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WEEKEND, 7 February 1987

(Translated from the original Dutch)

After abuse and divorces now falling in love with a young lover

Wendy Richard of EastEnders:  I Have Finally Found My Prince

For a long time Wendy Richard of the popular series EastEnders thought she could never find happiness again.  After two divorces and a bad relationship the blond actress had given up any hope for the future.  But now Wendy Richard can laugh again and the future is looking rosy for her . . .

Wendy Richard, previously known from Are You Being Served? positively beamed.  Now she can't imagine how she was so deeply depressed a year ago.  For four years she had been in a relationship with a saleman.  And it was with horror that Wendy talks about her second husband, Will Thorpe.  She was constantly beaten and abused by him and she still does not understand why she stayed with him as long as she did.

"When he thumped me in the evening, he was troubled by it the next morning.  He always said he regretted doing it.  And that it would never happen again.  And I believed it again and again."

The last time that Wendy was beaten by her husband, the police were called, and then Will received a court order to stay away from her.  "I had already applied for a divorce, but that he had abused me was something I wanted to keep hidden from the outside world.  I didn't want to hurt his mother and I wanted to protect his children.  They didn't have to know that their father beats me."

Paul is the real thing

Now that bad time is behind her and Wendy feels like she is alive again.  "I am incredibly in love," says Wendy, as her blue eyes shine.  Her great love is Paul Glorney (36).  Since March of last year they have been living together.  "Paul is for me the real thing.  I have never been so happy," Wendy says, smiling.  "Paul gives me the feeling that I have become a completely different person.  He is the best thing that's ever happened to me."

Long before she had met Paul, Wendy had lost heart, after two divorces and a totally failed relationship.  "Howevermuch I didn't want to, I had already resigned myself that I would live the rest of my life alone..  But now I have Paul and that problem has been solved."  Paul Glorney, who is six years younger than Wendy, does not care about the age difference.  "The fact that he is younger than me is no problem for us,"  Wendy says.  "I just know that he loves me.  I have never had that with other men before."

A strict upbringing

Wendy Richard grew up in the London area.  She was raised very strictly by a nanny.  "Yet I loved my parents very much.  I never blamed them for my being more rigidly raised than other girls and boys my age. I was totally off the map, when my father committed suicide.  I was eleven years old, the age when you begin to discover the world."

 "I then had to continue on with my mother.  In many ways she is like Pauline from EastEnders.  She has always had her own business and that has been the salvation for us." 

Paul has three children from his previous marriage.  Sometimes they spend a long weekend with Paul and Wendy.  "They are three wonderful children.  Whenever they are with us, we always do nice things."

Doesn't she want children with Paul?  "I am too old now and I did not have time for it.  That's it," she says briefly.  But as soon as Paul enters the room, a big smile appears on Wendy's face.  "Someone once told me that you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.  I think that's true.  In any case, I have found mine."

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