Wednesday 13 December 2017

Rowan Pelling: I was the office assistant who married the boss

It may be the age of the power couple, but men are still falling for their younger assistants, writes Rowan Pelling

HAPPIER TIMES: Asos boss Nick Robertson and ex-wife Janine before he left her to move in with his PA. Photo: PA
HAPPIER TIMES: Asos boss Nick Robertson and ex-wife Janine before he left her to move in with his PA. Photo: PA

Rowan Pelling

People talk fondly of marriages of "equals", but when I met my husband I was his subordinate in every way. He was the deputy editor of GQ magazine and one of my bosses; I was the humble PA. He owned a house and a car, I shared a cramped rental flat. He was just about the most cultured person I had ever met, I knew almost nothing about anything. He wore tweed, I was partial to spray-on Lycra. He was 40, I was 25.

When we started going out, the editor fired me (even though he himself was dating a young woman who had once been his PA). And when we announced our engagement a year later, an old school friend's mother said darkly, "Where does Rowan find these older men who have never been married?"

If marrying your boss was already an anomaly back in 1995 (and I can't think of another close female friend who did so), it's far more unusual in 2016.

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