An Australian couple who are 35 years apart is defending their union in the face of accusations that model Brightnye Quayle, 22, is “just in it for the money.”

The former Miss NZ contender first met her 57-year-old beau, James, during a wild night at a casino last summer.

In a TikTok video, Brightnye, a native of Christchurch, New Zealand, admitted that she had gone on a shopping binge and had purchased a staggering nine sandwiches to satisfy her ravenous stomach.

James struck up a discussion with the young woman after being impressed by her confidence and even managed to steal one of her sandwiches. And the rest is history, as they say.

The couple currently resides together in Queensland, Australia, and they frequently post content on their shared TikTok account that deals with the age difference. They even acknowledged that when they are out and about, people frequently mistake them for father and daughter.

James recently discussed some of the animosity the two encounter due to their different ages in a video.

James said: “Well, the comments are interesting – lots of love. So thank you for everyone who is mature enough to understand. But there are a lot of comments about money – she’s only in it for the money.”

He went on to say: “I was married for 30 years. Bought my wife a Maserati, paid for everything. What is the difference? Of course, every relationship – certainly traditional relationships, where the man looks after the woman –  of course, you’re going to spend money. It’s just not an issue and not relevant.”

James questioned Brightnye about her mother’s opinion of their relationship in another video, to which she replied: “She’s coming over to live with us for a week, so we’re going to find out.”

The two then disclosed that Brightnye’s mother will be joining them on TikTok Live where she would be discussing their age difference in real life.

“I’d best be on my best behavior then,” James tells his girlfriend, with her adding: “My sister will definitely go on the Live as well.” James continues by saying that he is now “petrified” of the Live.

A variety of followers have supported their relationship in the comments left on their videos, while some have suggested that she is only with him for the opulent lifestyle she receives in return.