Nathan Buckley’s candid approach to his romantic history with ex-wife Tania

“I'm going through a separation."
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Best known for its arduous and sometimes gruesome tucker trials, the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! jungle is also home to many candid conversations.

One of the latest instances of celebrity vulnerability came from former professional Australian rules football coach, player, and commentator Nathan Buckley, who spoke about his recent separation from his wife of 18 years, Tania Minnici.

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“I’m going through a separation. So, I’ve been out of home for 18 months, a bit over 18 months, nearly two years,” Nathan said on the show.

The couple, who share teenage sons Jett, 15, and Ayce, 13, officially announced their split as 2020 came to a close.

In a statement shared to Tania’s Instagram page at the time, the former husband and wife revealed they had called time on their relationship 11 months prior.

Nathan and Tania officially announced their split as 2020 came to a close. (Credit: Getty)

“It has been a tough and challenging year for every family and for ours included,” the statement read. 

“It is with the utmost of love and respect for each other and a true commitment to our sons, that we made a decision to separate in January.  

“We remain dedicated parents and in the interests of our boys, we ask for our family to be given the privacy that is needed. 

“We thank everyone in advance for understanding our request and for the unconditional love and support we have received throughout our marriage.”  

Before their public split, Nathan and Tania had been by each other’s sides for 21 years, first meeting at a St Kilda restaurant in 1999.

They share two sons, Jett and Ayce. (Credit: Getty)

Tania spoke about their first interaction to the Herald Sun in 2011, revealing she asked the then Collingwood captain about the whereabouts of his wife and kids.

“He said, ‘No, I‘m not married and I don’t have kids’. So I thought, ‘Oh, OK then’, and I gave him a cheeky smile.”

It didn’t take long for things to get more serious between the couple; they soon moved in together and, a year later, Nathan popped the question at a home barbecue, eventually exchanging vows in 2002.

Keen to start a family, Tania began IVF treatment in what was an emotionally charged time.

“Nathan was going through a hard time with injuries and then all of a sudden I was going through IVF, which is physically and mentally taxing,” Tania told The Advertiser.

Luckily, the couple got pregnant on their first attempt and welcomed Jett in December 2006. Two years later, thinking they were unable to conceive naturally, Nathan and Tania were delighted to welcome a second son, Ayce.

Despite their marriage coming to an end, their two boys will always be a welcome thread connecting the exes.  

Nathan is now dating cosmetic nurse, Alex Pike. (Credit: Instagram)

When it comes to fatherhood, Nathan has confessed that he tries his best, but he is often unsure if he’s navigating it correctly.

“I can only parent how I know best, Nathan said in a Collingwood documentary called From The Inside Out. “And I often wonder whether I should be harder or whether I should provide more love and care.”

“There’s no doubt that the way I went about it as a young footballer was driven by my relationship with dad,” Buckley says. “He didn’t make it easy. But I think there was a method to his madness. Quite often it was that tough love that pushed me through.”

Nathan is now dating cosmetic nurse and mother-of-three, Alex Pike. The pair were first spotted together in May 2021.

Mostly remaining tight-lipped about their romance, Alex did speak to the Herald Sun about Nathan in December 2021.

“I am very private about the relationship, but we have a wonderful connection,” the cosmetic nurse said.

To find your own fairytale love story, sign up for eharmony.

(Credit: Supplied)

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