The doctor had to be wrong! The gut-wrenching news he’d just delivered couldn’t possibly be right, could it? He’d always been devoted to his sons but now he had to believe that they weren’t his? Sadly this businessman would soon discover that the life he lived had been a lie.
However, once he found out the truth, he had to decide what to do about it. The answer: make her pay.
55-year-old Richard Mason was a businessman and millionaire who lived in the United Kingdom. He had successfully co-founded MoneySupermarket.com, a British price comparison website. At the time, Richard was married to a woman named Kate.
When the two first met they were both working for a back during the 1980s. As a couple, they had three sons together. At least that’s what Richard thought.
The three sons they had were Will, who is 23 years old, and 19-year-old twins, Ed and Joel. In 2007, Richard and Kate’s marriage was falling apart and they were very much on the rocks. In 2008 the pair finally decided to get a divorce.
Richard had no regrets about his marriage. He had three sons that he doted on and continued to provide for even after the couple parted ways.
Included in the financial settlement, Kate received a lump sum of $5 million and the private school fees for all three boys would be covered. However, even so, Kate “hounded me for years… and tried to make me pay more,” Richard stated.
In Richard’s mind, the three sons he had from the “cold and joyless” marriage were the only good things to come of it. However, there was a surprise around the corner, he just didn’t know it yet.
It was in 2016 when Richard discovered the truth of his former life after they had been divorced for almost 10 years.
One day, he got up and got ready for a regular doctor’s appointment. However, that appointment was about to change Richard’s life forever. When he walked into the doctor’s office he had no idea he would leave there fuming.
Richard had gone for a routine check-up. However, as it turns out, it wouldn’t be quite so standard. The doctor performed some tests and the results turned Richard’s world upside down.
However, everything changed when the doctor told Richard that he had cystic fibrosis. Things didn’t end there though.
The disease cystic fibrosis causes regular lung infections. This causes damage to the lungs and reduces their capacity over time. Breathing gradually becomes more and more difficult.
Sadly, cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease. Richard’s own sister had passed away from the disease several years earlier. As devastated as Richard was, he became scared. Could he have passed this on to his three sons?
Fortunately, the doctor assured him that there was no way he could have passed this disease on to them. Richard couldn’t have been more relieved.
Sadly, this was short-lived, because the doctor hadn’t finished talking. The doctor then delivered some shocking news. There was a very specific reason why he couldn’t have passed the disease on.
That moment caused Richard’s whole life to fall apart in one single moment. “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.’
But that was impossible, right? Richard saw a spark of hope. Could it be that this had been a medical miracle? Or had the doctor perhaps misdiagnosed him?
“‘Well, you must have the diagnosis wrong because I’ve already got 3 boys,’” Richard said proudly. “I actually felt pleased to be able to tell him this, because in my mind it proved his diagnosis was wrong,” he recalls.
But the doctor, feeling awkward and stunned, just shook his head sadly. And then, Richard knew he had been clutching at straws.
The realization dawned on Richard slowly, then the truth hit home like a sledgehammer. He replayed his life with Kate and looked at every detail with fresh eyes.
He remembered times when some red flags, in retrospect, should have set off alarm bells. And then, he began to feel sick. This could not be happening.
Had there been a scandal going on right under his own roof? If there had been, Richard had been too blind to notice. After all, he worked late most nights, too.
He hadn’t batted an eyelid when Kate called him late one night from a hotel in London to tell him that her flight had been delayed. Richard snorted in disgust. It was a “work trip,” she had said. But there were other details emerging that he hadn’t thought much of… until now.
When his twins were born, of course, people began to comment. But remembering the usual and innocent croons of “…oh, look, they have your eyes, Kate,” now began to take a darker turn in his mind. But there was another red flag that Richard hadn’t thought much of at the time.
Right after Kate found out she was pregnant with their first son, she began to express an interest in something she had never mentioned during the seven years of their marriage.
Kate was ecstatic to be pregnant for the first time. She read all the maternity books and went to birthing classes. But when she suddenly took an interest in Judaism, Richard was surprised. He and Kate had both been raised as Christians. Kate even went as far as giving all three of their children Jewish middle names, and she refused to have them Christened. She had also been seeking advice from a Rabbi.
Maybe this was an insight into the double life she had been leading. And maybe, this clue pointed to the man she had been seeing…
Richard knew that his boys didn’t resemble him at all. But… they did look familiar. The clues were adding up, and Richard was starting to think that he knew who the man his wife had been seeing was.
But, perhaps he was getting ahead of himself. There was something else that he was forced to consider. But would Kate confess? Or was this all just a terrible mistake?
Richard pondered the information and mulled it over in his mind. He had three clues to go on. The first was the fact that his ex-wife had probably been meeting up with the man while she was away on business trips.
The second was that his children resembled a man he had met before — a business colleague of Kate’s — that would make sense. And, lastly, that the man was Jewish… which didn’t make sense. But twins are rare, after all…
In the general population, identical twin pregnancies occur 0.45 percent of the time, or 1 in 250 births. It’s also a well-known fact that using fertility treatments increases the likelihood of conceiving twins.
Had Kate realized that they were having fertility problems before he had? After all, they had been married for seven years when Kate finally fell pregnant. But that was enough speculation for one day. It was time to confront her.
He angrily typed a message to Kate, demanding an explanation.“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.”
“It is 98% certain that I am not the father of any children,” he added. Kate had read the message, but she wasn’t replying. Seeing that being civil wasn’t getting him answers, Richard decided that it was time to take a harder approach.
“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 wrote.
“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.” Kate, cornered, sent her reply within minutes this time.
“Of course the boys are yours, no matter what the science might suggest,” she wrote. Richard was incredulous! She was flat-out denying everything. Okay, he thought. If Kate wanted to play hardball, he could play.
He approached his eldest son, who was a university student at the time, and told him everything. But how did he take the news?
“I told him I’d just been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, which he took surprisingly calmly,” Richard explained.
“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?’”
Richard, heartbroken at the thought that he wasn’t his son’s biological father, recalls that “it would have been the hardest sentence to utter, and he did it for me.”
Then Richard told his eldest son that of course, he was still his “dad, obviously,” but that he didn’t think that he had conceived him. “It was very emotional but I was also very angry,” Richard said. He had been dealt a double-blow that day. So, what was he going to do about it?
Richard believes that your children define who you are. So, not only had he been diagnosed with a dread disease, but he now knew that he didn’t actually have any children.
His legacy would stop with him, and that thought was almost too hard for him to bear. Then, two days later, he finally heard from Kate.
It turns out that Kate had been confronted by her eldest son. She called Richard and confessed.
She admitted that she had been seeing another man during their 20-year marriage, and to add insult to injury, Richard had even met him in passing. The man worked at Barclays Bank.
She and the man would meet at a hotel in London while she was traveling for work as a union official. But she still insisted that Richard was their children’s father.
He had no choice but to get an expert’s opinion. He knew the last 20 years of his life had been a complete lie. He was going to make her pay.
Richard decided to seek out advice from paternity fraud expert, Roger Terrell. After he underwent numerous tests, it was confirmed that Richard was indeed incapable of fathering children.
The next step was to obtain DNA samples from his sons. The DNA test results proved that the twins weren’t his, but to complicate matters further, his eldest son refused to provide a sample.
Richard’s eldest son stated: “as far as I’m concerned, he’s my dad and that’s that.” But Richard still had all the proof he needed to launch a legal case against Kate.
In December 2016, he began proceedings at Birmingham County Court. But Richard’s oldest son had another message for the man he knew as his father.
And the teenager remained true to his word. Of course, this caused Richard immense heartache: “the ripple effect of Kate’s lies has been massive.”
But the reaction from the twins as the case progressed was quite different.
The twins still regard Richard as their dad, even though they know that he is not their biological father. One of the twins even sent Richard an overwhelming message as a show of support.
The message read: “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.”
When Kate’s unbelievable lies were exposed in court, Richard won his case and Kate was ordered to pay him over $300,000.
Kate agreed to settle, but on one condition: the man who is the real father of her sons must remain anonymous. But it was a hollow victory for Richard. And he has a message for the boys’ real father, too.
Richard stated that he “would like the biological father to read this article and come forward.” He believes that the boys have a right to know who their father is.
“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,” he added.