YOUNG businessman Kirk McCambley had to feign serious illness to end his affair with MP Iris Robinson after she bombarded him with emails, texts and love letters.
Mr McCambley told Mrs Robinson that he had a form of cancer that threatened his life and affected his sexual performance, the Irish Independent has learned.
This emerged as the North's main parties begin trying to salvage the fragile power-sharing government after First Minister Peter Robinson temporarily stepped down from the post yesterday.
Stormont was plunged into crisis after Mr Robinson announced he was relinquishing control for six weeks in an attempt to clear his name from the sex and financial scandal engulfing his wife.
But it is unclear whether he will return to office following a break or whether he is being eased out in stages.
Mrs Robinson is continuing to receive acute psychiatric treatment in Belfast.
It emerged last night that her former boyfriend, Mr McCambley, who had a teenage girlfriend while he was involved with Mrs Robinson, panicked when his lover 40 years his senior wanted constant attention.
Mrs Robinson harassed her then-teenage lover with texts, phone calls, emails and love letters, according to a source.
Mr McCambley broke off his relationship with Mrs Robinson by telling her that he had testicular cancer, the source added.
After their relationship finished Mrs Robinson turned hostile to her former lover and put him under enormous pressure to return money she had procured for him.
Mrs Robinson demanded and received £5,000 (€5,500) in cash from Mr McCambley from the £50,000 (€55,000) she had solicited for him from property developers.
Two developers, both friends of the Robinsons, each gave her a cheque for £25,000 (€27,700) made out to Mr McCambley and she passed them on. He never met the donors.
Mrs Robinson insisted in her statement last week that she solicited the money before the sexual affair began.
Mr McCambley paid the £5,000 cash to Mrs Robinson before their affair began, according to her statement, but when Mr McCambley ended it she demanded he return the remaining £45,000 (€49,500).
He had to sell off half of his interest in the Lock Keeper's Inn, the cafe that Mrs Robinson had secured a lease on from Castlereagh Council where she was a member. Mrs Robinson never declared an interest in the business when the council and Mr McCambley were negotiating the lease.
Sources in Belfast yesterday said that they believed the PSNI would start an investigation into Mrs Robinson's financial dealings.
However, legal sources speculated that lawyers acting for Mrs Robinson may invoke legislation that would prevent the prosecution of anyone suffering from mental illness.
"Even if the police investigation turned up evidence, it is unlikely that the DPP would press charges given Mrs Robinson's mental illness," said the source.