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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Miss World lashes out at dad's former teenage lover

Published 04/01/2004 | 00:11

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CHARLIE MALLON IRELAND'S Miss World, Rosanna Davison, has lashed out at the family's former nanny, Maresa Morgan, who was 'The Lady in Bed' with her father.

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Chris de Burgh bedded the 19-year-old blonde as his wife Diane, for whom he penned Lady in Red,lay in a hospital bed with a broken neck.

After the affair was revealed, the man who wrote the lyrics Blonde hair, blue jeans/ best thing I've ever seen about his teenage lover told his family he didn't know "what he had seen in her".

Rosanna, who was just nine when the affair became public in 1994, said she was never angry with her father. However, she regards Morgan's portrayal of herself as a victim as "pathetic" and hopes "she pays" for her mistake.

"The woman [Maresa Morgan] hasn't been around and I haven't seen her since - she'd be in for a bit of abuse if she was," hissed Miss World.

"I have absolutely no sympathy for her - it was a stupid thing to do. There are two people to blame, of course. But it was particularly awful because Mum was in hospital.

"We trusted Maresa and she was employed to look after us children [Rosanna and brothers Hubie and Michael] so I think she made a mistake - and I hope she pays for it. To do such a dreadful thing at such a young age is terrible."

On the bright side Rosanna, now the same age as Maresa was during the affair, said the family grew stronger afterwards. "It turned out to be to the benefit of all of us. I'm not sure if my brothers were aware of the affair, but I certainly was. I didn't read the papers because my parents kept me away from them, but we grew closer together. We realised not to take each other for granted.

"Throughout I stayed quite neutral. I never felt angry with Dad. He handled it very well, explaining everything very carefully. He said there was nothing to worry about, but I already knew that. I knew it'd be all okay."

Back in June 1994 Chris de Burgh admitted that far from the affair being the fault of the teenager, he was "as guilty as hell".

Reports that the affair was back on erupted in September 1995 after the singer was spotted with Maresa in a London hotel. He insisted that he was simply helping her because she was devastated in the aftermath of all the publicity, and had been jeered at for having an affair with a man 25 years her senior.

Rosanna, in a lengthy interview in the Daily Mail Weekend magazine, says she doesn't swallow the victim line.

"To think she thought of herself as a victim is pathetic. I was never aware of this happening again. I can't see how it could, from the way Mum and Dad patched things up and got over it. Dad said himself he didn't know what he saw in her - but she disgusts me. You can see I have very clear feelings about her. But it was a maturing experience for me too."

It was on September 20, 1995, that the Sun newspaper claimed de Burgh was back with Maresa and photographed them together in London where they stayed at the Conrad Hotel.

But then Chris de Burgh issued a statement to the Sun. It read: "For a time in February (1994) we were lovers, but four weeks later it became clear that this relationship was going nowhere. Mutually we agreed to return the relationship to the basis of friendship that had previously existed. I have been wrong to have become so close to her and deeply regret my actions.

"My wife is my dearest and closest friend and I love her very much. Our marriage is rock solid and I pray that she will forgive me for my stupidity."

In June 1994 he had told the Sun who initially disclosed the affair that his wife knew that Blonde Hair Blue Jeans was about Maresa and wasn't happy about it.

He added that Maresa had been "a tremendous help to me" after Diane's accident, adding: "On more than one occasion I needed to express my grief and I wept only in Maresa's arms."

But today Miss World says her mother's strength in recovering from her terrible injuries after a freak riding accident - witnessed by Rosanna - inspired her greatly. "Mum is stronger both for the affair and the break in her neck. When the health of someone close to you is threatened, you realise what the important things are. She's been an inspiration. She's very dignified. I admire the way she's handled all the publicity and fame. She doesn't put herself in the limelight - she just concentrates on our family."

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