The Mail on Sunday

Why won’t Adele let me see my grand­son?

Af­ter a shat­ter­ing rift, star’s heartbroke­n fa­ther re­veals agony of be­ing ‘dead’ to her – and barred from her baby son

- by Lara Gould Groupies · Supermodels · Viral · Bullying · BDSM · Gossip · Celebrities · Society · Bond 23 · North London · London · Hollywood · James Bond film series · Los Angeles · Adkins, Texas · Siren · United States of America · Twitter · John Evans · XL Recordings · Mark Evans

WHEN she takes cen­tre stage at the Os­cars next month to per­form Bond theme Sky­fall, the eyes of the world will be on North Lon­don ‘girl-done-good’ Adele. But as she makes her live come­back in front of a global tele­vi­sion au­di­ence of a bil­lion, there will be one per­son, sit­ting alone more than 3,000 miles away, for whom her finest hour will be bit­ter­sweet – her fa­ther Mark Evans.

While his daugh­ter basks in the glow of be­ing the toast of Hol­ly­wood, back at his South Wales home part-time plumber Mark says it will be too painful to watch his daugh­ter on stage.

In­stead he will go to bed and make do – as he has done with news of her preg­nancy and the re­cent birth of her first child – with read­ing about his daugh­ter’s success in the next day’s pa­pers af­ter be­ing cut out of Adele’s life fol­low­ing a fam­ily rift in 2011. In spite of re­peated phone calls, let­ters and even an at­tempt to con­tact Adele by turn­ing up at her record com­pany of­fices in Lon­don, Mark says his ef­forts to re­pair the rift have been stonewalle­d.

Now, af­ter ex­haust­ing ev­ery other av­enue, the 49-year-old says he is speak­ing pub­licly sim­ply to ap­peal to his daugh­ter to get in touch.

‘I’ve left mes­sages on her phone, I’ve writ­ten to her and I’ve sent her birth­day and Christ­mas cards but it’s like I’m dead to her,’ Mark told The Mail on Sun­day.

‘I’m not in­ter­ested in her celebrity sta­tus or her money, I just want my daugh­ter back and I want to be a proper gran­dad to the lit­tle one.’

Mark, who be­came a grand­fa­ther for the first time when Adele gave birth in Oc­to­ber, added: ‘Not only did I hear I was go­ing to be a gran­dad for the first time via the me­dia, I found out the same way that she’s call­ing the baby An­gelo James.

‘I’d hoped so much that she’d put my late dad’s name, John, in there some­where, but alas it looks as if it is not go­ing to be.

‘I’m not sure why she’s cho­sen James, other than a ref­er­ence to James Bond, and God alone knows where An­gelo has come from. It’s very LA, isn’t it?

‘If only she’d called him John. That would have meant so much to me – and to Dad, God bless him. He’d have been so touched.

‘She spent ev­ery minute with him when she came to stay at week­ends and school hol­i­days as a kid. She adored him and he al­ways had so much time and pa­tience for her.

‘It’s Dad I think of when I see Adele on tele­vi­sion now. It tears me apart to see her liv­ing her dream be­cause I know how much my fa­ther would have loved to have seen her suc­ceed. I can’t watch her live shows, it is too painful for me be­cause all I would think about is what my fa­ther, who loved her so much, was miss­ing.

‘The same goes for the Os­cars. I know she’ll win be­cause she’s bril­liant but I won’t be there and I won’t even watch it on tele­vi­sion. It would up­set me too much to know that I was watch­ing some­thing that my dad never got to see. I’d break down and fall apart.

‘And be­lieve me, if Adele caught a glimpse of my face at the Os­cars and saw how up­set I was, she’d know straight away what I was think­ing and the kid would crum­ple. I’d never want to put ei­ther of us through that.’

He said the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion meant he was ‘miss­ing out on so many of the joys of be­ing a grand­fa­ther. Sim­ple plea­sures like tak­ing him out for a walk in his buggy along the prom­e­nade at Pe­narth like I used to with Adele, then stop off for an ice cream on the way back.

‘I want to do all the gran­dad stuff with him – feed the ducks in park, skim peb­bles in the sea, splash around in the surf.

‘And then there’s all the mu­sic we could lis­ten to to­gether. I’d play him my old blues records and sing him lul­la­bies to help him close his eyes at bed­time.

‘I just want nor­mal­ity. I want to be like any other gran­dad. I’ve got mates who I see with their grand­chil­dren and I can’t bear to watch. It shows me what I’m miss­ing out on.’

The fam­ily rift can, it ap­pears, be traced back to an in­ter­view Mark gave in 2011 as his 24-yearold daugh­ter stood in the brink of global star­dom fol­low­ing the re­lease of her au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal al­bum 21, which laid bare the painful break­down of a re­la­tion­ship and which went on to win six Grammy awards.

In it he took full re­spon­si­bil­ity for his fail­ings as a fa­ther – walking out when his daugh­ter was three, leav­ing her mother Penny Ad­kins to raise her sin­gle-hand­edly. De­spite

‘I al­ways kept in touch and saw her reg­u­larly’

the break­down of his re­la­tion­ship with Penny, Mark re­mained close to Adele, who would spend school hol­i­days in Wales with her grand­par­ents Rose and John Evans and her half-brother Cameron, now 18.

He ad­mits he lost touch with his daugh­ter when he suf­fered a break­down fol­low­ing the death of Adele’s grand­fa­ther John in 1999 and the col­lapse of a re­la­tion­ship that trig­gered a long bat­tle with al­co­holism.

But af­ter a three-year hia­tus, fa­ther and daugh­ter were re­united when Adele was 15 and he be­came her most loyal fan, watch­ing proudly as her ca­reer took off with the re­lease of crit­i­cally ac­claimed de­but al­bum 19 in 2008.

‘When Adele was grow­ing up I wasn’t a great ex­am­ple of what a fa­ther should be, but I al­ways kept in touch and saw her reg­u­larly. She came to stay with me and my par­ents at week­ends and school hol­i­days and we were very close,’ said Mark.

‘Things went wrong when she was 12 be­cause I had is­sues to deal with, in­clud­ing the deaths of my fa­ther and my clos­est buddy, but we over­came that and we were best mates again by the time she was 15.

‘I re­mem­ber try­ing to ex­plain my ab­sence to her then and she cut in and said, “It’s OK Dad, I love you.” Since then, we’d al­ways got on great again and no one has en­joyed her success more than me.’

But the re­la­tion­ship took a turn in 2011, af­ter the re­lease of Adele’s sec­ond al­bum 21, which pro­duced the hits Rolling In The Deep and Some­one Like You and went to No1 in 26 coun- tries. Mark says that as the world went into over­drive to find out who had in­spired the record, he was be­sieged by re­quests for in­ter­views about his now-fa­mous daugh­ter.

‘A jour­nal­ist had called at my mother’s home and tried to get an in­ter­view with her. My mum im­me­di­ately rang Adele and a few min­utes later, Adele’s man­age­ment were on the phone to Mum telling her to say noth­ing.

‘The same af­ter­noon, I also got a call ask­ing if I wanted to do an in­ter­view. I im­me­di­ately told the guy to leave

me alone, but not as po­litely as that, and called Adele. She told me the same man had been at my mother’s house and then said, “Tell you what Dad, we’ll do it to­gether. We’ll do a joint in­ter­view and get it all out in the open.”

‘I was sur­prised but I said, “I’ll do what­ever makes you happy sweet­heart, you know that.” Adele said she’d make the nec­es­sary ar­range­ments. ‘The next morn­ing, she rings up and says, “Sorry Dad, I can’t do the in­ter­view, I’m about to catch a flight to Amer­ica.” That’s rock and roll, I thought. But I as­sumed from the fact she wanted to do an in­ter­view with me, she wouldn’t mind me go­ing ahead on my own. I gen­uinely be­lieved I was do­ing her a favour by speak­ing about how proud I was of her and how ashamed I was for my short­com­ings as a par­ent, be­cause it would put it out there on the record and stop peo­ple both­er­ing her about it.

‘I called her sev­eral times to dou­ble check she was happy for me to speak but I couldn’t get hold of her. I still as­sumed she didn’t mind.

‘Even af­ter­wards I thought ev­ery­thing was fine be­cause I got feed­back from her man­age­ment that she was very happy with the piece. Then, a few days later, I got a call from Adele’s mum, Penny, shout­ing down the phone, “You shouldn’t have done that.” Be­fore I could re­ply, she hung up. That was the last con­tact I had with ei­ther of them.

‘It’s so sad it’s come to this, and all over an hon­est ac­count of my feel­ings for her. I’ve never said a bad word about Adele and I’m ab­so­lutely gut­ted she’s cut me out of her life.’

Since then Mark says he’s gone to ex­treme lengths to get in touch with his daugh­ter – even trav­el­ling to Lon­don to try to reach her through her record com­pany.

The wall of si­lence has been es­pe­cially painful for Mark given the close re­la­tion­ship Adele shared with

‘I wanted to let her know I’m here for her’

her grand­fa­ther. ‘It breaks my heart that Adele is so hell-bent on cut­ting me off like this,’ he said. ‘I knew she had met her new fella and although I hadn’t met him, I liked the sound of him. But it was a bolt out of the blue when I found out she was ex­pect­ing.

‘As soon as I found out, I wanted more than ever to get in touch and meet up so I could see how she was with my own eyes and let her know I’m here for her.

‘In des­per­a­tion, I even went to Lon­don to see her man­age­ment at her record la­bel XL Record­ings, to try to con­tact her. I poured my heart out to some numpty pub­li­cist and begged him to per­suade her to ring me. It was em­bar­rass­ing and hu­mil­i­at­ing re­veal­ing ev­ery­thing to a com­plete stranger. The guy said he’d pass my mes­sage on but I never heard back from him or Adele, I’m sorry to say. I don’t even know if that mes­sage got to her.

‘But she can’t be in any doubt that I want to see her, to find out what’s wrong and show her I want and need to play a part in her life other than Mr Rot­ten Dad. She’s ob­vi­ously taken against me and I feel pow­er­less to change her opin­ion. I think none of this would be hap­pen­ing if Dad was still alive. My dad and Adele were in­cred­i­bly close and he’d have got us all to­gether and united us again.’

De­spite the break­down of her re­la­tion­ship with her fa­ther, Adele is still in touch with Mark’s mother Rose Evans and half-brother Cameron, Mark’s son from a later re­la­tion­ship.

On his Twit­ter page Cameron, a stu­dent, ap­pears to sug­gest he met his nephew on a trip to Lon­don ear­lier this month, writ­ing: ‘Nephew is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.’, adding: ‘Not be­ing able to share pho­tos of the baby and sis­ter on Twit­ter is so ******* an­noy­ing. All of my cam­era phone pho­tos weren’t al­lowed.’

And while Mark, who grew up in Pe­narth on the South Wales coast, freely ad­mits he may ‘not have been the best fa­ther in the world’, he claims he did give Adele – whose full name is Adele Lau­rie Blue Ad­kins – her great­est gift, the unique voice that has helped her earn an es­ti­mated £20mil­lion.

‘My mother has a voice like an an­gel and still sings in the choir at our lo­cal church, All Saints. She used to take me ev­ery Sun­day. I prac­tised in the week and I was solo cho­ris­ter. I sounded like Aled Jones un­til my voice started break­ing, then they found some­one else and I moved on to jazz. I loved singing so much I planned to go to the Welsh School of Mu­sic and Drama af­ter school. The prob­lem was, I had zero con­fi­dence and I bot­tled it. Thank God Adele picked up where I left off and made some­thing of the fam­ily voice.

‘Adele was al­ways a very happy and con­fi­dent girl when she was young. I never knew her to suf­fer from nerves or stage fright.

‘From the age of four or five, she used to sing and dance for me and my fam­ily and play her lit­tle gui­tar she bought for £3 at a char­ity shop in Tot­ten­ham and she loved it. She was a nat­u­ral per­former. If nerves came in, it must have been much later.

‘When she was a baby I’d lie on the sofa all night cradling Adele in my arms and lis­ten­ing to my favourite mu­sic – Ella Fitzger­ald, Louis Arm­strong, Bob Dy­lan and Nina Si­mone. We’d lie there lis­ten­ing to all the great singers who were in­flu­enced by Blues. Night af­ter night and all week­end I’d play those records. I’m cer­tain that is what shaped Adele’s mu­sic to­day.

‘The mu­sic I loved is what gave me the idea for one of Adele’s mid­dle names, Blue, as in the Blues. I wanted it to be her first name, but Penny, who wanted to call her Adele, won that one. But I’ve al­ways loved the name – I’ve given it to one of my cats now – and I al­ways think of Adele as Blue.’

Ad­di­tional re­port­ing: Nick North

 ??  ?? FA­THER AND DAUGH­TER: Mark with a five-year-old Adele in 1993.
Right: Adele cra­dles her son An­gelo James
FA­THER AND DAUGH­TER: Mark with a five-year-old Adele in 1993. Right: Adele cra­dles her son An­gelo James
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 ??  ?? GOLDEN VOICE: Adele’s songs have earned her an es­ti­mated £20mil­lion
GOLDEN VOICE: Adele’s songs have earned her an es­ti­mated £20mil­lion
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