Thursday 15 November 2018

Feisty Anna Ford leaps to the defence of her moon walker boyfriend

BAIRBRE POWER

BBC NEWSREADER Anna Ford has launched a feisty defence of her prospective husband, portrayed in the British media as a tarnished moonman who tried...

BBC NEWSREADER Anna Ford has launched a feisty defence of her prospective husband, portrayed in the British media as a tarnished moonman who tried to cash in on his Apollo 15 trip to outer space.

Colonel David Scott, 67, has been accused of smuggling commemorative moonwalk stamps to the Moon in order to sell them for inflated prices. Five years ago he was reported to have auctioned space dust from his spacesuit for $15,000.

However, Anna Ford, 56, came out from behind the TV cameras yesterday in a spirited defence of her new paramour. Renowned for her assertive nature, Ford flung a glass of Chardonnay over Jonathan Aitken in 1983 after he sacked her from TVam. Yesterday, the woman who labelled Sir Robin Day a ``silly old fool'' and told Sir David Frost and Michael Parkinson to ``take a running jump'' came out fighting again to defend her new romance.

She insists that Scott's wife of 41 years and his two grown-up children knew about the couple's relationship, but the romance and the marriage plans revealed by Irish journalist John McEntee in The Express last week have sparked a bitchy response in British papers ... and generated tears across the Atlantic.

Hitting out at the Daily Mail's ``hatchet job'', which claimed the former astronaut was disciplined by Nasa and faced court over fraud, Anna maintained the article was fuelled by pique at being scooped by The Express.

In a fightback in yesterday's Telegraph, the twice-married Ford sang the praises of her boyfriend, who, she said, is ``straight as a die and anyone who has met him or worked with him knows that to be true''. She confirmed that they are ``not yet engaged'' but ``would like to marry''.

Anna said David Scott is ``legally separated, about to be divorced and has been open and straight with everyone concerned. His wife and children know about our relationship.'' A one-time business partner confirmed that the romance began a year ago and that Scott asked Anna for a date when his circumstances ``changed''.

However, at the Scott family home in California, a red-eyed Ann Scott said her husband's relationship with the celebrity newsreader ``came as a total shock'', and she maintained that she had split from her husband only two-and-a-half months ago .

Answering Scott's critics, who claimed he ``smuggled'' stamps on board Apollo 15, the fourth manned lunar mission, in 1971, Ford declared: ``Nothing was `smuggled'. It was custom and practice for all astronauts to take packs of their own things often medals to the moon, which they could do what they wanted with on return.''

As for allegations that Scott defrauded investors in a partnership he organised, Anna said ``the whole case was overturned by the unanimous vote of the Arizona Appeals Court''. Regarding the space dust, she said: ``The suit belonged to Nasa, not to him, was not in his possession on return, and he had absolutely no involvement in an event which he only heard about after this strange auction.''

Anna was engaged to ITV reporter Jon Snow in the Seventies. She divorced her first husband, Alan Bittles, and in 1981 married Mark Boxer, the former Tatler editor who died from a brain tumour seven years later.

In recent years, Anna has been linked with the National Grid's head of administration, Richard Coldwell; Sir Denis Forman, the former chairman of Granada TV; Lord Rothschild; and architect Sir Norman Foster.

Yesterday she declared with characteristic verve that ``attempts to tarnish this happy time for us are doomed''.

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