Monday 26 August 2019

'I want her to have a long and successful marriage' - Ben Foden's new father-in-law talks about whirlwind wedding

Ben Foden and new wife Jackie Belanoff Smith. Picture: Instagram
Ben Foden and new wife Jackie Belanoff Smith. Picture: Instagram
Foden with Una Healey. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

Ben Foden's new father-in-law has commented on the rugby player's whirlwind wedding to his daughter Jackie Smith.

This week, rugby player Foden (34) announced that he had married Jackie after two weeks of dating.

"When someone like her comes in to your life, why would I wait?" he said.

The marriage came one year after he split from The Saturdays singer Una Healy with whom he has two children. They announced their intention to divorce last summer amid reports that Ben had strayed.

Foden shared pictures of his and Jackie's wedding online. They exchanged vows on board a yacht in the millionaires' playground of Nantucket in Massachusetts.

Foden's new father-in-law Peter Smith told the Daily Mail that the newlyweds had been dating three months, despite Foden's claims.

"I believe it was a bit more than a fortnight," he said.

Mr Smith also said that Foden had asked his permission to marry Jackie.

"Jackie is very successful in her own right and she met him at the beginning of the summer.

"The wedding wasn't a surprise. He called me to ask for my blessing and I gave it. I said, 'I want her to have a long and successful marriage'."

The rugby player announced his marriage to Jackie Smith in an Instagram post in which he said she had saved him after a "tough and turbulent year".

Foden also said his ex wife Una Healy had given the couple her blessing.

“The people who needed to know such as close family and friends were told before anyone else and they are happy for me including my beautiful X wife Una Healy, who I love even more for her blessing," he wrote.

Earlier this year, Foden said his infidelities weren't the only cause of his marriage breakdown, telling The Guardian in February: “At the moment anything that’s published about me is never very good and pretty rightly so because I was the one who committed adultery.

“But at the same time, it wasn’t the only reason for our divorce to go through. It’s not ideal, but we’re very amicable, we’re getting through it, we’re not the first people in the world to get divorced. We’ve got two little kids we adore.”

He echoed these sentiments in his marriage announcement post, writing, "This last year has been by far my toughest and most turbulent for a number of reasons that many of you I’m sure are aware of, in some way or another. The world has a funny way of working things out, many people think I’m a bad person - as I’m sure they’ll be many nasty comments left under this post by keyboard warriors a plenty.

"But I met a girl who seriously swept me off my feet and in a time of hardship showed me love, a deep devoted love."

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