Woman who believed husband to be a secret agent discovers he has 13 children and three wives
If you deem yourself to be unlucky in love, rest assured that you don't have it as bad as a certain Mary Turner Thomson, who discovered that her husband had been lying to her for years - but in the most unconventional of ways.
Mary met William online back in 2000, when she was a single mother to a nine-month-old. And it was a match - aside from the fact that he was forced to spend long periods away from home due to his job as a CIA agent.
"He was very charming, and we sent emails back and forth before meeting up about two weeks later," Mary asserted.
Her partner had informed her that he was infertile, so she was shocked to find she was expecting just half a year into the relationship.
"After six months of being together I fell pregnant, which was a huge surprise because he told me he was infertile after having mumps as a child," she explained. "l thought he was going to think I’d had an affair because he was so utterly convinced he couldn’t have kids."
Unfortunately, William's sudden fertility wasn't the only surprise to come Mary's way. Soon enough, her husband went onto claim that their children were in danger of being kidnapped.
She ended up spending almost £200,000 ($250,000) to pay off "blackmailers" who were threatening to take 19-year-old Robyn - who is from a previous relationship - 16-year-old Eilidh and 13-year-old Zach.
"By this stage, I was four years in and completely under his control, so l sold everything I owned – my house. my car, my life insurance, everything," she stated. "It was a feeding frenzy and, once it started, there was just more and more and more. "I thought if we didn’t give them money, they would kill the kids. I was living in abject terror."
That wasn't all. In April of 2006, Mary received a phone call that blew her world apart.
The woman on the other end of the line informed Mary that she had been married to William for fourteen years, and that they had five children together.
"We met in a café and talked for about 12 hours," Mary said. "When she left at six in the morning, I sent him a text and dumped him. I thought that was appropriate. He tried for months to persuade me, but there was nothing he could say that would ever suck me back in again."
But Mary wasn't the only individual to fall under William's spell;
"Within six months I was contacted by a pregnant lady who had lost her home because he convinced her to come live with him. He changed his name and I didn’t hear anything for three years. Then I was contacted by a lady, who is quite like my American counterpart.
She carried on dating him after she found me, and I helped her set up hidden cameras in her home. We set up a police sting and he was arrested, and spent another three years in prison in America, from 2014 to 2017. We think he averages about six women at a time."