Estranged third husband of novelist Fay Weldon, 89, says he wants her back

1 month ago 6

The husband of best-selling author Fay Weldon said today the breakup of his marriage was 'sudden, bewildering and very sad'.

Nick Fox rejected claims by his 89-year-old wife that his controlling behaviour was to blame for the shock split saying: 'I want her back. I thought we had a good marriage. 

'We have known each other for 40 years and we always had a very good relationship,' he told MailOnline. 'It is just so sad.' 

Weldon stunned her friends and the literary world when she walked out on her 74-year-old husband after 26 years of marriage.  

In an email to friends she accused him of 'coercive control and financial mismanagement' while adding that she planned to divorce him. 

It follows a terrible year for the author who lost one of her four sons to cancer, suffered a stroke and broke a bone in her back.  

She left the rambling home she shared with Fox in a picturesque village in north Dorset several months ago to live with her son Nic, who said the death of son Tom had sent her into a 'grief spiral'. 

The husband of best-selling author Fay Weldon said today the breakup of his marriage was 'sudden, bewildering and very sad'. Nick Fox rejected claims by his 89-year-old wife that his controlling behaviour was to blame saying: 'I want her back. I thought we had a good marriage'

Fay Weldon, one of Britain's leading authors, has walked out on her third husband, Nick Fox, at the age of 89 (the couple pictured together)

Admitting he has not spoken to his wife for months Fox said: 'I feel I have been hung out to dry.

'Marriages do break up but not when someone is 89 years old. I know Fay has not written a book for 18 months and it is as if fiction is being turned into real life.'

He said he wondered if her recent health problems had played a part in her decision.

'She is 89 and not in the best of health. I am not a doctor but what has happened is completely out of character for someone I have known for 40 years.'

Asked if he was controlling in the marriage, he said:' That is something I do not recognise.

'I have only ever done what she has asked me. If she wanted me to do the housework or secretarial work and stuff to do with the business. It is all very baffling and awful really.'

'Fay proposed to me, and wanted to be with me. I did what she wanted me to do, otherwise I would have done something else with the last 30 years of my life.'

Speaking at his Northamptonshire home, Weldon's eldest son Nic said the death of his brother Tom in April last year had hit the author hard.

He said: ‘It all happened very quickly. He had cancer of the oesophagus. He was only 48 and he died within about three weeks of the diagnosis.

‘Mum has had a horrible time since then and that started it off really. Losing a child sent her into a bit of a grief spiral.

It follows a terrible year for the author who lost one of her four sons to cancer, suffered a stroke and broke a bone in her back

Admitting he has not spoken to his wife for months Fox said: 'I feel I have been hung out to dry. 'Marriages do break up but not when someone is 89 years old. I know Fay has not written a book for 18 months and it is as if fiction is being turned into real life'

‘Tom was very reconciled to it. We had a lovely family get together when he knew that he only had about a week to live. We were all trying to stay positive and saying things like, “When you get some chemo it’ll be alright” and he was saying, ‘No, I really am f***ed. I’m riddled’.

‘I think it was less than a month after he was told he had it that he died. He had gone in with those digestive issues that so many people have.

‘For Mum it was awful to lose a son at her age. She was a bit weakened anyway but to have a son die was terrible for her.’  

Fox is Weldon's third husband. She was 60 and Fox 45 when the wed in 1994 with the 15 year age gap shocking many of her friends.

He was a poet and bookseller but became her manager and they moved into his late mother's home a short distance from the centre of Shaftesbury.

Fox became responsible for managing her money, arranging transport and publicity. The author of books such as 'The Life and Loves of A She Devil, admitted she and her husband had 'terrible rows'.

In her email sent to close friends and family, the novelist said: 'I have been out of touch for a long time, for which, my apologies. I have been hospitalised for much of the last year, first with a broken bone in my back and then with a stroke, therefore my silence.

'I am mostly recovered, encouraged by the thought of Andrew Marr, who had a stroke and is now back to normal. He has the advantage, of course, of comparative youthfulness. 

Weldon's eldest son Nic (centre) said the death of his brother Tom in April last year had hit the author hard. He said: ‘It all happened very quickly. Mum has had a horrible time since then and that started it off really. Losing a child sent her into a bit of a grief spiral'

Fay pictured with her husband Ron Weldon who died in May 1984. They had three sons together

'In the meanwhile, I have left my husband and am divorcing him, complaining of coercive control and financial mismanagement.

'Considering everyone's troubles this year, my own are mere hiccoughs. I am now safely with my family.'

Weldon became a single mother when she was only 23.

It was after the birth of her first son Nic, by Colyn Davies, that she was forced through want of alternative to marry Ronald Bateman, a divorced schoolteacher from Acton 20 years her senior, in 1957. It lasted two years. 

At 29, she met antiques dealer Ron Weldon. They had three sons and remained married for 30 years until a painful break-up.

He left her for his 'astrological therapist' in 1992 but, eight hours before their divorce was finalised, he died of a heart attack.

Weldon once said 'my only ambition was always to be married'.

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