When fashion designer Pip Edwards was unwittingly caught up in a media firestorm sparked by ex-boyfriend Michael Clarke’s infamous Noosa bust-up with his then-girlfriend and Today host Karl Stefanovic, she had support in the most unlikely of places.
In a new interview with Stellar magazine and its podcast Something To Talk About, the P.E. Nation sportswear co-founder, 43, revealed that she had struck up a close – and unexpected – friendship with former high-profile Liberal politician Julie Bishop, 67.
The pair first met when Bishop presented Edwards with the Style Vanguard trophy at the InStyle Woman of the Year awards in 2019, quickly forming a tight bond.
It’s one that certainly came in handy less than four years later, when Clarke was filmed in an ugly public scuffle while holidaying in Noosa with his on-off girlfriend, Jade Yarbrough, and Stefanovic and his wife, Jasmine.
In the shocking viral footage, Yarbrough was heard screaming accusations that he’d cheated on her with Edwards.
“I think I was overseas [when Noosa-gate happened] and I sent a text [to Pip] saying: ‘I’m here for you, babe’,” Bishop told Stellar of her reaction to hearing the news.
“But I knew she was fine. I knew she was going to be strong and able to deal. But the level of public scrutiny, I mean, the biggest story in Australia? Please … Honestly, just put it
in context, people.
“That people’s personal, private lives can make the front page and even end up on the news. After 25 years in the public eye as a politician and beyond, I’m still astounded by what is deemed news.”
According to Edwards, the pair’s friendship remains solid due to its vulnerable quality.
“We’ve been burnt before, so there’s always a bit of a guard,” she explained.
“Never had it with Julie. Ever … I’ve spent nearly 25 years in the [fashion] industry. Of course, you kind of grow up together with people through the industry, so there are friendships.
“But this one’s a bit different because there’s no competition. It’s relatable. It’s vulnerable. And she can whisper things under her breath – she basically whispers what I’m thinking.”
As for the fact that they come from different backgrounds, generations, and family situations, Bishop insisted it’s “never been an issue.”
“I’ve never viewed my life through the prism of having children or not having children. My girlfriends have children or don’t have children. It’s not a defining issue for me, never has been. I admire everything Pip does in raising [her son] Justice and doing what she does and running a business. I get all of that, but it’s not something I’ve ever felt any sense of tension in the least.”
Edwards added that they regularly celebrate their achievements, focusing on the positive aspects of their lives.
“My achievement as a single mother, raised a child, run a business, stood on my
own two feet – they’re things to talk about. And that’s what Julie talks about,” she said. “That’s what our friendship’s based on. That’s what gives the relief from that, and it’s coming
from a woman that is so important for me.”
Read the full interview with Pip Edwards and Julie Bishop inside The Sunday Telegraph (NSW), Sunday Herald Sun (VIC), The Sunday Mail (QLD) and Sunday Mail (SA).