The last couple of weeks have been pretty full on for me. I don’t really know where to start, but I suppose the ‘end’ ( until now) was finally meeting up with three of my 12 long lost siblings from around the world, last weekend in London. Let’s rewind.
I was born in 1979. My father was an overweight but charismatic, American 'businessman’ who it later emerged was actually a fraudster, bigamist and on the run from the FBI. My mum was and still is, a strong, independant and intelligent, free spirited woman.
After surviving some quite horrific experiences with this smooth talking “Riviera Romeo” ( as he was referred to in the “News Of The World” double page expose in 1979) she spent the next 16 years attempting to both ‘give me a normal life’ and protect me from attempted kidnappings and the like. She sheltered me from the drama as much as possible, but did feel it was only fair to inform me of my half brothers and sisters dotted around the world, though she was not keen for me to contact them, understandably.
The list of names included 9 brothers & sisters in the US, and a ‘Trudy’ born in the UK! In my late 20’s I tracked down my ‘British sister’ Trudy using ‘My Space’. We kept in touch online, and she discovered another UK sister, Lizzie. Eventually, almost all of the siblings were reunited online, and began a facebook group to share info/ pics and support. But none of us ever met. It wasn't until Lizzie and I met as part of “Secrets In My Family” TV show in 2018 that things got serious.
After that, we vowed to make an effort to connect with the others. Still, life got in the way, and it never happened.
Finally, after a really bad mental health crisis last November, I set up a whatsapp group with my sisters - “7 Sisters' ' we called it though three of us are most active. Jenn , 47, a Hollywood acting agent living in LA - sent me daily support and motivation. Lizzie, 40, an author and professional singer from Hampshire- made me giggle every day with silly video messages.
Trudy, 38 a former professional dancer and head of training at 02 London- lights up my life with her creativity and positivity.
Last weekend, Jenn, flew over from LA for her birthday, to scout for acting & dancing talent, see her best mate Edson, perform in Magic Mike LIVE, and to finally meet her sisters!
We all booked a central London apartment. After hours of hugging, talking, laughing and crying- we had the best time of our lives together. Considering Jenn and I grew up 6000 miles apart, we are so similar. We all are. Looks and mannerisms. None of us can shut up! My father caused misery and heartache to all of our mothers, and made our own lives far from easy or ordinary.
But now something good has come out of it. Sisters Forever !
PSSST - This is a blog exclusive - We are in serious talks with a US based writer, who is planning a Dramatisation / TV series based on our stories , working title "Daddy Issues" !!
I'm a 43 year old, mum of two little boys- currently living in Shepton Mallet in Somerset. I'm the Founder and Creative Director of Radio Shepton, a Stand up and comedian and spoken word performer, and write a regular column for The Wells and Shepton Mallet Journal. Which is the basis for my blog usually. I lived in Swedish Lapland for 7 years until 2014 where my boys were born. My partner and I ran a husky dog sledding business. Before that I was a poet, radio presenter, media lecturer, writer, TV producer, actress and burlesque performer ! I never want my life to be boring :)