Ben Roberts-Smith’s girlfriend Sarah Matulin in Brisbane during Nine defamation trial

As Ben Roberts-Smith is locked in a defamation battle in court, attention is turning to his glamorous new girlfriend.

On Tuesday, the 42-year-old faced the third day in his trial against The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times in Sydney over allegations of war crimes.

The Victoria Cross recipient is seeking an “uncapped” sum in damages to compensate for his reputation allegedly being “smashed and destroyed”, a court heard on Tuesday.

The trial is expected to last two months.

But as the legal process heats up, the spotlight is turning to Mr Roberts-Smith’s new partner, 28-year-old Sarah Matulin.

The couple debuted their relationship in January, accompanying each other to the Magic Millions horse race on the Gold Coast.

The pair met while Ms Matulin was working at Channel 7 in Queensland, where Mr Roberts-Smith works as a general manager.

Ms Matulin left her position in December and took up a role with Ruby Communications, a PR agency on the Gold Coast. contacted Ms Matulin for comment.

Relationship debut weeks after divorce finalised

The couple went public with their relationship one month after Mr Roberts-Smith’s split with his wife Emma Roberts was finalised.

Ms Roberts is expected to be among 60 witnesses to give evidence during the trial, which started on Monday.

Mr Roberts-Smith is suing three journalists and three one-time Fairfax newspapers, two of which are now owned by Nine, for defamation.

Why is Ben Roberts-Smith suing?

The decorated SAS veteran has claimed he has been defamed in news reports that falsely alleged he committed war crimes in Afghanistan and punched a former girlfriend in the face.

He is suing over reports he claims accused him of murder during his tours of Afghanistan between 2009 and 2012.

How did Ben Roberts-Smith get a Victoria Cross?

Mr Roberts-Smith joined the Australian Army in 1996 before being selected for Australia’s elite Special Air Service Regiment just seven years later.

The act of heroism that secured his Victoria Cross occurred just three years later, on his third deployment to Afghanistan, in June, 2010.

Corporal Roberts-Smith was part of a helicopter assault into Tizak, Shah Wali Kot in Kandahar Province, aimed at capturing or killing a senior Taliban commander.

The 42-year-old former soldier left the army as a Corporal in 2013. He was deployed to Afghanistan in the second Special Air Service unit in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

By the time he was awarded the Victoria Cross, he had previously been awarded the Medal for Gallantry for actions taken in Afghanistan in May and June 2006.

Tumultuous love-life history

The defamation trial heard that another newspaper report claimed Mr Roberts-Smith allegedly punched a woman with whom he had been having an affair, leaving her with a black eye.

He has denied the allegations and claims the woman got injured when she fell down a flight of stairs on May 28, 2018, after a dinner attended by the-then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in Canberra. The case is ongoing.

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Author: Shirley

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