Wife of tycoon admits affair

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The wife of the millionaire Owen Oyston sobbed in court yesterday when she was questioned about a series of affairs her husband admits having with young women.

Vicki Oyston wept as she told Liverpool Crown Court, where Mr Oyston is on trial on rape charges: "I didn't know until the charges were put forward and I saw names of girlfriends.

"I didn't know. Nobody knows at the time. I suspected," she told Helen Grindrod QC, for the prosecution.

The case had to be adjourned to allow Mrs Oyston to recover after she became more distressed when Mrs Grindrod asked her about 22-year-old Lisa Rubotham, who told the court yesterday she became pregnant during a two- and-a-half year affair with the tycoon.

Mr Oyston has admitted a series of affairs with young womenduring the years following his remarriage to Mrs Oyston in 1988 after a divorce six years earlier.

Mrs Grindrod asked her if she knew Mrs Rubotham. Mrs Oyston replied: "No, I have seen her photograph."

Mr Oyston, the 62-year-old chairman of Blackpool Football Club, of Claughton Hall, near Lancaster, denies raping an 18-year-old model at his home in 1989 and raping and indecently assaulting a 16-year-old girl there two years later.

Mrs Oyston told the court that after their remarriage relations between them had been "terrible" because Mr Oyston suspected her of having an affair. She admitted someone else was involved. She said that in the weeks after the remarriage she believed her husband had arranged for a Manchester model agency boss, Peter Martin, to have her followed by a private detective.

She said the couple had visited a marriage counsellor because of the problems they were having. "We weren't communicating very well and I had become very depressed," Mrs Oyston said. The trial was adjourned until today, when counsel are due to make closing speeches. Jurors are expected to retire next week.