In a HoS story, they report:
But Vergne Wilson, whose wife left him for Smith, says the politician should not have resigned.
Wilson was married to Linley Newport for 10 years, before separating in 2005. The same year, Smith split from his wife of 20 years, Cyndy.
Smith and Newport’s paths had crossed in 2004, through Smith’s constituency work, and they became a couple a year after their separations. They married in 2009.
Wilson said he was disappointed to see Smith step down from his portfolios.
“It is sad that it has come to this because he has always acted with integrity and genuinely believes in what he’s doing.
“He is passionate about his job. He’s a hard-working guy and loves what he does.”
The trio continued to have a great relationship and Wilson visited the children in Wellington when he could.
“It really upsets me that the family is going through this. It is a huge upset for them.
“My kids love him and he has genuine affection for them. If your wife was going to marry someone else, you couldn’t pick a better guy or stepfather.”
Relations between fathers and step-fathers are often less than cordial. That’s very high praise from your partner’s ex.