Drugs, lawsuits and prison: Kitty Spencer’s dramatic family life
Prince William and Harry’s first cousin Kitty Spencer sent tongues wagging last week when it was reported that the glamorous 29-year-old is engaged to multi-millionaire businessman Michael Lewis, who turns 61 this month — and is five years older than her father, the Earl of Spencer.
But it seems that unusual match doesn’t hold a candle to Kitty’s parents’ colorful pasts, which are replete with affairs, drugs, lawsuits and prison.
Kitty’s father Charles Spencer was Princess Diana‘s younger brother; the pair were close growing up, but were reportedly not speaking at the time of her death.
Spencer became engaged to model Victoria Atwood a scant six weeks after meeting her. They were married in 1989, with Prince Harry as a pageboy and businessman Darius Guppy serving as best man. Guppy was eventually jailed in 1993 for staging a faked jewel robbery and claiming 18 million pounds from insurers.
The marriage got off to a rocky start, when, just six months after Kitty’s birth, Victoria found out that her husband had an affair. The couple had twins Eliza and Amelia in 1992, and finally had a son, Louis, in 1994, ensuring that the family estate would remain in the family.
Sadly, Victoria was dealing with anorexia and drug dependency issues, having first tried heroin in New York as a young model. The family eventually decamped to South Africa to make a fresh start and escape the British tabloid press but split acrimoniously in 1997, with Victoria accusing her ex of sleeping with dozens of other women.
Victoria wed businessman Jonathan Aitken — who she met in rehab — and they had a son, Samuel, in 2005. That marriage ended badly, with Aitken being taken to court by Victoria’s new paramour, James Clinch, who accused Aitken of threatening to have him “shot in the head.” Aitken countersued and accused Clinch of breaking up his marriage.
Meanwhile, Charles had moved back to Britain and married Caroline Freud, with whom he had two more children. In 2006, when his sixth child was just four months old, he embarked on an affair with American journalist Coleen Sullivan, who had come to interview him for a documentary about Diana.
Charles and Caroline’s marriage imploded in 2007 and in 2011 Charles married for the third time, to Canadian philanthropist Karen Gordon, with whom he has one daughter.
Kitty admitted that her family is unconventional in an interview with Hello magazine in 2008.
“Sometimes I feel like my family should be on ‘The Jerry Springer Show.’ From the outside, the structure looks so dysfunctional,” she said. “However, every single member of my family is part of my happiness.”
Lewis — who has three children from a previous marriage — reportedly popped the question right before Christmas. The couple have been dating for more than a year.
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