Sunday Mirror Sept 3 2000 - Page 4
Sunday Mirror


by Andy Buckwell and Rupert Hamer

A BEAUTIFUL travel writer who had a torrid affair with millionaire author Andrew Morton yesterday revealed the full story of their three-year relationship. Debbie Gaiger and her friends told how Morton, whose book Diana: Her True Story rocked the monarchy, repeatedly promised to leave his wife of 23 years.

But he never did. Instead the author – who this week won a courtroom showdown with David and Victoria Beckham over his new book – ended their romance and is battling to save his marriage.

The story of Morton and Debbie’s love affair is as sexy and secretive as anything he has chronicled in his career.

It is peppered with scenes like the exclusive pictures on this page, which show Morton playfully tying darkly-attractive Debbie, 42, to a balcony railing as he kisses and caresses her.

Other encounters include love-making captured on home video and passionate clinches in a swimming pool hidden behind the high walls of the millionaire’s home.

The settings were straight out of the exotic worlds portrayed in Morton’s best -selling books: Beverly Hills hotels, trendy West End restaurants, romantic drives into the Californian desert, jewellery from Tiffany’s.

Then there were the “cooling off” periods when they were apart both physically and emotionally as Debbie wondered if her love for a married man was futile. But they kept returning to each other.

And there was the deceit. The couple spent nights together at Morton’s pounds 1.5million family home in literary Highgate in North London while his wife and two young daughters were away.

They spent 10 days in Beverly Hills when he was “on business” in America, driving out into the Californian desert.

He also flew to meet her when she was working in New York.

Once she phoned him in a panic as he drove to Heathrow to collect his wife and children. She warned him she’d left her expensive sunglasses in his car and was worried his wife might find them.

The end, when it came, was classic in itself. A brief, business-like telephone call from him to Debbie last week after his affair was exposed. He told her they must end their romance.

He bizarrely added: “The Beckhams are behind this. I am going to have to lie low. It’s over.” Debbie was devastated, especially when he hinted that he had other lovers. “You were not the only one,” he told her.

But even as he ended the affair Morton, 46, who had also informed his lover: “I’m going to destroy Posh and Becks,” could not bring himself to tell the full truth.

He’d told his wife Lynne, 47, that the liaison had lasted weeks, not years.

Debbie, who often called her 6ft lover “Morty”, said last night: “I am absolutely distraught. Andrew said he would leave his wife and marry me.o

“But all I got was a couple of phone calls to say the affair was over and another in which he asked for the return of sexually explicit videos.”

Ironically, it was Morton who first revealed Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles – making a pounds 7million fortune in the process.

And he also detailed President Bill Clinton’s extra-marital fling with Monika Lewinsky in another book, My Story, which swelled his bank balance even more.

The amazing details of his own affair can be revealed for the first time after Debbie’s close friend Louise Marshall and other pals decided to speak out on her behalf.

TV production manager Louise, 38, said: “They met through work about three-and -a-half years ago. A mutual friend introduced them and they all had a meal in a North London restaurant. They obviously hit it off and slowly a deep and loving relationship evolved – it was clear that it was a two-way-relationship in which they both felt the same about each other.

“Almost as soon as they hit it off, Morton was telling her how much he loved her and that he was definitely going to leave his wife.

“He would always tell Debbie that he was just waiting for the right time and that soon they would move in together.

“They went out together to lots of nice restaurants around London and would stay in hotels or at her flat.

“On one occasion, I met them for drinks at Sir Terence Conran’s Mezzo restaurant in Soho. He was sipping designer bottled beer.

“They were clearly together and looked like any loving couple. They were very tactile with each other.”

The relationship flourished with the meetings growing more frequent. Morton would often call Debbie twice a day when he could not see her.

They were even together the weekend three years ago that Diana died. He had been on business in Edinburgh and instead of returning to his wife, he went to see Debbie.

“He even spent that night with her,” another friend said.

Louise added: “They would meet at least twice a week but if Morton’s wife was away, it would be more often.

“But after a while it became clear that Morton was not going to leave his wife.”

To the outside world, Morton was a happily-married man.

He has been with his childhood sweetheart Lynne since they met 30 years ago on a caravanning holiday. They have two daughters aged 13 and 11.

But Debbie told Louise – a friend of ten years who she met while working on a BBC documentary – that the image of Morton is far from the truth.

Louise said: “He made no attempt to hide the relationship and they would go out a lot in public. They would go to the cinema together and to hotels.

“Sometimes she would stay at his house when his wife was away and other times he would stay at her flat in Maida Vale.” But as time went on, Debbie feared that Morton would never leave his wife, despite all his promises.

She decided to end the relationship in the autumn of last year.

Louise said: “She had concluded that the affair was not going anywhere and told him so.

“He was a married man and she thought she was foolish to get involved.

“She had spent some time preparing for a new travel book on the southern American states and headed off.

“But almost as soon as she arrived, he began calling her and begging her to come back. At first she ignored the calls and concentrated on her work, but they became more frequent. Eventually he was bombarding her with calls and began to say that he would leave his wife and that they would be together.

“He said how much he missed her and longed to hold her again. He told her that he could not live without her.

“It was bound to have an effect and after so much persuasion, she began to have doubts that she was right to have left him.

“Finally, she decided that she would return to England to be with him.

“Morton had promised that he would discuss leaving his wife as soon as she returned.

“Debbie’s view was that if you love someone that much, then you have to put your trust in them. But she came back to discuss it and ‘Hey Presto’ – leaving his wife was right off the agenda again.”

In all, Debbie and Morton had been apart for more than four months but as soon as she returned she was sucked back into the affair.

It was difficult to resist his persuasive charms.

Louise said: “In December last year, he bought her a gold necklace and bracelet set, both studded with diamonds, that must have cost a fortune from Tiffany’s in London.

“I think it was because it was Christmas and he was about to spend all his time with his family on a cruise. Then in early January at the end of the cruise, Morton had some business in Los Angeles. When it was over, he flew Debbie out to see him.

“He paid for the flight and they stayed together for 10 days at the L’Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills.”

The hotel is a favourite with stars such as Robert De Niro and Whitney Houston, and rooms can cost more than pounds 2,000 a night.

But once again it became clear to Debbie that despite the lavish gifts, Morton was no nearer to ending his marriage.

And like a carbon copy of her trip to the US, she planned another few months abroad to write a travel book.

This time it was to the Caribbean – but the scenario was almost identical.

Louise said: “As soon as she left, she began to get the calls again urging her to come back.

“Again, believing that he could not possibly let her down a second time, she returned.

“She really thought he could not drag her back to England twice and let her down. But sure enough, he did.

“She was crushed but still she went out with him because she felt passionately about him. She was so in love.”

But in the closing months, Morton developed a taste for filming their sex sessions. Another friend said: “As the relationship went on, Morton got very adventurous.

“He would buy things such as PVC dresses for Debbie to wear and film the two of them making love.

“Once they made love in his swimming pool and another time they became intimate on a balcony overlooking a busy street.”

Debbie and Morton’s paths crossed over their involvement in East African affairs.

Debbie was a director of Camerapix magazines, which was run by legendary TV cameraman Mohammed Amin.

Amin’s work included filming the 1984 Ethiopian famine which was highlighted by Michael Buerke and which later prompted the Live Aid campaign.

He died in 1996 in an air crash and soon after, Debbie began her own publishing business.

She has worked extensively in Kenya as has Morton who wrote a biography of the country’s president, Daniel Arup Moi.

But his most famous biographies – and the ones that made him millions – dealt with the intimate lives of the famous, headed by Princess Diana.

Louise Marshall has not been paid for this interview.

(Source: Sunday Mirror, September 3, 2000)