Prue Leith claims an affair with a married man helped her become so successful

The restaurateur and journalist says an affair gave her the time and space she needed to build her business up 

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Prue Leith has suggested having an affair with a married man contributed to her success. 

Leith, a cookery writer, restauranteur and broadcaster, spoke of her relationship with the South African writer Rayne Kruger, the man she later married, at the Henley Literary Festival on Tuesday. 

The 75-year-old embarked on a relationship with Kruger when she was 21-years-old. Kruger, who was 39 when they met, was married to Nan Munro, her mother’s best friend, according to The Daily Mail

Leith launched Leith's Good Food in 1960 before opening a Michelin starred restaurant in 1975. She also founded the Leith School of Food and Wine and co-founded the Prue Leith College in South Africa, as well as writing columns for the The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Mirror and appearing as a judge on the BBC's Great British Menu contest.

Leith said she was not proud of their relationship, which continued in secrecy for 13 years until Kruger divorced Munro, but claimed the lack of commitment gave her space and time to build the foundations of her business. 

“I wasn’t unloved and I wasn’t alone. I was just grateful that I didn’t have to go home and cook dinner every night, because he wasn’t there.

“So I had this in the background secretly, he was wonderful at helping me, but he was invisible. And he went home at night. So I could work every hour that God gave.”

Kruger and Leith were married for 38 years, until he passed away in 2002, aged 80. The pair had two children together.