Anorak News | It All Comes Out In The Wash

It All Comes Out In The Wash

by | 30th, April 2006

‘“HE took me into the utility room and said, ‘It’s all over for me…and we’re finished.’”

Oaten washes whiter

Not an extract from Joanna Trollope’s latest Aga Saga, nor a scene from the Emmerdale soap opera, but an insight into the brutally real life of Belinda Oaten, wife of disgraced LibDem MP Mark Oaten.

To recap: earlier this year, when in the running to lead his party, it was discovered that Oaten had lived the seamier side of life in the company of rent boys.

Return now to that utility room in Bramdean, Hampshire, where Belinda has switched to “auto pilot”. Belinda puts on a brave face for the couple’s two daughters, but inside she is numb.

And then she reads all about her husband of 13 years in the press. “Only then did the enormity of it hit me and the pain began,” adds Belinda, “her sapphire blue eyes blazing”.

So what does Belinda do next? What does any middle class blonde woman from the Home Counties do when faced with the “ultimate betrayal”? That’s right – Belinda packs her bags, waves adieu to her utility room, grabs the nippers and heads off the Austrian ski slopes.

Three weeks later, she returns home. And into a new life. Belinda has “thrown herself headlong” into a fitness regime. She goes to the gym. She has taken up tennis.

And now fitter, meaner and with an improving backhand, Belinda is ready to serve up side of the story.

She recalls how it was a “normal Saturday morning” when Mark was exposed. She had opened the bedroom curtains and spotted two cars parked opposite the house. She had told Mark about it. Half an hour later Mark had gone out to investigate.

He was to return looking “very white”. “I’ve got something to tell you,” said Mark. Next minute he and Belinda were in the utility room; and the rest is so much male prostitutes, ruined political ambition and skiing.

But the Oatens are not estranged. They have just been on a family holiday to Disney World in Florida. A welcome break from the horrors of the utility room…’

Posted: 30th, April 2006 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink