Shannon, 46, an award-winning restaurateur known for his guest appearances on MasterChef Australia, said on Friday that Madeleine sees their children fortnightly, while they spend the remainder of their time with him. Madeleine West has broken her silence after her ex-partner Shannon Bennett claimed he was the primary carer of their six children.

The 41-year-old actress, who is running for her local seat of Ballina as an independent in the 2023 NSW state election, appeared to respond to this admission in a series of cryptic Instagram posts on Saturday.

The former Neighbours star shared a photo of herself with three of her children, one of whom was resting in her lap, and wrote: ‘All I need is right here.’ She also reposted a quote from an Instagram page called The Divorce Hub, which shares inspirational content for women going through divorce and separation.

‘Sometimes the universe tests you the most when you’re close to a new chapter,’ the quote read. Madeleine then uploaded a famous quote from Michelle Obama about maintaining one’s dignity during times of conflict: ‘When they go low, we go high.’

Shannon claimed in an interview with The Herald Sun on Friday that his six children live with him full-time at his multimillion-dollar property in Byron Bay. ‘The kids live with me full-time and they visit their mother every fortnight for a few days,’ he told the newspaper.

Shannon said that while his ex is not the children’s primary caretaker, the former couple work together to give them as much normality as possible. ‘At the end of the day, it’s about the children. I feel on this that my children’s lives are private and I’m the protector of that,’ he said. ‘I’ll do anything I can to ensure they get to grow as normally as possible with no distractions. I think I’m doing a good job of that, it’s good she’s doing that too.’ 

The chef, known for running Melbourne’s renowned Vue de monde restaurant, went on to say his children are ‘just normal kids’ living a ‘chilled’ life in Bryon Bay, where they ride their bicycles and play cricket in the neighbourhood. Shannon and Madeleine, who never married, are parents to Phoenix, Hendrix, Xascha, Xanthe, Xahlia and Margaux, who are aged between eight and 16.

The pair split in 2018 after 13 years together. Madeleine has spoken at length about their split in a series of articles and podcasts for Mamamia, and said earlier this year the separation process ‘turned love toxic’.


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