Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Lord ... and his many Ladies ...

The mystic Marquess and the minx who wants his millions: How Lord Northampton's fifth marriage came to an earth-shattering end

The Marquess of Northampton with Pamela Haworth

The first time the Marquess of Northampton suspected that his wife was having an affair with one of his closest friends was when she returned home from New York without her wedding ring.
It was May 2009 and 60-year-old Lady Pamela Northampton told her husband that the outgoing flight had caused her fingers to swell and so the offending band had been cut off.
This incident was followed by frequent trips abroad and the appearance of a Roland Cartier triple-coloured gold and diamond necklace, one of several pieces of precious jewellery bought for her by her secret lover.
But the final nail in the coffin of the couple's 20-year marriage — Lord Northampton's fifth — was undoubtedly the emergence of secretly-taped phone conversations between age-defying blonde Lady Pamela and her 87-year-old father, Jim Haworth.
The tapes, which friends say came to the Eton-educated peer as a 'bolt from the blue', are subject to a legal injunction and their contents cannot be revealed.
But what can be said without doubt is that they confirmed the Marquess's worst fears — that the Marchioness was having an affair with his friend, balding Romanian Dan Stoicescu, a multi-millionaire scientist and entrepreneur who made his fortune in the pharmaceutical industry. He was dramatically unveiled as Lady Pamela's lover in court last week.
The tapes are now at the centre of what looks set to become one of the most expensive divorces in English legal history.
The High Court hearing is scheduled for January and is set to cost more than £2 million in legal fees as the estranged couple battle over the cuckolded marquess's £120 m fortune.
Spencer Northampton — one of Britain's wealthiest aristocrats and affectionately known as 'Spenny' to his friends — has already offered Accrington-born, half-Italian Lady Pamela a £15 m settlement, including a £4 m home in Pimlico, West London.
Lady Pamela, a toolmaker's daughter who began life in a Lancashire council house, wants £10 m more.
'He has now come to terms with the fact that Pamela  seems to have fallen in love with someone else,' a close friend of the heartbroken marquess told the Mail this week.
'He realises that can happen in life. But what he finds really upsetting is that he feels she is trying to get more money from him than is fair and reasonable.
'As Lady Northampton, she had everything she ever wanted, never having to get a job, having no children of her own to look after and a husband who was always faithful to her.
'He was sure, after 20 years, that Pamela was the one.'
Certainly, with marriages to five beautiful women under his belt — more of whom later — the marquess, whose family has resided at Compton Wynyates in Warwickshire since the 12th century, could have been forgiven for hoping that his days of romantic high drama were a thing of the past.
Acrimonious: Lord Northampton and Lady Pamela Northampton, who split in 2010 after a 20-year marriage, are currently in the midst of a bitter divorce battle

He met Pamela Kyprios, as she was then named, in the late Eighties through their mutual interest in spiritualism after her second divorce from a wealthy Greek-American shipping financier.
She had been planning to open a holistic healing centre when the pair were introduced by friends. He later claimed that she turned up on his London doorstep demanding to talk to him about her project and never left.
They married in December 1990 at Stratford-Upon-Avon register office, with the marquess speaking movingly of his love for her.
'She is the centre of my life. I call her “stregissima” — great white witch,' he said at the time. 'She is a healer, very good at relaxing me.'
And tucked away in the romantic surroundings of Compton Wynyates for the past two decades, the couple seemed blissfully happy.
While much of Lord Northampton's time has been spent managing his family estates and charity work, Lady Pamela has assisted him with interior design as well as devoting herself to the Dogs Trust, of which she is a former president.
Then came the couple's ill-fated 2006 meeting with Dr Dan Stoicescu at a Freemasonry convention in Cyprus.

Affair: Lady Northampton's secret lover Dr Dan Stoicescu, a Romanian scientist and entrepreneur

At first it seemed that Lord Northampton, once dubbed 'the Mystic Marquess' for his preoccupation with spirituality, Freemasonry and alternative religions, had much in common with the fabulously rich Dr Stoicescu, 60, who describes himself as a 'transhumanist' with a deep-seated interest in immortality and anti-ageing therapies.
Described as 'charming' and 'self-effacing', the divorced scientist became only the second person ever to have his human genome mapped.
The procedure, which can reveal genetic diseases which could help you take action to delay their development, cost him £220,000.
He later forked out double that sum to pay for both the marquess and Lady Pamela to undergo the same process at a US clinic. In the weeks and months that followed their first meeting, divorced father-of-one Stoicescu became a firm family friend and a regular guest at Compton Wynyates. Stoicescu also lavished gifts upon Lady Pamela — in addition to the Cartier necklace, which came with matching earrings, he bought her a diamond-encrusted watch.
He has homes in Switzerland, Cyprus, Finland, the US and Australia, and was equally generous to her relatives. Her father Jim was presented with a £1,300 bottle of wine from Harrods and a Rolex watch, and taken to dinner at Claridge's.
Stoicescu's huge fortune was first built on a business selling cancer-care products, and he even paid for private treatment for Jim when he had bowel cancer.
He also provided a private jet to fly Lady Pamela and her father from London to Zurich en route to San Diego, where they spent Christmas 2010. 'Looking back, Dan seemed to infiltrate every aspect of their lives,' says the marquess's close friend.
'He even invested a six-figure sum in one of Spenny's businesses, almost as a way of proving his friendship. At first Spenny took it at face value, but after a while he decided to cool the friendship.'
But by 2009, Lady Northampton had begun working for Stoicescu, telling her husband that she had been made president of one of his biopharmaceutical companies, Asterion.
This new role meant frequent trips to the US and lengthy absences from Compton Wynyates, where Spenny was left alone and increasingly suspicious about his wife's behaviour.
'He began to realise that Stoicescu wasn't all that he seemed in late 2008,' says the marquess's friend. 'He came to Spenny's birthday party in Tenerife in 2009 and Spenny was concerned then at how close Stoicescu was becoming to Pamela.'
Undoubtedly, as his marriage collapsed around him, Lord Northampton's thoughts must have turned to Lady Pamela's colourful past.
It is fair to say that her rise to the upper echelons of British society has been nothing short of meteoric.
When the Marchioness was born in 1951, her parents — Jim, then a toolmaker, and Martina, an Italian dressmaker — were living in a council house in Accrington, Lancashire. The couple later ran a B&B called La Gondola in the Kent seaside resort of Margate.

Wealthy: Lord Northampton has an estimated £120 million fortune, owns two stately homes and is regarded as one of Britain's richest aristocrats

Warring: The Marquess, born Spencer Compton, has accused his wife of having an affair with a close friend

Much of Pamela's childhood was spent in what was then Rhodesia where her father worked for a while in a gold mine in Bulawayo. Pamela and her younger brothers Nigel and Neil attended boarding school and she later worked briefly for Sri Lankan Airlines.
Then, aged 18, she married wealthy Scottish businessman Gerard Macklin, flying to London just before the ceremony so she could buy a wedding dress from Harrods.
Her second marriage in December 1983, to Greek-American shipping financier Emanuel Kyprios, took place in the lavish St Sophia's Greek Orthodox Cathedral in London's Bayswater.
They set up home in a luxury £2 million flat close to the Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington — a property that Pamela was allowed to keep when she ended her marriage in the late Eighties.
Despite Lord Northampton's vast wealth, their 1990 registry office wedding was, by all accounts, a rather more modest affair.
But her new lover's wealth puts even that of the marquess into the shade.
'Dan has charmed her entire family, her father, her mother, her brothers,' says a source close to Lady Pamela's family. 'He is fabulously rich, even richer than Lord Northampton and his money has turned all their heads because Dan is looking after them.'
In another bizarre twist, it emerged in court that the damning 'Northamptongate' tapes which exposed Lady Pamela's affair were made by Suzanne Shipwright, a 62-year-old former beautician who has lived with Pamela's father Jim for the past 27 years, since his divorce from her mother, Martina.
Her motive for making the tapes is said to be her own troubled relationship with Lady Pamela.
'She has always blamed Suzanne for the end of her parents' marriage even though they were already divorced when she met Jim,' says the source.

Costly divorce: Lord Northampton apparently fears he will have to sell a £6 million portrait of Queen Mary I, painted in 1554 in order to reach a settlement with his estranged wife

In fact, at the time they met, he had been briefly married to a Lebanese woman.'
Ms Shipwright, who used to run Suzanne's Hair and Beauty Salon in Staines, Middlesex, is said to have been 'shocked' at what she heard during the conversations.
Pamela's father, Mr Haworth, who is hard of hearing, spoke with the speaker-phone turned on at full volume, enabling Ms Shipwright to record both sides of the conversation from the modest pebble-dashed bungalow in Addlestone, Surrey, which she still shares with him.
She then passed the tapes to Lord Northampton, who threw his wife out of the 84-room family home just days before their 20th wedding anniversary in 2010.
The marquess's friend added: 'She swiftly returned with removal vans to take her things and took the opportunity to get the artworks hanging on the walls photographed for her solicitors.'
Among them is a £6 million 1554 portrait of Queen Mary I, which Lord Northampton fears he will have to sell if his estranged wife's demands for more money are backed by the High Court.
Ironically, the family motto of five-times-wed Lord Northampton is 'I seek but one', and his union with Lady Pamela has turned out to be the most acrimonious of all five of his doomed marriages.
He first sauntered up the aisle aged 21 in 1967 with Henriette Bentinck, the daughter of Baron Adolph Bentinck, the Dutch ambassador to Paris.
The ceremony, at St Margaret's in Westminster, was one of the society weddings of the year with the bride wearing a Dior dress and Princess Alice, the Queen's aunt, among the guests. The couple had two children, Daniel, now Earl Compton and heir to the family estates, and Lady Lara.
But the marriage broke down after six years after Henriette's affair with a London businessman.
She married twice more and ran an equestrian estate near Seville in Spain until her death in 2010.
The marquess's second wife was 24-year-old Annette Smallwood, the daughter of a retired oil company director from Sussex. The couple met in 1972 while Annette was a secretary at KIDS, a charity for deprived children set up by Lord Northampton, and married at Chelsea Register Office in 1974.

Happier times: The couple kiss for the cameras during a photo-shoot in 1999

She divorced the marquess in 1974 on the grounds of his adultery with Rosie Dawson-Damer, a close friend of Princess Michael of Kent.
Rosie became wife number three in July 1977, with the marquess telling one newspaper: 'Third time lucky!'. They had a daughter, Lady Emily, but divorced in 1983 when she was just two, on the grounds of Lord Northampton's adultery with an unnamed woman.
The marquess's burgeoning interest in spiritualism and what he described as 'psychic and esoteric philosophies' led him to wife number four — married German former topless model Fritzi Erhardt, or 'Lady Fourthampton' as she became known.
She left her then-husband, Viscount Cowdray, and married Spenny in 1985. Their daughter Lady Louisa was born the same year, but the marriage was over by 1988 and Fritzi moved to Ibiza, where she still lives.
Despite the financial burden placed on him by four divorce settlements, Lord Northampton has proved to be adept at keeping together his vast inheritance.
He owns 18,500 acres of land in Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Surrey and London.
For the past few years, he has opened the doors of another of his homes, Castle Ashby, for wedding parties and conferences.
As well as being in possession of one of the most valuable collections of artworks in private hands, he is also the owner of the controversial Sevso Treasure, the world's most valuable collection of Roman silver which cannot be sold because of arguments over its provenance.
According to his friend, the marquess feels his £15m offer to Lady Pamela is more than generous. 'It's worth £750,000 for each year of marriage, tax-free,' says the friend.
'He is devastated at how she has behaved. They had been married a few weeks short of their 20th wedding anniversary when this blew up and he had thought she was his life-long partner.' Lady Pamela, meanwhile, is dividing her time between her husband's £4 million flat in Pimlico and Stoicescu's various properties.
She is a frequent visitor to his San Diego ranch, which is in a road called Lady's Secret Court.
Her mother is also staying at the property, which is next to a home owned by Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates.
Despite her lover's fabulous wealth, Lady Pamela is showing no signs of giving up her fight for a bigger portion of her husband's inheritance.
Yesterday, her solicitors Finers Stephens Innocent did not respond to calls. Dr Stoicescu has also declined to comment on the affair.
But, privately, Lady Pamela has complained to friends that she is being treated like a 'common criminal' and says her lover's riches are irrelevant because she has no plans to marry and values her independence.
As for Lord Northampton, friends point out that he is in extraordinarily good shape for his age — 6ft 4in tall with not a grey hair in sight.
'He isn't frightened of being alone, but it's certainly not what he would have chosen at 66,' says the source.

But once the end of his tumultuous marriage to his 'great white witch' is finalised, he might be advised to embrace life as a bachelor for the forseeable future.

The Lord, the Lady, her lover and the £17m divorce
Lord Northampton has agreed to pay his wife £17 million after their 20-year marriage ended in divorce, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.

It was by far the longest lasting of his five marriages. And now easily the most expensive of his five divorces.
After an acrimonious, two-year legal battle, the 7th Marquess of Northampton has called a truce with his soon-to-be ex-wife. The divorce – prompted by Lady (Pamela) Northampton’s affair with a Romanian multi-millionaire – will cost him in the region of £17 million.
Lady Northampton, 61, will receive a £4 million apartment in Pimlico in central London as well as cash and possessions worth about £13 million.
But the vast majority of Lord Northampton’s fortune – put conservatively at £120 million and including two stately homes, tracts of land, valuable paintings and furniture and even a controversial Roman treasure hoard – will remain intact.
The decision to settle will spare the couple the £2 million cost of a two-week divorce trial, which was due to start in the High Court tomorrow . Both are now bound by confidentiality clauses that prevent them speaking about the failure of their 20-year marriage.
Lord Northampton’s solicitor, Simon Bruce of Farrer and Co, said yesterday: “We are pleased to confirm that the case has now been settled without the need for further court proceedings.
"Under the terms of the parties’ agreements there will be no further comment.”
A spokesman for Lady Northampton said: “She does not wish to make any comment at this time.”
The divorce had been a messy one. At a pretrial hearing in the summer, Lady Northampton’s lover was named as Dr Dan Stoicescu, who is said to be even wealthier than her husband.
The couple also became embroiled in a separate privacy action, now ended, over secret recordings of Lady Northampton’s phone conversations, discussing her private life with her 87-year-old father.
Bizarrely, the recordings were made by her stepmother, a hairdresser from Staines in Middlesex, and passed on to Lord Northampton.
Their contents prompted Lord Northampton, 66, to throw his wife out of their 84-room country estate at Compton Wynyates, Warwickshire.
Lady Northampton had demanded about £25 million and Lord Northampton had offered £15 million. It is reckoned, although unconfirmed, that she will in the end receive about £17 million – almost £1 million for every year of their marriage.
Lord Northampton, born Spencer Compton and known as “Spenny” to friends, is one of Britain’s most colourful aristocrats, once dubbed the “Mystic Marquess” for his fascination with Freemasonry and spirituality.
He had already been wed four times in 23 years when he married Pamela Kyprios in 1990 at a register office in Stratford-upon-Avon, following her divorce from a wealthy Greek-American shipping financier.
While his family has aristocratic roots dating back 500 years, Lady Northampton, born Pamela Haworth, is from altogether more humble stock, having been born into a working-class family in Lancashire.
The pair were introduced by friends in the late 1980s and married shortly after. “She is the centre of my life,” Lord Northampton said at the time, “She is a healer, very good at relaxing me.” He has told friends that she was the love of his life and certainly none of his other marriages lasted anywhere near as long.
Lord Northampton became friends with Dr Stoicescu in about 2006 after they met at a Freemasons’ gathering.
Dr Stoicescu, who lives beside Lake Geneva in Switzerland and made his money through a pharmaceutical business, describes himself as a “transhumanist”, convinced life can be “extended through nanotechnology and artificial intelligence”.
He became only the second person to have his genome mapped, at a cost of £220,000, and later paid for Lord and Lady Northampton to go through the process. He also gave Lord Northampton expensive gifts before embarking on an affair with his wife in about 2009.
The taped phone calls, made over three months in 2010, confirmed Lord Northampton’s worst suspicions.
A friend of his said: “Spenny feels betrayed by Dan Stoicescu, whom he once regarded as one of his closest friends.
"At a time when he thought his marriage was solid, he and Pamela holidayed with Stoicescu and he showered them with expensive gifts.
"Stoicescu even gave Pamela a job with one of his organisations, which meant they travelled the world together.
“Although it looks obvious now what was developing, Stoicescu’s role in the end of his marriage was a complete and utter shock.”
A friend of Lady Northampton defended her.
“Spenny has had a chequered past and Pamela has had to put up with a great deal. It’s fair to say that … the marriage was already faltering a considerable time before the relationship began with Dan.
“Since Spenny decided to divorce her, she feels she has been treated like a common criminal – thrown out of Compton Wynyates and never allowed back. She resents the claim she is being portrayed as a gold-digger.
"After a 23-year relationship and after the contributions Pamela has made to Spenny’s properties, business and life, she is entitled to a good settlement.”
Lord Northampton married four times between 1967 and 1988, selling a painting by Andreas Mantegna for a then world-record £8.1 million in 1985, two years after divorce number three.
English divorce law largely protects inherited wealth and two stately homes, Compton Wynyates and Castle Ashby, will remain in the family and be passed on to his heir.
Other assets include the Sevso Treasure, which consists of 14 large decorated silver vessels and platers, which cannot be sold because of a long-running dispute over their provenance.
A painting of Mary I, painted in 1554 and worth about £6 million, may have to be auctioned to help pay for the divorce.

'Mystic Marquess' marries yoga teacher with 'keen interest' in sex addiction
The Marquess of Northampton has quietly married for a sixth time, just months after his £17million divorce was settled.

He has been married five times before, and his last divorce cost him around £17 million, but the Marquess of Northampton refuses to abandon his quest for enduring love.
Mandrake hears that the “Mystic Marquess”, as he is known because of his fascination with Freemasonry and ancient mysticism, has quietly married for a sixth time.
The new Marchioness of Northampton is Tracy Goodman, a glamorous young psychotherapist and yoga teacher with a “keen interest in working with love and sex addiction related issues”.
Tracy, who works at the Recovery Centre in Knightsbridge, is currently on honeymoon with “Spenny”, as Lord Northampton, 67, is known to his chums, after their wedding in London. “She is delighted,” says one of her friends.
The marquess, whose assets include Compton Wynyates, his family seat in Warwickshire, and Castle Ashby in Northamptonshire, agreed a settlement with his fifth wife, Pamela, in January, the day before their divorce trial was due to be held at the High Court.
Pamela left him for a Romanian businessman, Dr Dan Stoicescu, whose fortune is even larger than the peer’s estimated £120 million.
Lord Northampton, one of whose daughters is Lady Emily Compton, the socialite who courted the rock star Bryan Ferry, divorced his fourth wife, Fritzi Erhardt, the former wife of Viscount Cowdray, in 1988.
His third wife was Rosie Dawson-Damer, while his second was Annette Smallwood, his former secretary. He was first married to Henriette, daughter of the late Dutch ambassador to London, Baron Bentinck.

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