Mistake #6 – Girlfriends

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“Girlfriends were not permitted. Samuel Alexander would have seen them as a distraction”.
Samuel “saw no room for girlfriends”. “Girlfriends were not welcome”.
Samuel “disapproved of Mark having a girlfriend”.
Samuel “barred him from having girlfriends”.

– Excerpts from the Daily Mail et al

These rather glib remarks were – like so many others – only heard in the prosecution’s opening speech.

Meeting the parents tends to be a pretty good indicator that you’re taking a relationship seriously, and like most people, this symbolic step was a routine thing for me. We’re all familiar with Robert De Niro’s iconic appearance in ‘Meet the Fockers’, and the apprehension with which we all tend to approach such moments. I wouldn’t say dad went quite as far as De Niro, but I could always rely on him for a sharp evaluation! One ex, for example:

… “actually went to the house and met Mr Samuel Alexander and said he was charming to her, took her to the local pub for a chat, left Mark at home, and went so far as to say that if she wanted to she could come and live with him and Mark in the house” – The Honourable Judge Reddihough in his summing-up

My most recent relationship started in November 2008. A month later, in a similar way, I’d invited her to our family home:

“She confirmed… it was in December 2008 when she had gone and stayed at the house, I think for one night, and had met Mark’s father, who at that time was very ill” – The Honourable Judge Reddihough in his summing-up

“Mark’s father was aware that Mark and I were boyfriend and girlfriend” – SN

In conversation with others “Samuel Alexander referred to her as Mark’s new girlfriend” – The Honourable Judge Reddihough in his summing-up

The following summer we flew to Corfu together. This was, remarkably, the first time I’d actually gone overseas without my school or family, and indeed my first experience of flying – so it was a fairly big deal. The idea that dad somehow expected me to live like a monk was just another fantasy peddled by the prosecution for the jury’s titillation.

“Last summer I saw Samuel, I knew Mark had a girlfriend. Sami said he had a new girlfriend. He said Mark had had a holiday with his girlfriend” – RJ

If dad had ‘refused’ to let me have a girlfriend then, by definition, I would never have had a girlfriend. Alternatively, if I’d somehow been maintaining secret relationships, then Sami would never have known about them, let alone have met the girls involved. The evidence that unfolded at trial clearly showed, contrary to the claims made in the prosecution’s opening speech, that my father not only knew about these relationships but was fully supportive.

Back to: 10 things the Daily Mail got wrong about the trial of Mark Alexander or move on to: Mistake #7

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