Why Warne and Hurley broke up
SHANE Warne has revealed fresh details about his engagement to actor Liz Hurley and what ultimately drove them apart.
Warne, who describes his time with Hurley from 2011 to 2013 as the "happiest years of my life", devotes a chapter of his new autobiography, No Spin, to his former flame.
The book includes new revelations about how they met, his "impulse" proposal on James Packer's boat in 2011, as well as:
• How Packer leaked the news of their engagement to the press before they had an opportunity to tell their children;
• His jealousy of Hurley's close friendship with former boyfriend and actor Hugh Grant;
• And the acting role Hurley took that contributed to the end of their relationship.
Warne and Hurley met in a private box at Goodwood Racecourse in England in 2010 and instantly clicked.
He was in the process of attempting to repair his relationship with former wife Simone, and she was estranged from, though still married to, business tycoon Arun Nayar.
But they exchanged phone numbers and met for drinks and dinner a few weeks later.
Despite Warne insisting "nothing else happened", they exposed their connection with what he described as "lightweight" flirting on social media, forcing him to finally end things with Simone.
Later that year, Warne visited Hurley in London and she came back to his hotel after they attended a function.
A fire alarm evacuation, which Warne suspects was organised by the British press, forced them on to the street, where they were photographed kissing.
It was the first of two occasions Warne had to front up to his children - Brooke, Summer and Jackson - with a Hurley-related confession. He was dating a movie star and it was serious.
The second came a year later when Australian businessman and longtime Warne friend Packer let slip details of their secret engagement.
Warne proposed to Hurley on Packer's boat, Arctic P, off the coast of Spain in 2011 after just 18 months together.
"Completely on impulse in the middle of a dance, I grabbed Elizabeth, dropped to one knee and said, 'I'm not sure about you, but I've never got along with any woman as well as I get along with you. I'm madly in love with you. Our kids get along great. How would you like to spend the rest of your life with me?'" Warne writes.
"Without hesitation, she replied: 'Of course I would, silly, I'm madly in love with you too. I feel exactly the same. I've never got on better with anyone than I do with you either."
Packer was the only one party to the moment and was fingered by the couple when the news broke in Australia a week later and forced them into another tough conversation with their angry kids.
After initially denying he'd said anything, Packer fessed up about six months later.
"Okay, it was me," he told Warne at Crown in Melbourne. "I'm sorry - hit me, do whatever you want … I'm really sorry."
But despite buying a home together and Warne feeling like "I was more in love with her than I'd ever realised I could be", they broke up before making it to the altar.
Warne said there was "no single, clear reason" why their relationship ended in December 2013. But it's clear Hurley landing a lead role on TV series The Royals played a big part because of the new demands on her time and how little they saw each other.
"The more you're apart, the more you ask questions," Warne writes. "I got jumpy about the time Elizabeth still spent with Hugh Grant … he is her best friend but they saw each other more when I wasn't around so, well, you know."
Recent interaction between Warne and Hurley on social media - the same banter which signalled the start of their relationship - has sparked rumours a reunion is on the cards.
And it wouldn't surprise given the way Warne, 49, writes about the 53-year-old.
"We still love each other in many ways - we're not in love, like we were - but I still care for her deeply," he concludes. "I think we were good for each other and I know that I miss the love we had."
Great areas, Shane.
No Spin is available in bookshops for $49.99.