'Bogus wife' reveals strange world of David Abrahams

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Indy Politics

The woman who acted as the "bogus wife" of millionaire property developer David Abrahams has revealed some of the details of his eccentric lifestyle.

Yesterday she said that the couple planned to marry in the week before his selection for the North Yorkshire constituency of Richmond in 1990, but said Mr Abrahams called it off the night before the wedding.

He was deselected after she revealed that she and her son had pretended to be the businessman's family.

Ms Anthea Bailey was a 37-year-old public relations consultant when she met Mr Abrahams in 1990 after answering an advertisement for a flat to rent in Newcastle.

Ms Bailey told the Mail on Sunday that Mr Abrahams revealed he had spent three days with his dead father propped up in bed, and that he had sent a sample of her handwriting to a graphologist. She said she was "stunned" when she first visited Mr Abrahams' home in Gosforth Park, Newcastle.

She told the newspaper: "I could see this was the home of an eccentric. There was a massive 7ft-statue of Elvis in pink. There was a huge painting of his mother playing a violin, and a lifesize photo of his father, Bennie, in full mayoral outfit."

She said "virtually every room had piles of newspapers even the bathroom. David [said] ...he would get around to reading them all."

She said sometimes bundles of cash up to 20,000 was left lying around.

Ms Bailey said Mr Abrahams proposed to her just two months after the couple met, and set the wedding date for August 1990, the week before Mr Abrahams was to speak to the committee selecting a candidate to fight the Richmond seat of former Conservative leader William Hague.

She told how she offered to sign a prenuptial agreement that offered her 500,000 if she remained with him for five years, but said he called the marriage off the night before the wedding, but persuaded her to move back in a week later.

She said he "sort of slipped into" describing her and her son as Mr Abrahams wife and child. "Abrahams had taken to calling David his son and even wanted to get his name changed by deed poll," she said.

"And because we had always planned to marry, David had taken to calling me his wife when we were in Richmond.

"It wouldn't have looked very clever if he had to suddenly announce that we weren't married and then ask people to vote for him."

She added: "David was introducing me as his wife of 10 years. We hadn't even known each other for 10 months."

The couple's relationship ended in May 1991. A spokesman said that Mr Abrahams did not wish to comment on the claims.