ENTERTAINMENT

Boris' dad broke his mom's nose: Explosive new biography lifts the lid on PM's affairs


Boris Johnson's father, Stanley, beat the Prime Minister's mother in a domestic violence incident that broke her nose and left her for hospital treatment. This has resulted in an explosive new book.

The amazing reveal is part of a series of revelations in The Gambler, an important Mr Johnson biography by renowned investigative writer Tom Bower, which is published on The Mail starting today.

Mr. Bower describes Stanley's first marriage to Mr. Johnson's mother, Charlotte, as violent and unhappy and quoted her as saying, “He broke my nose. He made me feel like I deserved it. "

Charlotte told the author, "I want the truth to be told."

Last night, family friends confirmed the newspaper's story but insisted the incident was a one-off.

The friends said it happened in the 1970s when Charlotte had obsessive-compulsive disorder and "hit" Stanley, who broke his nose while "kicking back".

Father Stanley and mother Charlotte. Boris, center, is pictured with his brother and sisters in their seventies. Mr. Bower describes Stanley's first marriage to Mr. Johnson's mother, Charlotte, as violent and unhappy and quoted her as saying, “He broke my nose. He made me feel like I deserved it. "

Boris with Carrie Symonds in March. After several humiliating exposés about Boris' adultery, Marina Wheeler had tried to mend their relationship, but those efforts had been dashed by his recent affair with Carrie Symonds, 30-year-old Tory communications chief

Boris with Carrie Symonds in March. After several humiliating exposés about Boris' adultery, Marina Wheeler had tried to mend their relationship, but those efforts had been dashed by his recent affair with Carrie Symonds, 30-year-old Tory communications chief

They added that Stanley, now 80, deeply regretted the incident that resulted in Charlotte's being hospitalized and denied having been violent on any other occasion.

Mr Bower says this secret, and the troubled relationship between Boris' parents, defined the Prime Minister as a man.

Scourge of the rich and famous

Royal Biographer Tom Bower

Royal Biographer Tom Bower

Dubbed "the most effective journalistic truth of his generation," Tom Bower is admired for his investigative books that forever change the way we perceive the rich and powerful.

From Tony Blair to Richard Branson, Mohamed Al Fayed to Prince Charles, the forensically researched "warts-and-everything" biographies of the former BBC Panorama reporter are defiantly unauthorized.

Often times they have taken Bower to court to successfully defend the truth, while crooked publisher Robert Maxwell tried to intimidate the author by putting private detectives on him.

Bower, 74, says: "The immorality of the rich and powerful has always fascinated and appalled me."

He writes: "Boris tormented himself about his mother's fate … he didn't want to confide in others about his father's violence and became a loner.

"In order to hide the misery and pain, he called for attention … But Boris' bravery masked deep misery."

Charlotte's detonation of Johnson's long-held family secret is part of a series of revelations from Mr Bower that is closer to explaining Boris' complex psychology than any previous work.

Based on interviews with hundreds of colleagues and family members, including Boris' mother and his first wife, the book invites the Prime Minister to compassion by painting a portrait of a boy who turned into a loner in his own right when he did Fought against his parents with desperation & # 39; divorce and his wild childhood.

After this account, Boris grew up unable to develop close relationships with men who were so searching for women as his soulmates, which explains his notoriously productive love life, in which he ruthlessly poured out his heart to lovers in poetry and letters and even threatened suicide to discourage women, to leave him.

The book also describes Boris & # 39; s intense desire to become Prime Minister by taking advantage of his old Etonian, David Cameron, and wrestling with George Osborne in what constitutes the transfer of the infamous antics of Oxford University's Bullingdon Club to high command the Tory is depicted.

It records Boris & # 39; s search for souls about Brexit, the victorious election campaign and his subsequent march on Downing Street after the political swamp of Theresa May's government, as well as the "terrorist demands" that chief assistant Dominic Cummings made before joining No. 10 had asked.

The drama of the Covid pandemic is also described, introducing Boris as Prime Minister panicked by overcautious scientists.

Any political development is underpinned by the background of a constant, exhausting emotional drama in his private life. However, Mr Bower comes to the positive conclusion that as Prime Minister he still has the opportunity and the desire to make a fundamental difference in people's lives.

When Stanley was asked about the contents of Bower's book by The Mail outside his home in north London yesterday Sunday, Stanley said, "I haven't read it. I don't want to comment."

Then he drove off on his bike.

No. 10 also declined to comment.

Boris Johnson is pictured with his mother Charlotte at his book launch in 2014. They added that Stanley, now 80, deeply regretted the incident that resulted in Charlotte's being hospitalized and denied having been violent on any other occasion

Boris Johnson is pictured with his mother Charlotte at his book launch in 2014. They added that Stanley, now 80, deeply regretted the incident that resulted in Charlotte's being hospitalized and denied having been violent on any other occasion

& # 39; Stanley broke my nose. I felt I deserved it & # 39;: Boris Johnson's mom tells TOM BOWER how the family's deepest secret shared a lonely & # 39; Frozen Child & # 39; left behind.

by Tom Bower for The Mail Am Sonntag

As the staff served dinner in the wood-paneled dining room of the Checker, the tension was palpable in the air. The occasion was a family celebration hosted by Boris Johnson on the occasion of his father Stanley's 79th birthday in August 2019. Boris had become Prime Minister just a few weeks earlier, and his father was understandably proud to be entertained in that style.

But even Stanley's familiar bonhomie and the new Prime Minister's coziness couldn't hide the tense mood. At the moment when the famous Johnson clan should have been happy, the family's relationships splintered.

The Johnson family in Brussels in 1977. Rachel and Jo, Boris & # 39; s younger sister and brother, had both come to Checkers with their spouses and children. Leo, the fourth sibling, was on vacation in Greece

The Johnson family in Brussels in 1977. Rachel and Jo, Boris & # 39; s younger sister and brother, had both come to Checkers with their spouses and children. Leo, the fourth sibling, was on vacation in Greece

Just over a year earlier, when he stepped down as Secretary of State, Boris and his then-wife had left Marina Carlton Gardens, the minister's formal London residence, in separate cars. After 25 years of marriage, they had divorced.

After several humiliating exposés about Boris' adultery, Marina had tried to mend their relationship, but those efforts had been thwarted by his recent affair with Carrie Symonds, 30-year-old Tory communications chief. Too many lies, betrayals, confessions, and apologies have been offered over the years to make credible reparations.

"He's a ***. He's absolutely selfish. He destroyed the family," one of the Johnson clans had exclaimed.

Boris Johnson with his mother Charlotte. Only Boris '77 -year-old artist mother Charlotte was able to explain Boris' hostility towards his father Stanley. It reflected the intimate story of the Johnson family, which they have only now published

Boris Johnson with his mother Charlotte. Only Boris '77 -year-old artist mother Charlotte was able to explain Boris' hostility towards his father Stanley. It reflected the intimate story of the Johnson family, which they have only now published

The raw emotions in the game were hardly hidden.

Rachel and Jo, Boris' younger sister and brother, had both come to Checkers with their spouses and children. Leo, the fourth sibling, was on vacation in Greece.

To Stanley's disappointment, Boris and Marina's four children – Lara (then 26), Milo (24), Cassia (22) and Theo (20) – had declined the invitation to the party.

Not only were they angry that their grandfather Carrie shook hands at a public meeting about the environment, but they also refused to speak to their father.

In addition, there was the long-lasting friction between Stanley's four older children and his second family – his daughter Julia (37) and his son Max (33). In the past few months, Stanley's second wife had spoken out against Boris and even banned him from visiting Nethercote, the family's farm on Exmoor, Somerset.

As always, Boris' enthusiasm and jokes hid his own feelings during the Checkers dinner.

Boris Johnson introduced himself as a young boy with his father Stanley. Marina blamed Stanley for the breakdown of their marriage and refused to speak to him. Like Boris & # 39; first wife, Allegra Mostyn-Owen, she said that Boris & # 39; Adultery reflected his father's habits

Boris Johnson introduced himself as a young boy with his father Stanley. Marina blamed Stanley for the breakdown of their marriage and refused to speak to him. Like Boris & # 39; first wife, Allegra Mostyn-Owen, she said that Boris & # 39; Adultery reflected his father's habits

Secretly and untrustworthy, his accomplishment hid his vulnerability.

Any sadness about the absence of his children was lifted by his recent triumph. "It's all about Boris," many who worked with him would often claim.

But even to his family, this truism was just a mystery. Did anyone know, they wondered, the real Boris?

They agreed that he was a loner with few close friends. Among those few were Marina, his anchor and consigliere and the ghost at the feast. "Marina & # 39; s Magic" had held the Johnson clan together for years, especially more recently at family reunions.

Boris' infidelity to Marina had generated intense hostility towards him and deep compassion for her.

Marina blamed Stanley for the breakdown of their marriage and refused to speak to him. Like Boris & # 39; first wife, Allegra Mostyn-Owen, she said that Boris & # 39; Adultery reflected his father's habits. The same misfortune that Stanley had spread among his own children, Marina said, was repeated by Boris to his four children with her.

Stanley Johnson introduces himself to Carrie Symonds at an anti-whaling protest outside the Japanese Embassy in central London on Saturday January 26, 2019

Stanley Johnson introduces himself to Carrie Symonds at an anti-whaling protest outside the Japanese Embassy in central London on Saturday January 26, 2019

Of course, the break in family ties, which was reinforced by their different views on Brexit, was kept under wraps. The Johnson’s public face, united by intelligence, charm and their striking blonde hair, was like a dynasty of closely related achievers.

The next morning Boris had expected everyone to stay at Checkers for Stanley's birthday dinner. Instead, Rachel and Jo had other long-term agreements and left. For those who stayed, her departure had been a little ungracious. Suddenly the celebrations had fallen silent.

A year later, by August 2020, the family tensions simmering at Checkers had erupted into an irreconcilable feud. After all, Stanley's older children had grown increasingly confused about their father's second marriage as they all questioned Boris' relationship with his fiancée Carrie.

As Boris struggled to protect 67 million Britons from the Covid-19 disaster, his own family, still heralded by many as an enviable model for love, laughter, and fame, fell into the shadows.

The question was whether the invisible collapse of the Johnson dynasty was a metaphor for Johnson's tenure.

Most importantly, there was the lingering complex dynamic between Boris and his father.

Throughout all of the media appearances over the years, the striking similarity of looks, mannerism, and joking tone shared by Stanley and Boris would suggest that the two men were closely related. However, during the Tory Party's leadership campaigns in 2019, few people noticed the cold looks Boris shot as he walked past his father and invariably stood in the front row. But even Allegra, who had claimed that her ex-husband's worst habits were inherited from his father, was unaware of the real cause of Boris & # 39; s deep anger at Stanley.

Throughout all of the media appearances over the years, the striking similarity of looks, mannerism, and joking tone shared by Stanley and Boris would suggest that the two men were closely related. Family pictured in the 1970s

Throughout all of the media appearances over the years, the striking similarity of looks, mannerism, and joking tone shared by Stanley and Boris would suggest that the two men were closely related. Family pictured in the 1970s

Only Boris & # 39; 77 -year-old artist mother Charlotte could explain his hostility. It reflected the intimate story of the Johnson family that they have only now released.

20-year-old Charlotte Fawcett was overwhelmed by Stanley's energy, dynamism and intelligence and married him in 1963 while studying at Oxford University. Only years later would she realize that instead of a loving and deep friendship, she had fallen in love with a man who purposely minimized the seriousness of everything and mocked intimacy.

Their first child, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel, was born in June 1964. While his mother was finishing her English studies, the baby slept in a drawer in her college room.

At the end of the year, Charlotte was pregnant again and her relationship with Stanley changed.

During a series of bitter arguments, Stanley accused Charlotte of seeing too much of her friends. "He was annoyed that I took care of my friends," she recalls. Charlotte blamed Stanley's anger and continued her studies.

Their problems were buried after Stanley came to MI6 and began a training course that separated him and Charlotte during the week. She graduated in June 1965 and celebrated Boris leaving at eleven months.

He was 15 months old when Rachel was born, and the look on his face the first time he saw his sister was not happy. "When Boris got to the hospital to see Rachel in my arms," ​​Charlotte recalls, "his look was shock, disbelief and fear."

In 1966 the family moved to the USA, where Stanley got a job at the World Bank. Boris turned out to be a moderate, smiling baby. He'd started reading at the age of three – in particular, he enjoyed a comic that told the story of an ancient civilization called the Trigan Empire. "That got him," says Charlotte, "and that gave him an idea." He said to me: "I want to be king of the world." ’

Stanley, who switched jobs to work for the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, missed these milestones. As a committed environmentalist, he flew around the world to improve the condition of countries affected by poverty. Visiting his young Connecticut family, he was the life and soul of every social gathering. But at home the humor disappeared.

In 1969 the family returned to Great Britain. With money tight, it was decided that Charlotte would live with her husband's family in Nethercote, Exmoor, as Stanley would be traveling the world on a scholarship program. On the eve of his departure there was another argument in front of the then five-year-old Boris – and by the way, he was already reading the editorial columns of the Daily Telegraph.

"Stanley was in a very bad mood," recalls Charlotte. "He was always screaming and angry." Without apology, Stanley drove from Nethercote on his next adventure.

Nearly 50 years later, Rachel wrote, “He is never happier than setting out to live with a remote tribe many thousands of miles away from loved ones. He cares much more about other animals than about his own family. "

20-year-old Charlotte Fawcett was overwhelmed by Stanley's energy, dynamism and intelligence and married him in 1963 while studying at Oxford University

20-year-old Charlotte Fawcett was overwhelmed by Stanley's energy, dynamism and intelligence and married him in 1963 while studying at Oxford University

To be left behind in Somerset was a punishment for Charlotte and, she believed, an opportunity for her husband to break the series. When asked many years later if he was "totally unfaithful" and "an amazing womanizer" as Charlotte thought, Stanley replied, "Total crap. Honestly."

Life in Nethercote was chaotic. As Boris neared school age, Charlotte and her children moved into a shabby, unheated house next to Stanley's parents, Johnny and Irene. With little money they were stranded. "There was no point in saying to Stanley," Give me a car, "explains Charlotte." He wouldn't. "

For Boris, disorder became a way of life. Trash was scattered around the house and, in later life, either thrown in the back of his car or out the window.

While Stanley was saving rainforests, his family was sick because Nethercotes water was contaminated by lead pipes. "We were all sick on the floor," says Charlotte. Boris worsened his illness and often cried out in pain from excruciating earache caused by eyelets and suffered from deafness for a long time.

The only constant male influence in his life was his paternal grandfather, Johnny. All the children loved him and proudly wore the special nicknames he gave them. Unlike Stanley, Johnny didn't hit the kids or criticize their looks.

Charlotte's lawyer father was also a kind influence. James Fawcett, a classic who won a Double First at Oxford, introduced his grandson to the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. Boris was fascinated by the incessant competition between macho men who were driven by confidence. "It was a world," he later wrote, "that believed above all in winners and losers, in death and fame."

In the summer of 1970, Stanley returned to Nethercote and began teaching his children his values. Success, he believed, was generated through competition. He pitted his children against each other – with snooker, reading, math and table tennis. One day after Rachel hit Boris while playing table tennis, she watched her brother's anger: "He kicked the garage door so hard that he broke his toe." Once, after Rachel climbed up to a table to give a speech, said Boris with uncontrolled anger: pushed her away to make his own.

It was during this time that Charlotte Stanley confronted the matters she suspected were his. He denied it.

"Stanley wanted to be loved," she recalls, "and wanted sex and he wanted power." And when I contradicted it, it threatened his power. "Charlotte never thought of leaving:" I stayed because I loved him despite the tensions. "

Boris agonized over his mother's fate. Not only had he seen her suffer, but he had seen his father blatantly denying the truth.

He did not want to confide in others about his father's temperament and became a loner. In his solitude, his competitiveness was offset by self-doubt. To hide the misery and pain, he demanded attention.

Just as his father was purposely amusing friends and strangers to hide the wretched chaos in Nethercote, Boris took over his father's accomplishment. Rachel, his only confidante, did the same. Together they learned overwhelming resilience.

In 1972 Stanley, then 32, was offered a well-paid position as head of the pollution and nuisance prevention department at the newly established EEC headquarters in Brussels.

In this respectable social world, the family was reunited with Charles Wheeler, a BBC journalist they met in the United States and whose daughter Marina now became a friend of Boris and Rachel at the Brussels European School.

Johnson Sr.'s charm and humor were valued throughout the international community – although Stanley, they learned, was always about Stanley. "I can count the seconds," wrote Rachel in 2017 of meeting her father for lunch, "until he says," So what am I going to do … "

Stanley Johnson joined Paul Bristow in Peterborough to promote the Conservative Party in Peterborough in 2019

Stanley Johnson joined Paul Bristow in Peterborough to promote the Conservative Party in Peterborough in 2019

Boris mimicked Stanley, assuming that his life would always be about Boris. Like his father, he would entertain to get the laughs and become the leader. In fact, he adopted a motto that Stanley preached: "Nothing is very important and most things don't matter at all." And he might add, avoid apologizing. But everything was not all right under the laugh. Boris & # 39; bravery masked deep misfortune. His parents' marriage was irrevocably broken. Charlotte found the pressures of her husband's neglect and streaking overwhelming.

Ten year old Boris and nine year old Rachel became the keepers of their parents' secret. The family was safer when outsiders didn't know. Then, in 1974, the dam broke.

Charlotte was overwhelmed by severe depression and suffered a nervous breakdown. She was transferred from Brussels to Maudsley Hospital in south London, which specializes in mental health. She was isolated from her family for eight months and felt miserable. The circumstances were unusually difficult for their four children.

On a cloudy day 45 years later, in the fall of 2019, disabled by Parkinson's and other diseases, the accomplished artist, who now lives with a caregiver in a small but comfortable apartment on Notting Hill Gate in west London, announced that that the marriage was horrible, horrible. "In particular, Charlotte described the" difficult times "at Maudsley. "I want the truth to be told," she told me.

Over the years Stanley has asserted ignorance about the causes of his wife's depression. "I never got to the bottom of it," he said in 2019. "It was too complicated for me and a mystery."

Charlotte corrects Stanley's memory: “The doctors at Maudsley spoke to Stanley about his abuse of me. He hit me. "She remembers:" He broke my nose. He made me feel like I deserved it. "

Boris is pictured as a child. Although Boris was only ten years old, Charlotte forensically discussed her marriage to him. She also realized that her son "admired his father's humor and shot".

Boris is pictured as a child. Although Boris was only ten years old, Charlotte forensically discussed her marriage to him. She also realized that her son "admired his father's humor and shot".

Following the attack, Charlotte was treated at St. John & St. Elizabeth Hospital in northwest London. The children were told that a car door hit their mother's face. However, Boris knew the truth.

Charlotte's parents, who lived near the hospital, visited their daughter daily. "My parents confronted Stanley about this," she continued, "but he denied it."

Although Boris was only ten years old, Charlotte forensically discussed her marriage to him. She also realized that her son "admired his father's humor and shot".

Regarding Boris, who witnessed her suffering at Stanley's hands, she said, "That was terrible for the children."

Their stoic bravery and silence taught Boris never to reveal vindictiveness or to bear resentment. Most importantly, he has never talked about how his mother's suffering permanently affected his life, character, and personality.

While Charlotte was in the hospital, Stanley was in charge of his children. But most of the time he was away from her house in Brussels and left an au pair in charge.

Affair with the au pair

It was a common habit for Boris' parents to walk around their house and Exmoor Farm naked in the summer.

His father Stanley told their young family's two au pairs in 1976 that a lack of water meant they couldn't wash their clothes, so they shouldn't wear them either.

Both gave in and went around naked.

Stanley insisted on two au pairs – and had an affair with one in front of his children.

The children were often expected to fend for themselves and even make the arrangements to travel from Brussels to London and visit their mother.

Rachel still refuses to blame Stanley today. "It was difficult for my father too," she wrote. "I can't pretend it's bleak, but he's done brilliantly to keep things going." He kept the show very busy. "

Boris understood the cause of his mother's condition.

"I have often thought," said Charlotte later, "that his" world king "was the wish to make himself invulnerable, invincible and somehow safe from your mother's pain, which had disappeared for eight months." The lesson he learned from the testimony of marital discord was intended to avoid overt confrontation in his life.

Charlotte is certain that her suffering fell victim to the young Boris. During prep school at Ashdown House in East Sussex, the mother was denied the hug and the lack of any warmth in the home, and there was a large emotional hole. Some called the result "the frozen child".

Stanley had promised Boris never to leave his beloved mother. But in the summer of 1978, after Boris' first year at Eton, Stanley told his children that he and Charlotte were divorcing.

"Why did you have us?" Boris asked his father along with the three other children.

Stanley later claimed that he didn't understand why his marriage broke down or whether his children were suffering "because I never asked them". Charlotte made no secret to her friends about her reason for calling for an end: "I couldn't stay with him. He was inaccessible, so as not to say entirely unfaithful."

She began a close friendship with Nick Wahl, an American academic who lived in Paris and whom she regularly commuted to. Their children were benignly neglected.

"I was upset when they split," was the limit of Boris 'disclosure of his parents' separation, adding, "It had some impact. They handled it superbly."

In truth, Stanley's behavior haunted Boris. "My father promised me that they would not get a divorce," he told a friend years later, "and I could never forgive him for that."

Rachel said, “We were abandoned as children after the divorce. We had to educate ourselves. We didn't have a home. "

Back in Eton – where he was named Pee-Pee after de Pfeffel – Boris was surrounded by aristocratic children of seemingly infinite wealth who had also had troubled childhoods, including Princess Diana's brother Charles Spencer.

"We were children of fathers who abandoned their sons and created troubled boys," recalled an early friend.

Fellow students said Boris came to Oxford in 1983 to join the cabinet at the age of 35. With a showman's hunger for fame, the Oxford Union, the student debating society, was a natural magnet for him. Even then, some mentioned him as future prime minister.

He was not the brightest, once described by a tutor as "the worst scholar Eton has ever sent us – a sucker and a slacker". But he had a magical combination of intelligence, wit, cunning and exhibitionism. His display bothered his mother when she visited Nick Wahl. Under the glare of her son, she saw that his childhood grief over his parents' relationship continued.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns to 10 Downing Street after the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on September 30th

Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns to 10 Downing Street after the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on September 30th

Ignoring his mother's new happiness and Wahler's warmth towards the Johnson children, Charlotte noticed how Boris hated Nick. He was "jealous of Stanley". He wanted his parents to be married. Boris & # 39; reaction was primitive. "

Boris needed a soul mate with whom he could speak heart to heart. That was impossible with men. Only one woman could ever be his confidante. His requirements rarely changed: handsome, intelligent, and refined. On this scale, few surpassed the charismatic Allegra Mostyn-Owen, who is known as one of the most beautiful women in the university. The two forged a deep friendship that culminated in a proposal in the summer of 1986. Unsure, for fear of homelessness, Boris fulfilled the ambition to “get married”.

"Boris' game plan," Allegra was convinced, "was influenced by what Stanley had done."

His father had married a woman from a wealthy family early in his life, and 23-year-old Boris had chosen to follow suit. Two hundred guests were invited to the wedding on September 5, 1987 at the Mostyn-Owens manor in Shropshire. "It was a very happy wedding day," recalls Allegra, although her groom had lost his wedding ring and had to borrow a morning suit and cufflinks.

Her father had warned her, "He's predatory. What do you see in him?" And within two years the relationship was, as Allegra puts it, "already creaky".

In the summer of 1989 Boris, who now works as a correspondent for the Daily Telegraph in Brussels, flew with his wife to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt for a vacation.

She was concerned about her own parents 'marriage breakup and needed Boris' support. But he, funky and emotionally superficial, was indifferent to his depressed wife. Lonely, self-doubtful, and embroiled in a competitive boyish game, he never revealed the pain of his own childhood to Allegra.

The last straw came in February 1990 when she was cooking dinner for him one evening in Brussels and he could not return home. The next morning she bought the Daily Telegraph and read a report he had written from Zagreb. Without calling her, he accepted the offer of a trip.

His refusal to be with her was a blind spot inherited from Stanley: "The inability to take women seriously."

She later considered that Boris "is capable of a very bad mood, but he won't strike". Charlotte agreed, "His mood is his anger directed against himself."

Allegra adds loyally, “He never lied. He just has his own attitude towards the truth. “Her ex-husband, she concluded, was made up of three different personalities: Alexander, Al and Boris. “Boris is the public person, but did I meet Al, the private person, or Alexander, a mixture of private person and public person, or did I live with Boris? I never knew. & # 39;

© Tom Bower

  • Excerpts from Boris Johnson The Gambler by Tom Bower, published by WH Allen, Reprinted from Ebury Publishing, October 15.

“My great-grandfather had four wives, why should I be faithful?”: Boris Johnson's ex-wives say his femininity mirrors that of his father – but biographer TOM BOWER says this is also due to his constant search for a soulmate

by Tom Bower for The Mail Am Sonntag

After one of his affairs, Boris Johnson said to a friend, “My great grandfather had four wives. I don't understand why I should be faithful. “His aversion to monogamy has long shaped his relationships with women. "Boris' adultery," says his mother Charlotte, "is just like his father's." The motives were a lack of love for their wives, boredom, selfishness, and insecurity. "

According to Boris & # 39; s first wife, Allegra Mostyn-Owen: "When we got married it was the end of the relationship instead of the beginning." When he and Allegra divorced in 1993, the woman who would become his second wife was Marina Wheeler was already pregnant. Grounded, happy, safe and intelligent, Marina provided the substance and emotional interpretation of his life that Boris needed.

In her he had found a soul mate. In contrast to his instinctive rivalry with men, Boris trusted Marina, a childhood friend, so as not to harm him. One month after their wedding in 1993, their daughter Lara Lettice was born.

Boris Johnson and his wife Marina arrive at the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation's annual fundraising gala dinner on June 6, 2009 at the Hampton Court Palace stud in Richmond upon Thames. In contrast to his instinctive rivalry with men, Boris trusted Marina, a childhood friend, so as not to harm him

Boris Johnson and his wife Marina arrive at the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation's annual fundraising gala dinner on June 6, 2009 at the Hampton Court Palace stud in Richmond upon Thames. In contrast to his instinctive rivalry with men, Boris trusted Marina, a childhood friend, so as not to harm him

She contributed to the Johnson legacy of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian descent and was also a part of the Indian through Marina.

As the couple's young family expanded, Boris left his EU correspondent job in Brussels and the couple bought a house in Islington, north London. However, he felt that home life had become too routine.

Marina, whom he later confided to a person, was no longer a woman interested in close relationships or lively conversations. She was no longer the full-time, uncritical confidante he needed. Too often she told him the unpleasant truth.

Although he enjoyed spending time with his children, he found that fame had drawn other women. He felt a waning loyalty to Marina. Convinced that their relationship was safe, his appetite drove him to risk a new challenge.

Mary Wakefield, an editor of The Spectator magazine who later married Dominic Cummings, had a crush on Boris, and he seemed to pass out for Mary, one of the most beautiful people, according to her colleague Rod Liddle.

Jeremy Deedes, a director of the Telegraph group owned by The Spectator, noted that “Mary was obsessed with Boris. She was like a spaniel in the heat. Boris scratched his head. "What do we do now?" he asked me. & # 39;

In a newspaper interview, Boris gave a hint about his reckless attitude towards life. "I'm a juggler," he said. "I can have it all."

As London Mayor between 2008 and 2016, he seemed to have a similar fascination with women. In 2009 he visited Marina at Westminster Abbey for a memorial service for her father, respected BBC correspondent Charles Wheeler. For the fully occupied church, they worked together. But Boris was in the middle of an affair with Helen Macintyre, a 37-year-old art dealer.

Macintyre had admired him for years. The confrontation with her revealed Boris's paradox, despite all the risks to his marriage and his mayor's office. Although he was a loner, he longed for company. The loneliness plunged him into a deep depression, relieved by a conversation with whoever was his lover.

Christchurch Commen Ball on June 26, 1987 in Oxford. As London Mayor between 2008 and 2016, he seemed to have a similar fascination with women. In 2009 he visited Marina at Westminster Abbey for a memorial service for her father, respected BBC correspondent Charles Wheeler

Christchurch Commen Ball on June 26, 1987 in Oxford. As London Mayor between 2008 and 2016, he seemed to have a similar fascination with women. In 2009 he visited Marina at Westminster Abbey for a memorial service for her father, respected BBC correspondent Charles Wheeler

In 2010, after giving birth to a girl, it was reported that Macintyre's boyfriend, Canadian-born financier Pierre Rolin, had abandoned her after a DNA test.

Contrary to Macintyre's claims, Rolin found that he was not the father of the blonde child.

“I was completely covered in snow. I think he doesn't have a moral compass, ”said Rolin of Boris. “He thinks he is completely justified. One day the truth will catch up with him. "

Macintyre had omitted her father's identity on the girl's birth certificate.

When Boris previously had a brief affair with Anna Fazackerly, 29, a political journalist for the Times Higher Education Supplement, Marina had decided that she would accept his apology about her children and move on. But after the Macintyre revelations, Marina ordered Boris to leave the marital home and move into a rented apartment. "Thrown out of the house like a cat," said a friend.

From there he would order takeaway curries and occasionally go back to the house when Marina was out to see his children.

Later, after Marina forgave him, he seemed immune to embarrassment. “I see now that all of these disasters are temporary. You can go on, ”he said, adding,“ There are no disasters – only opportunities, and indeed opportunities, for new disasters. "

In 2013, Macintyre lost a legal battle to keep her child's paternity a secret. The appeals court ruled that in the public interest the electorate was entitled to know the man's identity. Until then, Boris regularly visited his youngest daughter and encouraged her to be interested in music.

In examining Boris' eligibility for office, the judges ruled: "It is fanciful to expect the public to forget the fact that … a great public figure conceived a child after a brief (not first) adulterous affair Has."

Boris' responsibility for "two concepts" was mentioned in the judgment. Many mistakenly concluded that the judges believed there was another “unknown” child he conceived. In fact, the judges were simply referring to his child who was abandoned by his former lover Petronella Wyatt. However, since he refused to disclose how many children he had fathered, the hunt for the "unknown" child continued.

Camilla's revelation about access attacks

When Boris was Mayor of London, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall called Boris to her London home, Clarence House.

Just as he parked his bike, she appeared and grabbed his wrist. She said, "You and me, upstairs now."

Over the course of the next hour she told Boris how she had been attacked on a train when she was 17.

“I did what my mother told me to do. I took off my shoe and punched it in the nuts. And then I reported him to the Paddington police, ”she said.

If Boris funded two rape centers, she promised to open them.

"Oh God, what a woman!" Boris later said to an aide.

On the opening night of the 2012 Paralympics, no one noticed the Mayor of London slipping off the stadium into an apartment in Shoreditch, east London. It was rented by a 27-year-old blonde California digital entrepreneur he met the previous year. Intelligent and lively, her name was Jennifer Arcuri.

Arcuri had settled in London to make her fortune in the tech industry. She flaunted her looks with cheeky humor to ingratiate herself with anyone who could help her build Innotech, her fledgling company that introduced policymakers to aspiring entrepreneurs.

During a routine client search at a British Venture Capital Association reception in 2011, she found herself among a group of expectant bankers.

"What's wrong?" She asked.

"We are waiting for the mayor," replied one banker.

& # 39; Who is he? & # 39;

"Boris. If you stand right here, he may notice you. "

In her words, “A chubby guy arrives with his shirt hanging out and I watched him turn this group of sweaty old men into something on speed. I went right up to him and said, "You should come and talk to my group."

"I will," he said. "Email me." ’

By March of the following year, Arcuri's business had grown and needed official confirmation. When Boris stood for his second term as mayor, she talked to his campaign bus and sat so close that the mayor couldn't help but see her.

"She has clearly targeted him," said one of Boris' aides later. To Arcuri's delight, Boris turned every 30 seconds to look at her. "I realized he was interested," she recalls almost a decade later. “I was flirtatious. I mentioned Shakespeare. I made him smile, fascinated him, and made him laugh. I got hooked on him. "

At the end of the trip, Arcuri gave Boris her card. "No no. I just want to contact you directly, ”he insisted. She gave him her phone number and soon after he called. She submitted his number under "Alexander the Great".

About a month later, Arcuri faced a crisis. She had hired an expensive venue to hold a presentation and her speaker had failed. "I used sex to get people to come to my events," admits Arcuri.

Looking for a replacement spokesman, she called Boris, who agreed to intervene. To her further delight, he called me back whenever I called him. Conveniently, her apartment was on his bike path from City Hall to Islington.

Arcuri's presence in Boris & # 39; life could not be kept secret from his closest collaborators for long. Although he "blindly swore" to Marina that he would be loyal to Marina after his affair with Helen Macintyre, some could see that while he worshiped Marina as a soulmate, their relationship, they falsely speculated, was strained. He was emotionally weak and would never leave Marina.

One of the first to notice a problem was Lynton Crosby, Boris & # 39; s political lobbyist. He had promised Boris that he would not start an affair until he was re-elected mayor in May 2012. After that, Crosby was no longer concerned.

A year after her re-election, after Boris had been re-elected, Arcuri had decided that he was not a womanizer, but shortly after her because she, as he said: "I feel so horny." Instinctively and sensitively, she saw a self-obsessed man for whom were relationships difficult. He lacked close male friends and relied on them, but only on terms. Until he was sure of his feelings and could trust her, it was considered a weakness of him to let someone into his personal life.

She saw him as an introvert, a depressed person enjoying solitude, and someone who needed to be alone. Paradoxically, especially on the days of his greatest public success, he could lapse into intense depression.

"Do you want to be prime minister?" She asked him once.

"I'm a very competitive person so it is natural," he replied.

Jennifer Arcuri's presence in Boris & # 39; Life (pictured together in 2013) couldn't be kept secret from his closest associates for long. Although he had "blindly sworn" to Marina that he would be loyal to Marina after his affair with Helen Macintyre, some could see that while he worshiped Marina as a soulmate, their relationship, as they falsely speculated, was strained

Jennifer Arcuri's presence in Boris & # 39; Life (pictured together in 2013) couldn't be kept secret from his closest associates for long. Although he had "blindly sworn" to Marina that he would be loyal to Marina after his affair with Helen Macintyre, some could see that while he worshiped Marina as a soulmate, their relationship, as they falsely speculated, was strained

In the fall of 2014 Boris spoke about Arcuri at another event and then met her in a hotel. She trudged across the room in his underwear, eating cheese, aware of his looks and his need to lose weight, and felt a bond being forged.

He was clearly drawn to her interest in power, conflict, intellectual strength, and Shakespeare in particular. In between shows of affection, he asked what he could do for her and how he could make her happy.

Convinced that she wanted to see more of him, Arcuri came to a reception later that day to promote his book on Winston Churchill. She found him in a hotel room and wrote his speech. He talked about his loneliness and the need for their friendship.

In December of this year Boris held a Christmas party in the town hall. At 10 p.m. he announced that he had to go to another event. His next stop was Arcuri's apartment. The American's house had become his refuge. As always, Boris trusted a woman as his confidante. First, he could talk about the stress of holding a position of authority in town hall. Second, it was a refuge from the sadness in his own home. Marina, he said, was gone often. Not only had she become aloof, but he also feared that his family life would wither.

The cure for his depression, he said, was Jennifer Arcuri. Though he would say he couldn't stay the moment he got to her apartment, her direct manner reassured him.

Cool and commanding, she never pressured him. The hunt was his. The alliance seemed to have become his only real friendship.

Partly mother figure, part lover, she claimed to understand his thoughts and he felt safe in her company. In return, he showed affection, but she could never be sure he was being honest.

Boris had an affair with Helen Macintyre, a 37-year-old art dealer who was pictured in 2011. Sparkin, sexy and good company, Macintyre had admired him for years. The confrontation with her revealed Boris's paradox, despite all the risks to his marriage and his mayor's office. Although he was a loner, he longed for company

Boris had an affair with Helen Macintyre, a 37-year-old art dealer who was pictured in 2011. Sparkin, sexy and good company, Macintyre had admired him for years. The confrontation with her revealed Boris's paradox, despite all the risks to his marriage and his mayor's office. Although he was a loner, he longed for company

Despite his ability to quote Shakespeare and Wordsworth, she fell in love with an unromantic man. He could never love women the way a woman wanted to be loved. & # 39; I fell in love. I never admitted how much I loved him, ”Arcuri said.

While his lyrics were ruthlessly in love and his crazy suggestions – like setting up a ski center in Bulgaria or starting a political team in New York – resulted in them being alone in the evenings, there were some who might prove stupid to get them into to invite his empty house in Islington.

Even though he was surrounded by family photos, he was already separated from this life.

“Are you going to set sail, sir? Your path is here, ”he recited from the Twelfth Night.

He no longer hid the relationship from advisors in the conservative central office and town hall.

With his help, Arcuri was invited to a party at Buckingham Palace where technology was celebrated. She had also received £ 15,000 from the International Trade Department to encourage foreign entrepreneurs to set up in the UK.

Boris' departure from City Hall in 2016 coincided with Jennifer Arcuri's departure from his life. Their last meeting was at his house. "I'll see you later," she said and stepped out into the street without revealing her decision to continue. She wanted a child, had found her future husband and they were moving to Cheshire. Soon pregnant, she decided there was going to be a shutdown and blocked Boris' calls.

His last text message was sent on December 29, 2018, two years after they last met. "I miss you and I need you," he wrote. She deleted the text.

© Tom Bower

  • Excerpts from Boris Johnson The Gambler by Tom Bower, published by WH Allen, Reprinted from Ebury Publishing, October 15.

Boris Johnson's escape with Carrie would have been END if Marina Wheeler hadn't ended their marriage, claims a new biography that chronicles PM's relationship with the fiancé – including a memorable flat-out fight and an argument over Wilf's middle name

by Tom Bower for The Mail Am Sonntag

If Marina Wheeler hadn't ended her marriage to Boris, his affair with Carrie Symonds would have ended abruptly. Instead, he inadvertently got close to a woman who was only five years older than his oldest daughter.

When their affair began in 2018, no one at Tory Party racetrack could escape Carrie, the 29-year-old director of the communications team, who regularly posted glamorous photos of herself on social media.

While some praised her good judgment and loyalty, others at the party center described her as manipulative, volatile, and aggressive, especially towards women. Some said she had a "polarizing personality" and was appointed because of a close friendship with Zac Goldsmith.

In 2017, her long-term relationship with a journalist broke up and she began advising Boris. Atmospheric, insecure and insecure, he needed company and approval from another new, trustworthy confidante.

Carrie's critics said that what began as an affair became serious business, consistent with their ambitions. Others said she had a job. Marina inevitably found out about the relationship. There were violent arguments, but after a full confession, Boris had hoped for forgiveness from his loyal soulmate.

Boris Johnson introduced himself with his fiancée Carrie Symonds while on vacation in Scotland with their young son Wilfred. Boris never seems to have thought about the consequences of a permanent separation from his wife or that it would ruin his relationship with their children

Boris Johnson introduced himself with his fiancée Carrie Symonds while on vacation in Scotland with their young son Wilfred. Boris never seems to have thought about the consequences of a permanent separation from his wife or that it would ruin his relationship with their children

Marina was emphatic. She couldn't stand his infidelity any longer. She specifically blamed his father, Stanley. All of Boris' worst qualities came from this relationship. She refused to live with her husband anymore.

Boris never seems to have thought about the consequences of a permanent separation from his wife or that it would ruin his relationship with their children. Lara, her eldest daughter, said to a friend: "He's a selfish bastard. Mom is done with him. She will never take him back now." Lara later posted on Instagram that this time was "the hardest and most hurtful year of my life" was.

Under Carrie's guidance, Boris began losing weight – alcohol and nightly cheeses and chorizo. Their relationship had taken a course that was not intended by Boris.

In March 2019, despite the turbulence, Boris Carrie took Carrie to Positano, Italy for a long weekend a few days before the planned Brexit to celebrate her 31st birthday. Some feared that political priorities would be abandoned in order to fulfill Carrie's wishes.

On June 21, it was reported that Boris and Carrie had been involved in a heated argument in their south London apartment and that the police had been called. Carrie is pictured in 2019

Am 21. Juni wurde berichtet, dass Boris und Carrie in ihrer Wohnung in Südlondon in einen heftigen Streit verwickelt waren und dass die Polizei gerufen worden war. Carrie ist im Jahr 2019 abgebildet

Am 21. Juni wurde berichtet, dass Boris und Carrie in ihrer Wohnung in Südlondon in einen heftigen Streit verwickelt waren und dass die Polizei gerufen worden war. Es wurde behauptet, Carrie habe geschrien, Boris habe Rotwein auf ihr Sofa verschüttet. "Sie interessieren sich einfach nicht für etwas, weil Sie verwöhnt sind", soll sie gesagt haben.

Dann soll Boris gerufen haben: "Steig von meinem verdammten Laptop!", Gefolgt von einem lauten Krachen von Gläsern oder Tellern. Carrie rief dann angeblich: "Geh weg von mir!" Und "Raus aus meiner Wohnung!"

Carrie bestritt, "Geh weg von mir" und andere Dinge zu sagen, die sie zitiert hatte. Aber niemand bestritt, dass es einen Streit gegeben hatte, der zu intensiven Spekulationen über die Ursache führte.

Einige sagten, Carrie sei wütend, dass Boris spät von Marina zurückgekehrt sei, die sich zu diesem Zeitpunkt von der Behandlung von Gebärmutterhalskrebs erholt habe.

Andere behaupteten, Carrie sei wütend darüber, dass die ehemalige Geliebte Petronella Wyatt Boris eine SMS geschrieben hatte, verspottete Carries "unwürdige halbnackte" Leistung auf einem Auto (sie hatte ein lustiges Foto von sich auf Instagram gepostet) und sagte: "Sie braucht ihre Zähne repariert." .

Es gab Behauptungen, dass er Fotos von Jennifer Arcuri betrachtete. Die Wahrheit war, dass Carrie in einem emotionalen Ausbruch verärgert war, als Boris ein Glas Rotwein auf ihr Sofa verschüttete: einen Hausangestellten.

Etwas mehr als einen Monat später wurde Boris Premierminister. Kein Premierminister hatte jemals mit einem unverheirateten Partner in der Downing Street gelebt. Es wurde geflüstert, dass Boris Marina vermisste und dass seine Affäre mit Carrie nicht mehr als eine Affäre und keine Lebensentscheidung war.

Im Februar genehmigte ein Richter des High Court die finanzielle Vereinbarung, die Boris mit Marina getroffen hatte. Eine Scheidung könnte schnell folgen.

Die Ankündigung enttäuschte Freunde, die spekuliert hatten, wie Boris sich nach seiner Frau sehnte und auf eine Versöhnung hoffte. Ihrer Meinung nach war Boris auf die Weisheit und Stabilität von Marina angewiesen. Carrie, beklagten sie sich, war zu jung und unerfahren, um dasselbe anzubieten. Sie würden Carries Forderungen im siebten Monat ihrer Schwangerschaft für Boris 'Abwesenheit in London zu Beginn der Covid-Krise verantwortlich machen. Mitte März veranstaltete er mit Carrie bei Checkers eine Babyparty-Party.

Am 29. April, etwas mehr als zwei Wochen nachdem Boris mit Covid ins Krankenhaus eingeliefert worden war, wurde sein sechstes Kind, Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas, geboren.

Wilfred und Lawrie waren die Namen der Großväter seiner Eltern, erklärte Nr. 10. Die Herkunft von Nicholas schien weniger klar zu sein. Boris hatte seiner Mutter gesagt, dass er den Jungen nach Nick Wahl, ihrem zweiten Ehemann, benennen würde. Diese Nachricht löste bei Stanley Aufruhr aus. Alle Verbindungen zu Charlotte wurden als tabu erklärt. Dann erklärte Boris, sein Sohn sei nach Nicholas Hart und Nicholas Price benannt, den Ärzten, die ihm das Leben gerettet hatten. Die metaphorische Temperatur bei Stanley blieb hoch.

In seiner Wohnung in der Downing Street war Boris immer noch schwach von seiner Krankheit. Trotzdem glaubte Carrie, Boris sollte ein moderner Vater sein und Windeln wechseln. Sein Schlaf wurde ständig unterbrochen.

Seine Beziehung zu seinen anderen Kindern und seiner Familie war weiterhin beunruhigend, und im Mai wurde seine Scheidung abgeschlossen. Charlotte, seine Mutter, war der Stein in seinem Leben, aber der Druck auf den Kranken war unbarmherzig.

"Boris wurde von einem koketten Luder erwischt", sagte Jennifer Arcuri von Carrie. "Sie kontrolliert ihn. Es macht mich wahnsinnig, dass es einen so großen Unterschied zwischen mir und Carrie gibt. Sie ist nur eine Typ-A-Arbeiterin, die mit dem Fahrrad durch das Westminster-Dorf fährt. "

Boris Johnson übergab Frau Marina Wheeler seine Ersparnisse, um sein Versprechen zu garantieren, eine Affäre mit der Journalistin Petronella Wyatt zu beenden, wie eine neue Biografie zeigt

by Tom Bower for The Mail Am Sonntag

Petronella Wyatt, Boris 'lebhafte Stellvertreterin, als er Herausgeber von The Spectator war – damals wegen der zahlreichen Angelegenheiten zwischen den Mitarbeitern als "Sextator" bezeichnet -, erfuhr zufällig von seiner Leidenschaft für sie.

Eines Tages kramte sie an seinem unordentlichen Schreibtisch nach einer Gästeliste zum Mittagessen und fand einen handgeschriebenen Liebesbrief von ihm an sie.

Die gegenseitige Anziehungskraft für zwei schutzbedürftige Menschen war die Kameradschaft. "Du bist die erste Freundin, die ich jemals hatte", sagte Boris später zu Petronella.

Sie sagte: "Er war ein Einzelgänger mit wenigen Freunden, und wie viele Einzelgänger hat er ein kompensierendes Bedürfnis, gemocht zu werden … er möchte von der ganzen Welt geliebt werden."

Petronella Wyatt, Boris 'lebhafte Stellvertreterin, als er Herausgeber von The Spectator war - damals wegen der zahlreichen Angelegenheiten zwischen den Mitarbeitern als "Sextator" bezeichnet -, erfuhr zufällig von seiner Leidenschaft für sie. Gemeinsam auf der Sommerparty des Spectator Magazine 2006 abgebildet

Petronella Wyatt, Boris 'lebhafte Stellvertreterin, als er Herausgeber von The Spectator war – damals wegen der zahlreichen Angelegenheiten zwischen den Mitarbeitern als "Sextator" bezeichnet -, erfuhr zufällig von seiner Leidenschaft für sie. Gemeinsam auf der Sommerparty des Spectator Magazine 2006 abgebildet

Petronella Wyatt und Boris Johnson sind auf dem Spectator Summer Party im Juni 2000 abgebildet. Während ihres ersten gemeinsamen Sommers sagte Boris Petronella, er wolle sie heiraten. Ungefähr acht Monate nach Beginn ihrer Beziehung war sie schwanger. Von der Idee einer zweiten Familie angezogen, drängte Boris sie, das Kind zu bekommen

Petronella Wyatt und Boris Johnson sind auf dem Spectator Summer Party im Juni 2000 abgebildet. Während ihres ersten gemeinsamen Sommers sagte Boris Petronella, er wolle sie heiraten. Ungefähr acht Monate nach Beginn ihrer Beziehung war sie schwanger. Von der Idee einer zweiten Familie angezogen, drängte Boris sie, das Kind zu bekommen

Sein Held Perikles, schamloser Populist

In der Schule fand Boris in Perikles einen Helden – einen verehrten athenischen Staatsmann und General, der mit Charisma und schamlosem Populismus die Menge freute, eine ständige Wiederwahl zu gewinnen.

Durch die Mischung dieses und anderer Einflüsse – darunter Bertie Wooster, der fiktive Vorbereitungsschüler Molesworth und Just William – entwickelte Boris einen einzigartigen rednerischen Stil, kombiniert mit der Überzeugung, dass jede Rede Humor beinhalten muss.

Er erfuhr, dass im antiken Griechenland endloser Sex durchaus akzeptabel war.

Das Wunder der männlichen Überlegenheit in alten Zivilisationen waren ungezügelte Beziehungen, die ohne Groll oder Schuldgefühle geführt wurden.

Und in Boris 'Abschied von Eton, als er nach Oxford ging, fügte er in das Abgangsbuch ein Foto von sich ein, das zwei Schals trug und ein Maschinengewehr hielt, mit dem Versprechen, "mehr Kerben an meinem phallokratischen Phallus" zu erzielen.

After their affair started in 2001, he revealed intense jealousy about Petronella’s friendship with two famous historians. Convinced that she was unfaithful, his rage exposed insecurity, especially about his own intellectual inferiority, his stretched finances and what he perceived were his inadequate looks.

During their first summer together, Boris told Petronella he wanted to marry her. About eight months after their relationship began, she was pregnant. Attracted by the idea of a second family, Boris urged her to have the child. She was torn. Unwilling to be a single mother, she insisted that they should marry.

Boris saw a divorce lawyer and confessed the situation to his shocked wife Marina, who persuaded him to end the affair.

He agreed, and as a guarantee of his promise, he wrote a cheque for a large amount, handing all his savings to his wife. The next morning, after looking at his four young children eating breakfast, Boris was faced with reality: his family’s certain disapproval, the prospect of confrontation and poverty, too.

Remembering his own horror of his parents’ divorce, he retreated. His marriage, he decided, was not over.

Petronella had an abortion. But the affair was not over. In summer 2002, Petronella was suffering from the pressure of the relationship. If Boris refused to marry her, she said, they should stop seeing each other. ‘He threatened suicide and cried – buckets full,’ a close friend of Boris revealed.

Petronella headed for a holiday in Tuscany. Boris was with his family in Sardinia. Abruptly, he left Marina and his children and flew to the Italian mainland.

He climbed the wall of Petronella’s villa and declared that his impulsiveness and bravery proved his love. But again he returned to Marina.

Exhausted by all the lies, Petronella moved to the US with an American she had met, but the chance of a permanent relationship was shattered by Boris’s constant phone calls. She returned to London and the relationship was reignited. In September 2004, Petronella, now 36, discovered she was pregnant again.

Boris was forced to make a decision. While he refused to divorce Marina, he did not urge Petronella to have an abortion, instead encouraging her to have their ‘daughter’.

Trusting Boris would be a good father, Petronella decided on a full-term pregnancy.

Petronella headed for a holiday in Tuscany. Boris was with his family in Sardinia. Abruptly, he left Marina and his children and flew to the Italian mainland. Pictured Boris with Marina Wheeler in 2015

Petronella headed for a holiday in Tuscany. Boris was with his family in Sardinia. Abruptly, he left Marina and his children and flew to the Italian mainland. Pictured Boris with Marina Wheeler in 2015

But she had a miscarriage. In disguise, Boris arrived at the hospital and together, in genuine misery for their lost child, they sat grieving. Humiliated, Marina changed the locks to their house and took off her wedding ring before allowing Boris to return a week later. It was at this point he revealed to her his secret about his father hitting his mother.

‘Boris is a home-body,’ wrote Petronella, ‘who would prefer to be at home with Marina.’

In 2016, after his affair with Jennifer Arcuri ended, Boris asked Petronella if she wanted to revive their relationship. She declined.

© Tom Bower

  • Extracts from Boris Johnson The Gambler by Tom Bower, published by WH Allen, an imprint of Ebury Publishing, on October 15.

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