There’s really nothing like meeting someone, falling in love, getting married, and starting a family. Most people dream of those milestone moments, and just hope to live happily ever after. But what happens if you wake up one day only to find out that your whole life has been one big lie? Although marriage is supposed to be about trust and love, Richard Mason found that this wasn’t the case for him. Not only was he a victim of adultery, but he also came to find out that his kids weren’t biologically his. Talk about a slap in the face!
Richard Mason is a 55-year-old businessman and millionaire from the United Kingdom. He’s also one of the co-founders — alongside Simon Nixon — of MoneySupermarket.com, a British price comparison website-based business that specializes in different financial services.
During that time, Richard was married to then-wife, Kate. They met while working at a branch of a bank in the ’80s. Together, they share three sons (or so Richard thought). Their oldest son, Will, is 23 years old. They also have twins, Ed and Joel, who are 19 years old.
“Cold and Joyless”
By the beginning of 2007, however, Richard and Kate’s marriage was pretty much on the rocks. The two decided to separate and were divorced by early 2008. In the financial settlement, Kate’s $5 million lump sum also included private school fees for all three boys.
Even with that, though, Kate “hounded me for years… and tried to make me pay more.” As far as Richard was concerned, their sons were the only good things to come out of a “cold and joyless” marriage.
One Big Lie
When Richard and Kate first split up, their boys were distraught. After all, Will was only 11 years old while the twins were just 7 years old. Richard was initially forced to pay his ex-wife over five million dollars.
However, it didn’t take too long for this arrangement to change. Richard was a devoted father to his three sons and really wasn’t given any reason to believe that they weren’t actually his. Unfortunately, though, this businessman would come to realize that his whole life was basically one big lie.
Fast-forward to 2016. At this point, Richard had already been divorced from his first wife, Kate, for 10 years when he discovered the truth about his life. One day, the millionaire businessman woke up and got ready for a doctor’s appointment — the appointment was meant to be a standard routinely check-up with his doctor.
Little did he know, though, that it wouldn’t be as standard as he expected it to be. In fact, disaster struck when the doctor revealed to Richard that he was suffering from cystic fibrosis.
Richard was “immediately saddened” to hear the diagnosis of the disease from which his sister passed away years earlier, and that his younger sister is currently ill with. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time.
During an interview with BBC News, Richard recalled his experience in the doctor’s office in which “he said to me, ‘You’ve got cystic fibrosis.’ I immediately thought, ‘Oh my god.’ My sister died from that at 29 and her death was very hard for me…”
“Being Hit With A Sledgehammer”
The sad news didn’t end there, though. “When the discussion then turned to fertility and he said, ‘Look, yourself and Emma – you know – you’re gonna have difficulty having children because you are, as a man with cystic fibrosis, infertile.’”
As soon as Richard heard what the doctor had to say in regards to his fertility, he realized that his children couldn’t actually be his. When he understood that, he immediately felt like he was “being hit with a sledgehammer.”
“Clutching at Straws There”
At that point, Richard didn’t really want to believe that this was the case so he responded to the doctor, “‘Well, you must have the diagnosis wrong because I’ve already got 3 boys.’ I actually felt pleased to be able to tell him this, because in my mind it proved his diagnosis was wrong.”
Richard knew, though, that he “sort of was, like, clutching at straws there… I thought, ‘Oh my god.’ You suddenly realize that your children aren’t yours.”
Things Suddenly Became Very Blurry
The businessman was essentially in shock, as he replayed his life over and over again in his head. As he recalled that disaster-stricken day, his voice cracked.
“I didn’t cry then, but I was shaking and the room was ringing, people were talking but I wasn’t taking it in.” About an hour after the diagnosis, once Richard had managed to compose himself and calm down, he decided to write a text to his ex-wife.
Still in a daze, Richard began writing out a text to Kate explaining the entire situation. “Hi, I went to the Liverpool Chest Hospital today… to finally receive my diagnosis that I have cystic fibrosis. In their experience, they have never had a male with CF who has fathered a child, let alone three.”
Completely distraught by the news, Richard continued his text by explaining that “it is 98% certain that I am not the father of any children.”
“Of Course The Boys Are Yours”
“I was hoping that you could relieve me of [the] further indignity [of more tests] by letting me know now if I am the father,” Richard continued. “I am happy to go along with your advice as to how best tell the boys. But, if you force me to go through these extra tests then I shall be telling them as I wish.”
Within minutes, Richard received a somewhat evasive response from Kate in which she said, “Of course the boys are yours, no matter what the science might suggest.”
Far From Convinced
Far from convinced, Richard decided to take matters in his own hands. He informed his eldest son, then aged 21, and a university student.
“I told him I’d just been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, which he took surprisingly calmly, and I said, ‘Yes, but one of the things that I’ve just been told is that it is extremely unlikely that someone with cystic fibrosis could father a child.’ He said, ‘I’m already ahead of you, Dad. You’re saying you’re probably not my father?’”
Heartbroken by that, Richard said that “it would have been the hardest sentence to utter, and he did it for me.” As the conversation with his son continued, Richard explained that he is “‘your dad, obviously, but I don’t think I conceived you.’ It was very emotional but I was also very angry.”
After all, not only had Richard been diagnosed with CF — a life-limiting condition that meant he was living on borrowed time — but he also “discovered I didn’t really have any children,” which is something that he believes defines who you are.
Two days after that initial conversation with his eldest son, Richard heard from Kate. She had finally decided to phone him after being confronted by her son. She admitted to her ex-husband that she had been seeing a man in an on-and-off affair during their 20-year marriage, although she refused to name him point-blank.
It turns out, though, that the affair went on for a few years during the ’90s. According to Kate, the mystery man happened to be a member of Barclays’ staff.
Barclays is a British multinational investment bank and financial services company. Since the headquarters are in London, it’s not a surprise that Kate met her lover in a London hotel occasionaly on overnight trips she attended as a union official.
During the phone call with Richard, Kate revealed that there were six to twelve occasions in which she slept with her paramour. Although these meetings covered the times that she became pregnant, Kate insisted on the fact that it “couldn’t be him,” because they used a condom each time.
Richard knew that he wasn’t going to get anywhere with Kate, as she was in complete denial. The businessman turned millionaire felt that he had no option but to seek advice from a paternity fraud expert, Roger Terrell.
After multiple medical tests, it was confirmed that Richard was incapable of having kids naturally, and DNA tests on the twins proved that they were not his biological sons. The oldest son refused to provide a DNA sample, however, because “as far as I’m concerned, he’s my dad and that’s that.”
“Ripple Effect of Kate’s Lies”
Once Richard received the results from the medical tests, and was aware of all this information, he decided to launch a legal case against Kate in December of 2016 at Birmingham County Court. As the case progressed, however, Richard’s oldest son had a message for his father.
“My eldest told me, ‘Dad, if you sue Mum, I will never speak to you again’ — and he hasn’t.” Naturally, this broke Richard’s heart and felt as though “the ripple effect of Kate’s lies has been massive.”
“You Will Always Be Dad”
Although Richard isn’t the kids’ biological father, he still considers himself their dad. While the court battle led to two of the boys refusing to speak to Richard, one of his twins texts Richard quite frequently.
In fact, the businessman was overcome with joy when he received a supportive message saying, “Dad, as I explained from the beginning you would never not be dad to me regardless of all this. Of course I’ll stay in touch, that will never change… I’m always here for you too and you will always be Dad. Love you x.”
They Settled Their Legal Battle
As a result of Kate’s lies, Richard eventually won his legal claim against his ex-wife and was awarded over $300,000 after finding out that she had been lying about the paternity of their now grown-up sons.
Kate agreed to settle matters with that hefty payment on the condition that the biological father remains anonymous. Richard believes that all the boys share the same father, and that Kate tricked him into raising the boys after she became pregnant seven years into their marriage.
Please Come Forward
Kate may not want to reveal the mystery man’s name, but Richard desperately wants to know who this mystery man is. He has his theories, and although Kate is in denial, Richard believes that it could be a former boyfriend who also worked at the bank.
In any event, Richard “would like the biological father to read this article and come forward,” he said. “Not least for the boys’ sake because they will want to know who their real father is, even if hopefully they will always think of me as their dad.”
“The Future Is Depressing To Me”
While Richard may have won the court battle against Kate, he actively struggles with how to actually characterize his relationship in regard to the boys. He may have been there to raise them, but “I’m not their father… The future is depressing to me,” he admitted.
“I expected the joy of graduations, 21st birthday celebrations, weddings, grandchildren, the hopes and fears of your offspring setting off to be adults and guiding and helping them along the way. That has been stolen from me in the most brutal way possible.”
Emma Has Kept Him Going
With all this being said, Richard is now happily re-married to Emma, who has helped him get through a really tumultuous time between Kate and his three sons. The millionaire businessman readily admits that only his love for Emma has kept him going — and helping her through her own battle with breast cancer.
The two reside together in Rhos, North Wales. Since his CF diagnosis, Richard’s lung capacity has deteriorated dramatically and will need to depend on an oxygen tank to breathe within the next 10 years.
“If I Could Wave A Magic Wand”
Looking ahead into the future, Richard only wishes for one thing. All he wants is to be in his sons’ lives again, and to be their “dad” once more. According to Richard, “I still see what the boys are doing on Facebook and it’s heart-wrenching because we saw the graduation of the eldest on there, but I wasn’t invited.”
The businessman continued, saying, “If I could wave a magic wand, I would want to be in all their lives.
“My Door’s Always Open”
As far as Kate is concerned, the 54-year-old is now single. She lives in a luxury seven-bedroom home in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. But really, who cares about her? During an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Richard made it clear to his boys that he hasn’t “done anything wrong… I love you and my door’s always open…”
“Let’s have a cry, let’s just hug, let’s just get back to where we were before.” It’s clear that Richard just wants his kids back. After all, they were his life for the last 20+ years. We’re rooting for you, Richard!