including allegations he assaulted a woman.

Ms Roberts was in continuous contact with her best friend Danielle Scott during her marriage breakdown, and a number of their personal messages were read out in court.

“I reckon we get our heads together to get you financially sufficient,” Ms Scott wrote in November 2020.

“It doesn’t matter what happens to him or what jail cell he rots in,” she followed up.

Roberts replied “yes,” but denied messages of two emoji symbols depicting laughter meant she was enthusiastic about the prospect of Mr Roberts-Smith going to jail.

She said she didn’t think the man she married in 2003 would go to jail but did believe he would “be destroyed”.

“Lying cheating c*** of a human,” she followed up.

“Yes and you can’t run away from that s*** forever,” Scott responds.

“Nup. #Titanic,” Roberts replies.

“You hated my client didn’t you?” McClintock asked.

“I was very frustrated in the divorce, I don’t think I hate Ben, no,” she said.

She was also quizzed about a 60 Minutes program that aired in April 2021 containing “a savage attack” on Roberts-Smith.

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Roberts said her life was “in chaos” following the program, and denied a suggestion she was “happy” the news media outlets subpoenaed her to give evidence on their behalf.

“Absolutely not,” she said.

“You were seeking revenge?” McClintock said.

“No I was not.”

Roberts said she found cash in Roberts-Smith briefcase in October 2019, as the couple neared their separation of January 2020, and became suspicious he was stashing more money.

In March she said she used a pitchfork to remove a rock in an “obvious” backyard location and dug beneath the soil to reveal a pink school lunchbox containing USB sticks that she gave to Scott.
“I said ‘I do not want to see what’s on them’,” she said, before returning the box in the ground.

McClintock accused her of making up the story to explain how investigative journalists later aired the allegations on television.

She maintained the story was true.

On Monday she told Justice Anthony Besanko that Roberts-Smith asked her to lie about his affair if the story was revealed in the media.

She didn’t want to lie, she said, but then he pointed to the couple’s children, saying: “If you don’t lie, you will lose them.”

The trial continues.
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