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Saturday 23 August 2014

Gerry asked me to marry him in an email, but I saw it too late, reveals Melanie Verwoerd

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

Published 10/10/2012 | 05:00

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The late Gerry Ryan with his partner and author of the memoir on their relationship 'When We Dance', Melanie Verwoerd
The family plot of Gerry Ryan, his mother Maureen and father Vincent at Dardistown Cemetery in north Dublin. Photo: COLLINS

GERRY Ryan proposed to his partner Melanie Verwoerd in an email which she only opened two days after he died.

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The dramatic revelation is contained in Ms Verwoerd's new book recounting her life with the RTE star.

The 45-year-old recalls how just 24 hours after she found him dead in his apartment in Upper Leeson Street, she discovered an email from Ryan in which he proposed.

The message from the RTE star was sent the day before he died, but Ms Verwoerd did not see it in time.

The email had an MP3 sound file attached, containing a 1994 hit by Sting which inspired the 'When We Dance' title for the autobiography.

Ms Verwoerd says: "Two days after Gerry's death, while going through email condolences on my laptop, I suddenly went cold. There was an email from Gerry, sent the day before he died.

"Attached was an MP3 track of the song 'When We Dance' by Sting."

She then recounted the last message from the Clontarf man in which he quoted the lyrics of the Sting song.

Ryan had written: "My darling, in New York you told me to ask again. So now I am. I can't do it any more beautifully than Sting himself.

Wife

"So: 'I'm gonna love you more than life, If you will only be my wife, I'm gonna love you more than life, If you will only be my wife'."

He signed off: "I love you TMD! Xxxx G."

Earlier in the book Ms Verwoerd explained the reference to New York, recounting how she and Ryan had discussed marriage while on a week-long trip to the US.

Ms Verwoerd recounted: "We were like two lovesick teenagers. We went for long walks in Central Park and threw snowballs at each other. We were deeply in love and nothing . . . could dampen our spirits.

"In the taxi on our way back to JFK Airport, Gerry took my hand. 'Would it not be nice to live here?"'he asked. I loved the idea and told him that I had wanted for years to do some work in New York.

"He squeezed my hand and said: 'Well, that settles it then. We will get married as soon as I am free, and we will start working on this plan. Perhaps a few months here, a few in Dublin and then the summer in South Africa?'"

Ms Verwoerd recalls how she chided her partner, promising she did want a wedding, but also a "better proposal".

"You have to get legally separated first. Ask me again then."

"OK, I will. It's a promise," Ryan had replied.

'When We Dance', published by Liberties Press, is released today.

Irish Independent

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