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Earl Spencer’s Mistress Speaks Out

November 30, 1997 GMT

LONDON (AP) _ Earl Spencer’s former mistress says she realized her affair with Princess Diana’s brother was over when he said he would never accept her two children.

Chantal Collopy, 37, told Sky News in an interview Sunday that her marriage ended after her husband taped her telephone calls and heard her say ``I love you″ to Spencer.

The former model and the 33-year-old earl were both married when they met at a 1994 birthday party in Northampton, 65 miles northwest of London. There was an instant attraction and their two-year affair flourished after he moved to South Africa, she said.


``After I separated from my husband, (Spencer) had said to me, `Will you promise to marry me?′ He said that a few times. I just laughed,″ Collopy said in the interview.

But just before she became officially divorced, Collopy said Spencer had ``a panic attack″ and told her he couldn’t offer her a future.

``We had an argument and he said `I must let you know that I will never accept your children’ and I said that was the end,″ Collopy said.

She did not offer any information on the names or ages of her two children.

In an unusual twist, Collopy appeared in a Cape Town court last week supporting Lady Spencer, the earl’s estranged wife, in her divorce battle against the earl.

Charles Spencer married Victoria Lockwood, a former model, in 1989. They moved to South Africa with their four children in 1996 after clashes with the British media over an affair he had and her treatment for eating disorders.

The earl achieved international fame at Diana’s funeral on Sept. 6 when he accused the British tabloids of trying to destroy her.

Last week, those same tabloids reported details of the acrimonious hearing in Cape Town that will decide whether his divorce will take place in South Africa or Britain, where Lady Spencer would get a much larger settlement.

Lockwood wants a lump-sum settlement of $6.3 million. Spencer claims most of his assets are tied up in properties that he cannot sell, and wants to divide it into regular payments.

Collopy told Sky News the earl was now acting like ``a wounded dog in a corner.″

``I think it was totally unnecessary to have his whole private life and everyone involved exposed. The only thing that I can think is that he thought Victoria would collapse,″ she said.


Collopy decided to help Lady Spencer because she realized she could have faced the same situation. ``I was devastated by the fact that my family was now broken,″ she said.

Still, Collopy did not regret her relationship with the earl. ``I probably had the best of Charles, in that ... he was extremely romantic and civilized,″ she said.

That all changed.

``In the beginning he was very caring, but when he decides he does not want you any more he will start looking for faults,″ Collopy said. ``I don’t believe that he does anything intentionally. There is just something that he does to make you feel worthless and insecure and lose your confidence.″