I wanted to end the se­crets and lies

Hus­band who told how wife tricked him into be­liev­ing sons were his for 21 years t akes on his crit­ics to say...

The Mail on Sunday - - News - By Nick Craven

THE busi­ness­man tricked by his ex-wife into be­liev­ing he was the fa­ther of three sons for 21 years has de­fended him­self against crit­ics.

The Mail on Sun­day last week broke the ex­clu­sive story of how Richard Ma­son, 55, dis­cov­ered in 2016 that he could not be the boys’ fa­ther when he was di­ag­nosed with cys­tic fi­bro­sis, which leaves 98 per cent of male suf­fer­ers in­fer­tile. He sued his ex-wife Kate for pa­ter­nity fraud and won a £ 250,000 outof-court set­tle­ment in Novem­ber.

Af­ter our story was picked up by hun­dreds of news­pa­pers and other me­dia around the world, some com­men­ta­tors ac­cused Mr Ma­son of be­ing ‘nar­cis­sis­tic’ and ‘self­ish’ and hav­ing lit­tle re­gard for his sons.

Mr Ma­son has can­didly ad­mit­ted that his wounded pride over the de­cep­tion did ‘trump’ his con­cern for the boys when he de­cided to go pub­lic.

But the mil­lion­aire co-founder of Moneysu­permar­ket.com last night said he would not have taken le­gal ac­tion or gone pub­lic if the three had still been chil­dren but that, as they were adults, he hoped they would even­tu­ally un­der­stand.

Asked if the blow to his pride af­ter be­ing de­ceived had out­stripped his con­cern for the boys’ wel­fare, he con­fessed: ‘It may not be the an­swer you want to hear, but yes, I think it did.

‘How­ever, nei­ther launch­ing the case nor go­ing pub­lic were steps I took without a lot of thought. For a start, the boys are now adults and if they were chil­dren I wouldn’t have spo­ken to The Mail on Sun­day or any me­dia.

‘ I pur­posely didn’t name the boys in last week’s story and I made sure any pho­tos pub­lished were from at least ten years ago.

‘But I also wanted to be hon­est and end all the se­crets and lies. They’re very clever boys and be­cause of the way I brought them up to do the right thing, I hoped they – now grown men – would un­der­stand that I needed to take that de­ci­sion.’

Mr Ma­son in­sisted that he wanted to show the boys, Willem, 23, and 19-year-old twins, Joel and Ed­ward, a bet­ter ex­am­ple than his ex-wife Kate, 54, who had lied to them all their lives about the iden­tity of the fa­ther. ‘The boys have heard their mother lie over years and years, whether about the af­fair or their pa­ter­nity,’ he said.

‘I wanted to give them a bet­ter role model.’

He pointed out that it had been vi­tal that it was proven whether he was or was not the fa­ther be­cause of the na­ture of cys­tic fi­bro­sis, a con­di­tion which dra­mat­i­cally lim­its suf­fer­ers’ lives.

‘I have a ge­netic dis­ease and un­til two months ago my ex-wife was in­sist­ing the boys were bi­o­log­i­cally re­lated to me, which would have made them car­ri­ers, or pos­si­bly even suf­fer­ers of cys­tic fi­bro­sis,’ he said.

Mr Ma­son’s com­ments came af­ter Joel ac­cused his fa­ther of be­ing ‘ ma­nip­u­la­tive’. The 19- year- old stu­dent added that he did not share Mr Ma­son’s de­sire to know the iden­tity of his bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther.

In re­sponse, Mr Ma­son said: ‘Any par­ent of a teenager will know that you get a dif­fer­ent opin­ion from them, depend­ing if you ask in the morn­ing, af­ter­noon and evening.

‘Joel’s a cheeky scamp and I’ve sent him a mes­sage to tell him so. When the dust has set­tled, I feel con­fi­dent me and the boys will get our re­la­tion­ship back on track.’

Kate Ma­son de­clined to com­ment.

FIGHT­ING HIS COR­NER: Ma­son with then wife Kate and boys Ed­ward, Willem and Joel in 2004. Left: With his new wife Emma. Far left: Our re­port last week

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