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In the mysterious nude photo saga that tarnishes the stunning election victory of Labor MP Jerome Laxale

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Jerome Laxale, 38, is the member of Bennelong

A budding Labor MP embroiled in a nude selfie saga insists there was no relationship with a young nanny.

She tells a different story.

Drama erupted when the Daily Telegraph made detailed sensational claims on Thursday that Bennelong’s new member, Jerome Laxale, had allegedly failed to delete nude photos she had sent him during an alleged ‘intimate online relationship’.

The 27-year-old woman demanded an investigation from Prime Minister Anthony Albanese after she was told her private photos had been seen by Liberal staffers.

The accusation, which comes less than two weeks after Mr Laxale’s election victory in the old seat of ex-Prime Minister John Howard, has cast a shadow over the newly appointed MP and put the spotlight on the treatment of women in politics.

In her version of events, she met Mr Laxale at a Labor Party function in 2018, before jointly deciding in October 2020 to continue their longstanding “intimate, online” relationship using the encrypted messaging app Signal.

Messages sent with Signal are encrypted so they cannot be read by third parties. The app also has a ‘self-destruct’ feature, which makes some messages disappear over time.

She claims the 38-year-old asked for the photos, but a source close to Mr Laxale told Daily Mail Australia the photos were “unsolicited” and that he had never had a relationship with the woman.

It is clear that the woman approached Jerome Laxale and his partner, Jo Taranto (pictured together) about the footage

It is clear that the woman approached Jerome Laxale and his partner, Jo Taranto (pictured together) about the footage

“He broke off all contact when…” [she sent the photos] – there was no “relationship,” said the source.

The woman also contacted Mr Laxale’s partner, Jo Taranto, about the photos after the federal election.

“He’s devastated, Jo is devastated,” the source said.

“But he can’t talk because an investigation is underway.”

Laxale claims he blocked the woman on social media after she sent the photos.

The 27-year-old says she was blocked after confronting him after their ‘amicable breakup in November 2021 – when she asked why the Liberal Party staffer claimed to have seen her nudes.

Jerome Laxale won the Bennelong seat in the federal election in May.  He is pictured with Prime Minister Anthony Albanian

Jerome Laxale won the Bennelong seat in the federal election in May. He is pictured with Prime Minister Anthony Albanian

Jerome Laxale has three children with his ex-wife, Karyn (pictured together after the birth of their son)

Jerome Laxale has three children with his ex-wife, Karyn (pictured together after the birth of their son)

She made a formal complaint to NSW Labor after the election, but said the party had given her the rulebook so she could “make an informed decision about how you want your complaints to be handled”.

Finally, she said she felt the matter had been brushed aside.

A Labor NSW spokesman said the party “takes all complaints very seriously and treats them with the utmost confidentiality”.

Labor NSW has launched an investigation into the woman’s claims, but with two very different versions of events, it’s unlikely either side will be happy with the outcome.

Laxale won Bennelong’s seat on May 21 by just 1,600 votes after a 9.2 percent turnaround against the Liberal Party.

Jerome Laxale enjoys KFC for lunch on Christmas Day (pictured on Christmas Day in 2021)

Jerome Laxale enjoys KFC for lunch on Christmas Day (pictured on Christmas Day in 2021)

He is a first-generation Australian – his parents were born in Mauritius and Réunion, two French-speaking island states off the east coast of Madagascar.

Before running for the seat of Bennelong, he was forced to renounce his French citizenship and proudly posted a photo of his Australian citizenship certificate on Twitter.

Mr Laxale’s ex-wife Karyn, who works in public affairs and is mother to his three children, supported his campaign ahead of the 2019 NSW state election by handing out flyers to businesses on the streets of Bennelong, but they announced shortly afterwards their split.

He became Treasurer of Local Government NSW in 2019 – the year he met the young woman embroiled in the nude photo claims.

He is currently dating Sydney-based motivational speaker and mother of two, Jo Taranto, who publicly supports his campaign.

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