I knew I'd lost him to Jo Wood when he brought organic crackers home, says fiance of builder having affair with Rolling Stone's exBuilder's partner reveals he fell for Ronnie's ex while renovating her homeJo tells MoS: We're dating but I don't know if it's going to last
The ex-wife of Rolling Stone guitarist Ronnie Wood has been enjoying a passionate relationship with the builder she employed to carry out renovation work on her 3 million London townhouse.
Former model Jo Wood, 56, who has previously spoken of her delight that there were ‘hunky builders’ working on the property, began dating divorced father-of-four Paul Scarborough after a Christmas party in December.
He has spent several nights sleeping at the house, and was seen last week on the front steps in an affectionate embrace with Jo.
Dismay: Samantha Whittaker, left, has told of her devastation after her fiance, Paul Scarborough, began a relationship with Jo Wood, ex-wife of Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, after working on her London home
But the news has been met with dismay by his devastated fiancee.
A spokesman for Jo has insisted she did not know that Mr Scarborough already had a girlfriend.
But Samantha Whittaker says his affair with Jo has ended her 22-year relationship with the man she describes as the love of her life.
Miss Whittaker has watched as Mr Scarborough was gradually seduced by the high life.
Glamorous Jo spent 23 years married to one of the world’s most famous rock stars and bought the mansion in the celebrity enclave of Primrose Hill with the proceeds from her 6.5 million divorce last summer.
In stark contrast, Mr Scarborough, 48, from Bromley, South-East London, runs his own building company with his son, rides a Honda motorbike and enjoys nights in front of the television watching American dramas Boardwalk Empire and Spartacus.
But after he began working at the Primrose Hill property in July 2011, Miss Whittaker says he began jogging, bought new clothes and cut out bread from his diet in order to make an impression on Jo. He even started buying organic crackers.
It was only after he failed to return home after attending the Christmas party Jo held for her organic beauty range that he confessed to their affair.
Recently he has been using Miss Whittaker as a shoulder to cry on, having grown tired of Jo’s habit of name-dropping and insistence on attending London Fashion Week.
Split: Mr Scarborough with Miss Whittaker last year. The pair had been together for 22 years and engaged for the past 2 years
Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, Miss Whittaker said: ‘That life isn’t us. We’re ordinary people – we’re not rock stars. If you don’t like name-droppers don’t go out with a rock star’s ex-wife. He’s tried it with Jo but he doesn’t like it.
‘What we had was a real love story throughout my grown-up life and I’m very sad that it’s over.’
Miss Whittaker, a mother of two, and Mr Scarborough had dated on and off for more than 20 years and when he proposed on Christmas Day 2010, she was happy to accept.
But the affair with Jo has brought the relationship to a sorry end.
Speaking of the time Mr Scarborough began work for Jo last July, Miss Whittaker said: ‘When he met her, he said, “She’s an old woman. Mad. Batty”. We laughed about it.’
But Jo obviously thought differently. She told a newspaper she was enjoying having ‘hunky builders’ around and confessed: ‘One day I just climbed up on the roof to hang out, I felt like I was having a Mary Poppins Chim Chim Cheree moment.’
Jo was having 20,000 chandeliers installed, a dressing room built and a polished concrete floor fitted in the designer kitchen. Wallpaper with a skull and crossbones pattern was hung, and a new balcony in wrought iron was put up.
‘An 8,000 bath got chipped when they installed it but she told them not to worry about it,’ said Miss Whittaker. ‘There was also a mirror she’d designed which got chipped. She seemed really laid back.
‘Everything was antique, gothic and black, the skirting boards and window frames.’
Flirty: A photo of Jo reclining in her new bath which she texted to Mr Scarborough
Jo frequently called or texted Mr Scarborough with further instructions and personal messages – sometimes late at night. Miss Whittaker discovered them by checking his phone. ‘They would say, “You’re so fabulous Paul x”. I thought, “You’re the builder. She’s not supposed to be talking to you like that”.’
Mr Scarborough began shopping for clothes in Camden Market, where the stalls cater to a younger, fashionable crowd. He began cutting out bread and jogging before work.
‘The biggest shock came when he started bringing organic crackers home. It rang alarm bells, because I knew Jo was into all that stuff,’ said Miss Whittaker.
However, the relationship began in the most cliched way – at the Christmas party for Jo’s organic beauty range, held at her son Jamie’s art gallery Whispers in Whitechapel. Mr Scarborough did not return home that night.
Miss Whittaker said: ‘I was so gutted. I texted Jo. I wrote, “I hope you don’t mind but I’m Paul’s girlfriend. I know you were with him last night but he didn’t come home and I’m worried”. He rang me back a couple of minutes later.’
Rough around the edges: Mr Scarborough pictured hard at work outside Jo's luxury home in the upmarket district of Primrose Hill
Mr Scarborough confessed to sleeping with Jo, but called it a ‘fling’. ‘He asked me to hang around to see what happened,’ said Miss Whittaker. ‘Because we’ve always had this easy relationship over the years that’s what he expected. But I’d reached this stage of my life where I didn’t want that any more. I wanted to be with him.’
Jo spent Christmas in Australia but sent Mr Scarborough regular affectionate text messages. When she returned during the last weekend in January, he disappeared off to see her – and Miss Whittaker packed his bag.
‘It was so painful,’ she said. ‘He was telling everyone she wanted him to move in permanently.’
Such was Miss Whittaker’s affection for Mr Scarborough that she allowed him to sleep at the house a couple of nights a week. But when they spoke it was so he could grumble. Miss Whittaker said: ‘They’d be watching telly and Ralph Fiennes would come on and Paul would say, “I like him”, and she’d say, “I’ve had lunch with him”.
‘When he said he was missing his friends, she said, “So am I. Keith and Patti [Stones guitarist Keith Richards and his wife]. And [rock guitarist] Slash is a good friend too”. He said that was what he had to put up with.
‘It was London Fashion Week and he said, “She’s gone to every single show. I’m not into all that”. He said she’d go to the opening of an email.
‘He said, “What am I going to do Spend a months’ wages on one meal” ’ Mr Scarborough told Miss Whittaker he had spent Valentine’s Day with Jo but later confessed: ‘I don’t think it’s going to last.’
Miss Whittaker said: ‘I don’t want them to split up. I don’t want him to have ruined everything we had for something stupid.’
Mr Scarborough confided that Jo’s children were wary of him being around. Jo has one son, Jamie, from her first marriage and two children, Leah, 32, and Tyrone, 27, from her relationship with Ronnie.
‘He told me Jo had been on the phone to one of her sons and he’d asked her who paid for dinner when they went out together,’ said Miss Whittaker.
Mr Scarborough was seen arriving at the property on Thursday on his motorbike. Shortly after 5pm, a team of builders left in a van. He appeared at the door 20 minutes later, and Jo draped her arms around his shoulders in a loose embrace as they said goodbye. When asked about the affair, Mr Scarborough said: ‘I have nothing to say about that, that’s nothing to do with me.’
Last night, Jo said: ‘S***. I didn’t really want this to come out. This is really going to b***** everything up. I don’t know if it’s going to last. I wanted to keep it all quite secret until I knew where it was going.
‘I was in my marriage for a long time so I don’t want to get really serious. It’s too early. I’ve only really been going out on a couple of dates with him, it’s nothing concrete.’
A representative for Jo added: ‘Jo didn’t know Paul had a girlfriend. He said it was over.
‘She’s just been having fun post-Ronnie. She’s been on dates with other guys and it was a bit of fun.
‘Paul’s finished work on the house and is no longer in contact with Jo. They’re not seeing each other any more. She’s focusing on doing up the house and her family.’