A VERY mod­ern fam­ily!

Bri­tain’s first gay dads have a sur­ro­gate daugh­ter. Then her ‘boyfriend’ falls in love with one of them... while the other fa­ther – who is des­per­ately ill – fixed up the new cou­ple’s first date. Move over the Kar­dashi­ans!

Scottish Daily Mail - - EMMA COWING - By Bar­bara McMa­hon

PITY Saf­fron Dre­witt-Bar­low. It’s hard enough be­ing a teenager, nav­i­gat­ing re­la­tion­ships, friend­ships and life in gen­eral as it is. Imag­ine what it must be like find­ing your­self, at this tricky age, thrown into the cen­tre of a very com­pli­cated love tri­an­gle, one that reaches into the very heart of your fam­ily life.

Imag­ine watch­ing the per­son ev­ery­one be­lieves is your boyfriend fall in love with some­one else. Then imag­ine how it must feel when that ‘some­one else’ just hap­pens to be your own fa­ther.

Some­how, Saf­fron man­ages to sit back and smile as this new happy cou­ple de­clare their love for each other, and talk of their plans for a baby to­gether. And all this is hap­pen­ing while her other dad, some­one she loves deeply, is ter­mi­nally ill, liv­ing out his fi­nal days in a sep­a­rate wing of the fam­ily home nearby.

Wait, there is more. Saf­fron also has to con­tend with the fact that this en­tire sce­nario is be­ing shared with the world via In­sta­gram posts, tele­vi­sion doc­u­men­taries and news­pa­per re­ports.

There is no hid­ing for Saf­fron, teenage daugh­ter of Bri­tain’s first two gay dads, Bar­rie Dre­wit­tBar­low and his now des­per­ately ill hus­band Tony. There never re­ally has been. When Bar­rie, 51, fell in love with Scott Hutchi­son, the 25-year-old Saf­fron was sup­posed to be dat­ing, the news was shared with the world. Poor Saf­fron can’t even sulk and wait for the fuss to die down. That re­ally isn’t this fam­ily’s style.

No won­der the 19-year-old doesn’t sound thrilled, or con­vinc­ing, when asked how she feels about it all. ‘As long as they’re happy, I’m not both­ered,’ she shrugs, ges­tur­ing to her fa­ther Bar­rie and his new love, Scott.

Isn’t she pleased Bar­rie is plan­ning to add to the fam­ily (Saf­fron has four broth­ers — one her twin — all con­ceived via sur­ro­gates)?

The new cou­ple have said they’d like a lit­tle girl, which could give Saf­fron a baby sis­ter. She isn’t thrilled about that, ei­ther.

‘He’s too old,’ she says bluntly, of her fa­ther, who met his new lover when Scott was a teenager.

‘And I’d rather be the only girl.’

AS EN­DORSE­MENTS go, it’s not gen­er­ous. At the £5 mil­lion fam­ily home in Florida, the sun shines on the swim­ming pool, set amid lawns stud­ded with Amer­i­can oaks, man­i­cured flower beds and two ponds with foun­tains.

Yet you can feel the ten­sion crackle be­tween fa­ther and daugh­ter, even if Bar­rie seems un­ruf­fled by Saf­fron’s re­ac­tion. ‘I don’t care what she thinks. She’s a moody mare,’ he says air­ily.

Wel­come to the lat­est con­tro­versy to hit Bri­tain’s most un­usual fam­ily, a clan who can some­times make the Kar­dashi­ans look calm and well ad­justed. mil­lion­aire Bar­rie Dre­witt-Bar­low and his hus­band Tony first found fame in 1999 af­ter be­com­ing the first same­sex cou­ple in the UK to be for­mally reg­is­tered as par­ents.

The fab­u­lously wealthy cou­ple, who be­came civil part­ners in 2006 and mar­ried in 2014, have five chil­dren by sur­ro­gates: Saf­fron and her twin brother As­pen are the el­dest, then there’s or­lando, 16, fol­lowed by twins Jasper and Dal­las, who are nine.

Though sur­ro­gacy is now more com­mon­place among gay par­ents — Sir el­ton John and David Fur­nish have two sons aged eight and six born, while diver Tom Da­ley and his hus­band Dustin Lance Black have a one-year-old boy — Bar­rie and Tony were early pi­o­neers in the field.

They had been to­gether for 11 years be­fore de­cid­ing to be­come fa­thers, first look­ing at adoption with es­sex County Coun­cil when they lived in eng­land. In 1999 they fa­thered Saf­fron and As­pen with a sur­ro­gate mother from Cal­i­for­nia.

In re­cent years, the Dre­witt-Bar­low fam­ily’s lives have been chron­i­cled on re­al­ity TV shows and in the me­dia. The cou­ple, who lived in Hert­ford­shire but re­lo­cated to the U.S. in 2014, are said to be worth around £40mil­lion and make their money through two busi­nesses — a re­search com­pany in New Jersey that tests con­sumer prod­ucts and a sur­ro­gacy cen­tre in Bev­erly Hills.

The fam­ily hit the head­lines again a few weeks ago af­ter re­veal­ing Bar­rie had fallen for Scott, who had been his per­sonal as­sis­tant. Not only is there a 26-year age dif­fer­ence be­tween them, but Bar­rie is still mar­ried to Tony, who was di­ag­nosed with throat can­cer ten years ago and lives in a wing of the man­sion where he needs roundthe-clock med­i­cal care.

For a while, it was re­ported that Scott was in a re­la­tion­ship with Saf­fron be­fore he be­came an item with Bar­rie. But to­day, they all in­sist that was not the case. The phoney re­la­tion­ship was cooked up by the young­sters as a smoke­screen, be­cause Scott was not yet ready to come out as a gay man.

‘If there had been some­thing go­ing on be­tween Scott and Saf­fron, there might have been ten­sion, but there wasn’t,’ says Bar­rie, who adds that he also thought the scheme would be a handy ploy to keep gold-dig­gers away from Saf­fron.

His feel­ings for Scott came much later, he says, and took him to­tally by sur­prise. It might sound mon­strously com­pli­cated to out­siders, but it’s par for the course in the mad world of the Dre­witt-Bar­lows. Tan­gled re­la­tion­ships aside, the next eye-pop­ping el­e­ment is the op­u­lence of their life­style.

The main house sits in ten acres of grounds and has 11 bed­rooms and 13 bath­rooms, a den and a li­brary. In the kitchen, a chef is pre­par­ing lunch while out­side there is a lav­ish en­ter­tain­ing area with a swim­ming pool, spa and grotto. There’s also a large guest house and a bat­tal­ion of flash cars in the drive­way, in­clud­ing a range rover, mercedes and the £135,000 Shelby sports car that Bar­rie re­cently bought for Scott.

We talk at a ta­ble in the pool­side area. Saf­fron is wear­ing a snake­skin pat­terned mini-dress that shows off a flower tat­too on her breast­bone. She also wears a pair of Gucci loafers, pre­sum­ably bought from her £5,000 a month al­lowance. Bar­rie spots them for the first time.

‘How much did they cost?’ he asks. ‘A thou­sand, two thou­sand?’ shrugs Saf­fron, who is heav­ily made-up and has re­cently had her lips en­larged.

Bar­rie rolls his eyes af­fec­tion­ately. He is equally flashily at­tired in a Prada white din­ner jacket, with Valentino shoes and lots of di­a­monds. He’s openly af­fec­tion­ate with Scott, call­ing him ‘babe,’ and pat­ting his bot­tom.

miss­ing from this pic­ture of do­mes­tic har­mony is Tony. Bar­rie’s 55-year-old hus­band is now gravely

‘I hired him as my PA for a bit of eye candy in the of­fice’

ill, mostly from the con­se­quences of ag­gres­sive treat­ments to com­bat can­cer. He un­der­went an op­er­a­tion to trans­plant a bone from his leg onto his jaw and has also lost the use of his sali­vary glands.

‘We were jok­ing with him, to keep his spir­its up, that he’s lit­er­ally walk­ing around with his foot in his mouth,’ says Bar­rie. ‘He’s very di­min­ished. He’s con­fused be­cause of the med­i­ca­tion for the pain. We’re wait­ing to see if his op­er­a­tion in Jan­uary is suc­cess­ful.’

Con­trary to re­ports, they are not get­ting a di­vorce, even if Bar­rie and Scott sleep in the left wing while Tony sleeps in the right.

This might seem cal­lous, but Bar­rie and Scott in­sist that it was

Tony who pushed them to­gether. ‘Tony’s never been a jeal­ous man and he could see me and Scott were very close,’ says Bar­rie. ‘He told me, “I’d feel com­fort­able if you two ended up to­gether if any­thing ever hap­pened to me”.

‘I thought it was the med­i­ca­tion talk­ing, but Tony and I haven’t had a phys­i­cal re­la­tion­ship for years, and he started to bring it into the con­ver­sa­tion a lot.”

Bar­rie and Scott met in 2013 back in Es­sex when the then 19-year-old ap­plied for a job as Bar­rie’s per­sonal as­sis­tant.

‘I was in bad shape be­fore I met Bar­rie,’ Scott re­calls. ‘I was 18 and work­ing in a bar as a to­p­less waiter, work­ing for tips. I was on drugs and felt like I was let­ting ev­ery­body down, es­pe­cially my mum. I couldn’t af­ford rent. I couldn’t even get a job at Domino’s Pizza. That’s how bad it was.

‘I lied on my CV, say­ing I’d got a B in maths. They gave me a test and I flunked ev­ery an­swer.’

Things were so aw­ful, he says, he tried to com­mit sui­cide. ‘I went to a park in Har­low and I tried to hang my­self. I thought I’d done a good job, but when I jumped, the branch snapped straight off.’

Two months later, Scott ap­plied for the job with Bar­rie. ‘I didn’t have any ex­pe­ri­ence, but I thought, “How hard can it be to an­swer a phone?” ’ he says. Bar­rie paid for a 12-week place­ment in re­hab. ‘He was so young, I thought he de­served an­other chance.’ There were other rea­sons be­hind his suc­cess­ful in­ter­view: ‘I em­ployed him be­cause I knew any PA of mine would be on screen (in the tele­vi­sion shows) and he was a bit of eye candy around the of­fice,’ says Bar­rie.

‘But there was no sex­ual el­e­ment be­tween me and Scott at all. Not that I didn’t want there to be, I thought he was gor­geous. But I didn’t go there.’

Both men only ad­mit­ted their at­trac­tion for each other 18 months ago, they claim.

Bar­rie’s mind be­came fo­cused on the fu­ture af­ter one of Tony’s ma­jor op­er­a­tions. ‘I got very up­set. It opened my eyes, it made me re­alise that you’ve got to grab op­por­tu­ni­ties while you can. So I did,’ he says, and laughs.

‘Scott and I had a proper date night at a steakhouse in Tampa. Tony set the whole thing up. He even booked the ta­ble and gave us his driver. Away from the house and kids we were able to speak prop­erly to each other for the first time. We had a heart-to-heart about our true feel­ings.

‘If Scott and I were go­ing to have a re­la­tion­ship, I wasn’t go­ing to do it be­hind Tony’s and the kids’ backs. I know Scott was wor­ried about peo­ple know­ing he was gay, but it was ei­ther go­ing to be the whole she­bang or noth­ing.’

‘Ev­ery­one’s taken it re­ally well,’ says Scott. ‘Me and Bar­rie have trav­elled the world to­gether. We spend 24 hours a day with each other, we know each other bet­ter than any­one else. I know what he likes and what he hates.’ Such as? ‘He hates sim­ple things, like crisp pack­ets. So if any­one is near him with crisps, I move them away as fast as I can. I don’t want any­one to an­noy Bar­rie. I try to keep as much pres­sure off him as I can.’

It cer­tainly sounds like the be­hav­iour of a dili­gent per­sonal as­sis­tant, but what are Scott’s feel­ings about his for­mer boss now he is his boyfriend? ‘This is my first re­la­tion­ship with a man,’ he says. ‘My best mate has turned into my soul mate. I’m hap­pier than I’ve ever been, 100 per cent happy.’

Does he feel guilty about Tony, ly­ing alone up­stairs? ‘No. Tony’s one of my best friends and I love him. He’s all for us,’ he replies.

The ruse that he and Saf­fron were a cou­ple was used be­cause Scott had not come out to his mother Amanda, a housewife, and fa­ther Nigel, a rail­way worker, who still live in Es­sex.

‘Saf­fron is the best friend any­one could have,’ says Scott.

‘She played along. It took the pres­sure off.’

Bar­rie and Scott’s re­la­tion­ship has been an open se­cret in their U.S.-based fam­ily cir­cle for some time, they say. How­ever, the two men re­turned to the UK a few weeks ago to break the news to Scott’s par­ents that not only were they a cou­ple but they planned to have a baby, too.

‘It was a hard con­ver­sa­tion be­cause Scott’s dad is the same age as me,’ re­calls Bar­rie.

‘His mum said “Say that again?” but now they’re over the moon. She’s buy­ing things for the baby al­ready.’

‘I’ve al­ways wanted to ex­pand my fam­ily and Scott’s al­ways wanted at least one child so we got talk­ing and be­fore you knew it, we were book­ing flights to Bev­erly Hills and get­ting tests done.’

The baby will be born via his own clinic, of course.

‘We’ve cho­sen our egg donor. We’ve al­ready cre­ated the em­bryos. I fer­tilised half the eggs and Scott fer­tilised the other half. And we‘ve done a sex-se­lec­tion process to pick out what em­bryos are male and what are fe­male and from that we’ll im­preg­nate the sur­ro­gate.’

The cou­ple will im­plant two fe­male em­bryos. ‘If we get twins — great, but as long as we get at least one, that’s all we care about,’ says Bar­rie. Their sur­ro­gate is a 32-year-old woman from San Diego who al­ready has her own fam­ily.

‘She’s go­ing in for the trans­fer in mid-De­cem­ber so maybe we’ll get some good news be­fore Christ­mas,’ of­fers Bar­rie. That would mean they would be the next set of dads in the fam­ily by Au­gust or Septem­ber 2020.

‘Scott’s go­ing to be a great dad, I’m 100 per cent com­mit­ted to him and I’m ex­cited about the re­la­tion­ship we’re go­ing to have in the fu­ture as par­ents,’ says Bar­rie.

‘I’m ready to be a dad. I want this child,’ adds Scott.

Bar­rie con­firms that de­spite this, there are no plans to for­mally split from Tony or di­vorce him. ‘I’m stick­ing with Tony through his ill­ness and Scott has no prob­lem with that. But I’m 100 per cent com­mit­ted to Scott and we will get mar­ried in the fu­ture.’

As for Saf­fron, she seems in no rush for chil­dren, un­like her fa­ther and for­mer ‘boyfriend’.

‘No. Ï want to be a busi­ness­woman and build a com­pany then sell it,’ she says, re­fer­ring to her skin­care and make-up brand called Bark­ing Mad Cos­met­ics.

The com­pany, which sells serums, mac­aron-shaped soaps and an £8 lip plumper, ac­tu­ally lists Scott on its web­site as founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, though Saf­fron is the driv­ing force be­hind the brand — and clearly an en­thu­si­as­tic devo­tee of the plumper.

‘If Kylie can do it, so can I,’ she says, re­fer­ring to Kylie Jen­ner of Kar­dashian fam­ily fame, who claims to be a self-made bil­lion­airess via her epony­mous cos­metic com­pany. ‘So no, I don’t want chil­dren right now,’ she scowls.

Who could blame her?

Saf­fron played along as if she were Scott’s girl­friend

Pi­o­neers: Clock­wise from left: Or­lando, Saf­fron, Tony and Bar­rie, As­pen, Jasper and Dal­las

It’s com­pli­cated: Smartly dressed Scott, Saf­fron and Bar­rie at their op­u­lent Florida man­sion

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