Sunday 11 December 2016

Take that, Miss Fancy Pants: real mother-in-law wades into email row

John Bingham and Peter Hutchison in London

Published 02/07/2011 | 05:00

A bride-to-be described as "uncouth" and "vulgar" by her fiance's stepmother was given a vote of confidence yesterday, by her real future mother-in-law.

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Heidi Withers (29) was berated as graceless and unladylike in a vitriolic email from Carolyn Bourne, the stepmother of her future husband, Freddie.

The message became an internet sensation, earning Mrs Bourne the nicknames 'Miss Fancy Pants' and 'mother-in-law from hell'.

Yesterday Mr Bourne's real mother, Penelope Godfrey, rode to Ms Withers' defence, describing her as a "charming girl" with impeccable manners.

Speaking outside her home in Putney, south-west London, she said: "The whole thing has opened a can of worms that really should not have been opened. Heidi is a charming girl who I have never found rude -- not once."

Following a stinging rebuke of Mrs Bourne from Ms Withers' father -- who said she was "up her own backside" -- Mrs Godfrey laughed off fears that the wedding would be awkward, remarking: "We shall see."

But asked for her thoughts on her former husband's new wife, she stopped laughing and said: "Absolutely no comment."

Mrs Bourne sent the sarcasm-laden email to Ms Withers following the bride-to-be's stay at 'Houndspool', the family home in Devon, in April.

Mrs Bourne complained that Ms Withers had been a fussy eater and criticised her recently unemployed parents for being unable to pay much towards the wedding. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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