Update | Miranda MP 'denies allegations' in texting controversy involving state government minister

Eleni Petinos and Gladys Berejiklian in happier times at Jannali station. Picture: Chris Lane
Eleni Petinos and Gladys Berejiklian in happier times at Jannali station. Picture: Chris Lane

Update

Miranda MP Eleni Petinos has broken her silence on a texting scandal involving NSW Innovation Minister Matt Kean.

“I am saddened that I have been drawn into this relationship breakdown,” Ms Petinos said in the statement on Friday evening.

“I deny the allegations. 

“It pains me to be making a statement about matters which are outside the scope of my work and are entirely personal. 

“For this reason, I have no intention of making further comment.”

Premier Gladys Berejiklian had earlier given Mr Kean a dressing down, but said his job was not at risk over a “personal matter”.

“I'm personally disappointed in him and I have told him so,” she told reporters in Washington. “Nonetheless ... it is a personal matter”.

Love is in the air: Matt Kean and Eleni Petinos chat with Carolyn Cash (centre) while promoting the new gift card laws at Westfield Miranda last December around the time of the explicit texts.

Love is in the air: Matt Kean and Eleni Petinos chat with Carolyn Cash (centre) while promoting the new gift card laws at Westfield Miranda last December around the time of the explicit texts.

Earlier

Miranda MP, Eleni Petinos, has been caught up in another controversy which has embarrassed the Berejiklian state government.

Following on from the post-State of Origin vomit incident in a ministerial car last June, Ms Petinos has been named in a texting controversy that seems to suggest she was in a relationship with the NSW Innovation Minister, Matt Kean.

Mr Kean  has apologised for the "spectacular" end to his relationship after his girlfriend shared explicit texts Mr Kean sent to Ms Petinos.

Mr Kean issued a statement late on Thursday night after his girlfriend, Caitlin Keage, a media advisor to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, shared screenshots of text messages between Mr Kean and Ms Petinos on Instagram.

"I was in Adelaide trusting my partner not to play up. But alas, here we are. Another minister getting away with his predatory behaviour," Ms Keage's Instagram post said.

NSW Innovation Minister Matt Kean posted on Instagram "Valentine's Day can be a wonderful time to celebrate with the one you love". Photo: Instagram/Matt Kean

NSW Innovation Minister Matt Kean posted on Instagram "Valentine's Day can be a wonderful time to celebrate with the one you love". Photo: Instagram/Matt Kean

Mr Kean's statement said: "I am deeply sorry my relationship with Caitlin ended in such a spectacular and sad fashion. I wish her all the best."

The messages, which Fairfax Media has seen, appear to suggest an alleged affair between Mr Kean and Ms Petinos. 

They were sent on December 27 last year after about 10pm.

In the text exchange, Mr Kean asks what Ms Petinos is doing and he says he is "temped to drive down and see you".

Graphic: Sunrise

Graphic: Sunrise

"Miss me, huh," she asks.

"Yup, really need to f--- you," he responds.

Ms Petinos says Mr Kean has "CK" for that and then tells him it is "that time of the month".

It is understood Ms Petinos, who has been married, is not in a relationship.

Miranda MP Eleni Petinos. Picture: Louise Kennerley

Miranda MP Eleni Petinos. Picture: Louise Kennerley

Last year she was caught up in an embarrassing and costly incident that occurred in a ministerial car after a State of Origin game in Sydney.

The Miranda MP was with Deputy Premier John Barilaro, his daughter and a staff member  at the footy game.

Mr Barilaro revealed he caught the train home but ­instructed the driver of his ­assigned ministerial car to ­chauffer Ms Petinos home.

The next day vomit was found in the car. Another ministerial driver was reportedly distressed at finding the car in that state when he started his shift the following morning.

After initially keeping silent on the incident, which was being dubbed “Barf-gate” by news outlets, the Monaro MP revealed the following week that it was the fault of the Liberal backbencher.

Ms Petinos was then forced to offer an apology after also keeping mum on the incident initially: “Unfortunately, I became ­unwell in the car,” she said in a statement.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said at the time: “There is no doubt that was an unfortunate incident, and that’s been dealt with”.

It is understood Ms Keage’s relationship with Mr Kean has been on-and-off. Fairfax Media has also seen recent photos of Mr Kean on the dating app, Bumble.

Embarrassing revelations: Mr Kean is close to Premier Gladys Berejiklian and is considered a rising star.

Embarrassing revelations: Mr Kean is close to Premier Gladys Berejiklian and is considered a rising star.

The revelations will embarrass Premier Berejiklian, who is in the US at the National Governors Association meeting and was forced to answer questions about the alleged affair.

Mr Kean is close to Ms Berejiklian and is considered a rising star.

Ms Berejiklian has given Mr Kean a dressing down over the awkward love triangle but says that his job is not at risk over a "personal matter".

“I'm personally disappointed in him and I have told him so," she told reporters in Washington. “Nonetheless ... it is a personal matter”.

The Premier has said she does not intend to follow the lead of the Prime Minister in changing the ministerial code of conduct to ban sexual relations between ministers and staff.

-  with Alexandra Smith, James Robertson