They were pictured smiling while on a breezy Caribbean holiday in St Barts. They were even planning a future together, with the high-profile couple confirming they were in the process of having a child together with the help of a surrogate in the US.
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Five months later, Channing shocked Australia when he confirmed he and Thorpe had parted ways after four years together.
Now the businessman and former model has spoken out in response to rumours that the reason for their split was Thorpe, 36, changing his mind about starting a family with Channing.
“There has been talk Ian wasn’t ready for a family,” Channing tells WHO. “I can’t comment on his behalf, but that was never a discussion as to why we were separating. It was more around the busy lifestyles we lead now, and the fact it was hard to manage the relationship with the travel schedules we have.”
The 29-year-old insists he was planning to have a child before he met Thorpe. “Ian has known from the very beginning this was my plan and he came into that plan because we were together,” the skincare entrepreneur explains. “Having a child is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
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And now Channing is pushing ahead with his goal of becoming a father – without Thorpe. “It’s going ahead without Ian,” he confirms, adding he’d “love to have a little boy”.
He is currently “halfway through the fertility process” at the Southern California Reproductive Center in Beverly Hills. “I’m just about to choose my surrogate,” he says. “I’m really excited to bring a child into the world next year.”
The former couple sparked speculation that they had split in June, when it was discovered Channing had unfollowed Thorpe on Instagram. When Channing shared a photo of himself with another man, a follower wanted to know whether he had broken up with the Australian swimming legend. At the time, Channing didn’t reply. But neither of them had shared a photo of the other since January.
On June 29, there was finally confirmation the pair were officially over.
“We have just gone our separate ways,” Channing told The Daily Telegraph. “I have moved out.”
For the full interview, please pick up the brand new issue of WHO.