The sex text that taught Anthea what it feels like when a pushy blonde steals your husband
22:55 GMT, 3 August 2012
'The other woman': Zoe de Mallet Morgan appears to be filling the mistress role filled by Anthea Turner when her and Grant Bovey first met
Zoe de Mallet Morgan has been holed up behind the red-brick walls of her parents’ house near Godalming, Surrey, since she was identified as the ‘other woman’ at the centre of Anthea Turner’s marriage crisis.
In the days after it was revealed that Grant Bovey had left his marital home when Anthea learned of his alleged affair with Miss de Mallet Morgan, the 24-year-old interior designer did not venture out.
When she finally emerged on Thursday afternoon, to take her dog for a walk, the waiting photographers were surprised at her appearance.
Did she seem upset No. Contrite No. Nervous at the presence of waiting snappers Perhaps a bit.
In fact, Miss de Mallet Morgan, dressed in skin-tight black trousers, brown ‘country’ boots, a white shirt and Aviator sunglasses (very Duchess of Cambridge) was a study in poise and self-possession.
Would it be unfair to say she was enjoying the attention as she strolled with her black labrador down an idyllic country lane Probably not.
Asked how things stood with her and Bovey, she was silent, but her smug demeanour certainly suggested that in the battle for the 50-year-old’s affections, it is currently Miss de Mallet Morgan who has the upper hand.
Meanwhile, at her own home in Esher, Surrey, 52-year-old Anthea was enjoying no such serenity. Her family says she has been in state of anguish, which is worsening as the reality of the situation sinks in.
She is a strong character in many ways, but Bovey has always been her weakness, her Achilles heel. Twelve years after their wedding, the television presenter was as besotted as ever with him. She is truly devastated and her friends and family are deeply worried about her.
Paul Bovey, Grant’s brother, told me this week: ‘Anthea is distraught. It’s as simple as that. As a family we have offered our support, to come over, help her out, but she says she wants to try to carry on. Anthea is one of the family, we are worried about her. No one knows yet what’s going to happen, whether Anthea and Grant can move on from this.
‘We hope there may be a
reconciliation, but it is very early days and things aren’t ever going
to be the same between them. They are talking things through. But there
are a lot of bridges that need to be built. Anthea is at home and Grant
is staying at a hotel in London. I think his head is all over the place.
He is thinking about his life.
spoken to both of them. Grant didn’t really talk about this girl and I
didn’t want to know. I’ve read all I want to know in the papers.’
Happy couple: Anthea Turner and husband Grant Bovey in 2007, nine years after they met
The family are dismayed to see history repeating itself. Bovey, of course, was still married to Della, the mother of his three daughters, Lily, now 20, Amelia, 19, and Claudia, 15, when he began an affair with Anthea, who herself was wed to former DJ Peter Powell, in 1998.
‘We’re concerned about the girls,’ says Paul Bovey. ‘They went through it all 14 years ago and now it’s happening all over again.’
To compound her agony, this weekend Anthea and Bovey were due to go on holiday together, a fact which has presented Anthea with a dilemma over the past couple of days — should she stay at home and be utterly wretched, or should she fly off on holiday, alone, and be utterly wretched
Since learning last week of the relationship, Miss Turner’s coping strategy has been to carry on with her usual routine. So she has decided to press ahead with the trip — alone. But distance will not ease her pain.
For what else can possibly occupy her mind other than her marriage and whether her husband is going to meet Miss de Mallet Morgan while she is away
Of course, the irony is that, 14 years ago, Anthea was the ‘other’ woman.
Only this time around, she is the betrayed spouse and Zoe de Mallet Morgan appears to have filled the ‘mistress’ vacancy.
has been reported that Anthea found out after being told by a friend
that Bovey had been seen kissing the much younger woman at a London
friend, however, says that Anthea became suspicious a few weeks ago,
after failing to reach her husband on a number of occasions, and went
through his phone records.
Plush: The couple's 5 million Surrey home, with Anthea has asked her husband of 12 years to leave
The couple managed to keep hold of their luxury home, despite Grant being declared bankrupt last year
On the mobile was an incriminating text. ‘It was explicit, there was no room for doubt,’ says the friend. ‘Anthea was shell-shocked.’
When she confronted her husband, he admitted that Zoe was a friend but denied an affair. Surprisingly, when Anthea asked him to leave, he did not beg to be allowed to stay, as she might have expected. Instead, he agreed some ‘distance’ between them was a good idea.
Then he walked out of the door, leaving his wife so shocked that she was virtually shaking.
But worse was to come. In the beginning, Anthea was able to persuade herself that this friendship had begun only recently.
So, when she later read newspaper reports revealing that rumours about the pair have been circulating for two years, she was, says the friend, ‘completely floored’.
On her mind: Friends of Miss Turner say she has been desperately trying to work out how her husband could have met Miss de Mallet Morgan
When those rumours first surfaced in 2010, Bovey and Anthea were living at Barbins Grange, a stately pile in Dunsfold, near Godalming, Surrey, set in 57 acres.
On the surface, they were super-rich — in 2003, Bovey had set up Imagine Homes, which at one point was Britain’s largest buy-to-let firm and estimated to be worth 100 million. As the recession bit, however, Imagine Homes foundered and, in 2009, went into administration.
In March 2010, Bovey was declared bankrupt and Barbins Grange was put up for sale for 11 million. In an interview around this time, Anthea said: ‘It’s a massive stress and it put a strain on our relationship.’
It was during this testing time that Bovey is believed to have met Miss de Mallet Morgan, who lived with her family in an attractive detached house in the hamlet of Busbridge, a couple of miles outside Godalming.
The de Mallet Morgans are a long-established, upper middle-class family and Zoe is a direct descendant of the 6th Viscount Galway.
Her father, Tommy, 64, works at the top end of the property business and runs his own companies, De Mallet Morgan and Waymaker.
Her 58-year-old mother Christina, who uses her middle name, Louise, is a health consultant from an eminent family. She was born in India and featured on the cover of Country Life magazine when her engagement to Tommy de Mallet Morgan was announced.
Miss de Mallet Morgan has two brothers — Frederick, 29, who is Waymaker’s company secretary, and Edward, 31, who works for the upmarket estate agent Knight Frank International. Miss de Mallet Morgan is employed by the interior design company Roozels.
H ow Bovey met Miss de Mallet Morgan is one of many questions that has been exercising Anthea this week.
Was it through his property business Or was there some sort of connection through Grant’s daughter, Amelia, who shares friends with Miss de Mallet Morgan on Facebook Or perhaps they simply encountered each other in a bar
Happier times: The pair married in 2000 after meeting two years earlier, when Grant left his wife for Anthea
What is known is that two months
after Bovey went bankrupt, Anthea began filming a new TV show, Dinner
Party Wars, in Canada, to keep them on their feet financially and began
spending weeks away from home. Was this when Bovey and Miss de Mallet
Morgan began seeing each other
Anthea is torturing herself with all these unanswered questions.
what has Bovey told his wife about his friendship with Zoe ‘When they
speak, Anthea asks Grant all these questions, but he just skirts
around them and tells her not to torture herself,’ says the friend.
‘He refuses to discuss the nature of his relationship with Zoe. Anthea feels her world has crashed around her.’
Since the news broke, there have been the inevitable mutterings of ‘what goes around, comes around’. But there is no question that Anthea paid a high price for ‘stealing’ Grant from Della Bovey, or that she has stood by him through hard times.
When she met Bovey in 1998, she was TV’s ‘golden girl’, the highly-paid star of Blue Peter and GMTV and was already married. Her affair with Grant severely dented her girl-next-door image.
She might — just — have recovered from it had it not been for the notorious ‘Flakegate’ incident at their 2000 wedding. Anthea and Bovey were paid 450,000 by OK! Magazine for rights to the wedding and, on the day, agreed to pose biting into a new chocolate bar called Snowflake.
They claimed later that the chocolate
bars were thrust into their hands and they had no idea what was going
on, but the damage was done.
Irony: Anthea was famously still with her husband when she met Bovey, while he was still married to the mother of his three daughters
They were ridiculed for years, and perceived by many as opportunists who would do anything for money. Anthea’s career suffered and the high-profile jobs dried up.
Later on, her BBC TV series, Perfect Housewife, in which she gave people advice on how to create the perfect home, did quite well, but she has never managed to recover her ‘golden girl’ status.
Another blow came after they married and Anthea endured many cycles of IVF in a bid to conceive but, sadly, it was not to be. Her failure to have a child has been a great and enduring sadness for her.
Now, her husband’s alleged dalliance with a much younger woman has sunk her into despair.
‘It has come as a bolt out of the blue,’ says another close friend. ‘Anthea thought her marriage was happy, that they were both happy. She had no suspicions whatsoever.
‘The betrayal is all the more acute as she has been so loyal to Grant throughout his troubles and she took the work in Canada to bring money in and get them back on their feet.’
And what of Della, the woman who, 14 years ago, went through what Anthea is now suffering
Well, it transpires she is going through a marital adventure of her own. Last year, she split from second husband, property developer James Williams, after falling for a builder, called Steve Logan.
He moved into her 800,000 house in Pulborough, West Sussex, but the house recently went up for sale as divorce proceedings got underway.
This week, there has been no sign of Della at the property. She is yet to pronounce on what has happened between Anthea and Bovey.
This weekend, Anthea will go on holiday to try to clear her head of the confusion that has beset her.
In a sense, it is quite simple. Bovey must make his choice, Anthea or Zoe — and, if he chooses Anthea, she must then decide whether she wants to take him back.
But for now, however, Bovey’s indecision appears to be final.