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Minister to divorce after affair with journalist

Published on 25/08/2005

25 August 2005

BRUSSELS — Interior Minister Patrick Dewael has been having an affair in the past few months with radio journalist Greet op de Beeck and will divorce his wife.

The official announcement was made by Dewael and his wife Marleen van Doren on Wednesday night. Op de Beeck works for Flemish broadcaster VRT.

Deweal and Van Doren said they came to the conclusion some time ago “that it would be better to end their marriage”.
“Because I entered a relationship several months ago with Greet op de Beeck, I see the necessity to make a public announcement,” Dewael said.

“Since the beginning of our relationship, both Greet op de Beeck and myself have kept the necessary distance in our professional activities. The VRT chief editors were informed several weeks ago.”

Dewael’s spokesman said Op de Beeck had approved of the wording of the joint public announcement.

The federal minister expressed his appreciation for the media and its respect for the private lives of politicians, but regretted the fact that some media corporations don’t.

He stressed that his wife and children “who never choose for a public role”, were affected. Deweal was referring to a column in ‘Knack’ earlier this week.

Deweal said further that he hopes everyone can summon the necessary respect for “our private lives” and that no further statements on personal matters will be given.
Op de Beeck has worked as a radio journalist for VRT since 2000. She will be given a new function within the company because her relationship will make it difficult for her to continue working on the broadcaster’s news service.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news