Blog Divorce

Sex, lies and CCTV footage

February 5, 2013

I last wrote about Chris Huhne, the disgraced ex-Lib Dem politician and Cabinet minister, nearly a year ago. At the time, I said I felt besmirched by being dragged through the story (though obviously I could have put the newspaper down and dusted something instead. Of course, I didn’t. I’m human and it’s always a treat to read about a family more dysfunctional than my own).

Yesterday’s sudden confession from Huhne, that he had been lying about this incident for ten years (TEN YEARS!) does, at least, prove that the courts will no longer allow MPs to get away with everything short of murder. Huhne has spent a fortune, and an age, trying to get the case dismissed on various legal technicalities. I’m glad, for all our sakes, that it proved impossible.

But we are now brought back to the nub of the matter. The story that Huhne’s wife had taken his penalty points for him only came out during their highly toxic split. All right, her husband was leaving her after 27-odd years of marriage. And yes, he apparently told her he was off during half time while he watched football on TV. And, it’s said, he went right back to watching the match after saying he was choosing a younger woman over her. Obviously he richly deserved the usual treatment – having the pockets snipped out of his suits, his claret redistributed around the area and having jumbo prawns sewn into his new love-nest curtains. These are all, now, time-honoured means of revenge for a woman scorned. But reneging on a deal to take his penalty points, if that could possibly be what happened? A dangerous game, which has involved both of the players having a closer brush with jail than either would, surely, wish.

And now we all know the full extent of the family’s breakdown, thanks to text messages between father and son being released. I understand that these could have been kept out of the public domain, but they were not. I suppose most of us would say that Chris Huhne has got what he deserved. But his children? To send an expletive-filled text to your father on Christmas Day is surely to betray deep signs of damage. That is in neither parent’s interest. However tempting it is to get your children to take sides – and however clear it is to you that one side represents good, and the other evil – it does take two to make a bad marriage. No one can really say that they take no share of the blame when a relationship fails. Or no one rational.

This may seem like a victory for truth. But I’m afraid I see it as a defeat – for all members of the Huhne-Pryce family.

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  • janerowena February 5, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    I doubt if she thought it through properly. I think we – most of us – go a bit mad when our marriages break up. At one time I started to jot down some of the things that I and friends did during relationship breakups, and thought they would make an excellent book. Some of the revenges are hilarious. I’m afraid that those who manage to walk away in a dignified manner are in the minority. I never let my children take my side as the injured party, though. I think you are just storing up trouble for yourself later if you do.

    • Dulwich Divorcee February 11, 2013 at 10:41 am

      That would be a brilliant book, I’d love to read it! Would probably make me feel better about my own excesses during the throes of divorce, as well ….there was a good/bad one recently when someone let rip about their soon-to-be ex on the parents’ email system … red faces at the school gate after that! I agree with you, it always backfires if you try to manipulate the children.

  • Entertaining Izzy February 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I agree with you. That texts from his son were so heartbreaking to read; I’m not saying Huhne doesn’t deserve to be taken to court, but I did feel sympathy with him as he was clearly trying to communicate and make amends with his son.

    • Dulwich Divorcee February 11, 2013 at 10:44 am

      Yes, very hard for them both now to put all that behind them when the whole country knows how bitter the son felt at the time …. I hope they manage to rise above it at some point. Whatever Huhne’s failings as a husband he seems to have been trying hard to keep a relationship with his children …..