Charlie Elphicke's wife on why she dumped the 'naughty Tory' former MP
THE wife of “naughty Tory” sex attack MP Charlie Elphicke today reveals she dumped him after finding texts he sent to a victim.
Natalie Elphicke has spoken for the first time of her “horrible, humiliating and unpleasant” court ordeal and why she is divorcing him.
Tearful Natalie, 49, dumped the “Naughty Tory” in a private court room minutes after he was found guilty of three sex attacks earlier this week.
She had read texts to one of his two victims — a parliamentary worker 20 years his junior — in which he used the same flirty phrases he had wooed her with years earlier.
They convinced her he had feelings for the woman. Mum-of-two Natalie said: “It was the joking around, the kind gestures, the affection.
"I recognised the Charlie I knew in those texts. It was like turning back the clock to when we were first together.
“I could tell immediately he had a genuine and true infatuation with the woman despite him saying he wasn’t attracted to her.
“I said, ‘You’ve had another affair.’ In a way for me, that was worse than having a sexual relationship with someone.”
Elphicke, 49, ex-MP for the Dover seat now held by his wife, was found guilty on Thursday. He faces jail when sentenced next month.
His wife of 25 years dumped him after a heartbreaking video call to their son, 13 — revealing she filed for divorce on Friday.
Natalie wept: “It was just awful. The case has been really unpleasant, horrible, upsetting and humiliating.”
In a 2007 assault, the court heard that Elphicke chased his distressed victim around a room chanting “I’m a naughty Tory” in a scene resembling a Benny Hill sketch.
I could tell immediately he had a genuine infatuation with the woman despite him saying he wasn’t attracted to her.
Natalie appeared to be standing by him during the trial and was seen holding his hand at London’s Southwark crown court.
But she had been planning to leave him all along once the hearing was over — and broke the news to him in a crunch showdown.
She ignored Elphicke’s pleas and promises to change. And she announced her decision on Twitter 33 minutes after he was convicted.
Natalie told The Sun on Sunday: “We had been together a really long time but I had already formed the view before the trial had started that our marriage was unlikely to be able to survive the impact of such an ordeal over three years.
“Charlie was keen to get things back on track but I had already made clear to him I was very, very hurt by the allegations and by his behaviour with other women.
"It’s not acceptable to me. I made that very clear.”
Describing the final break-up she said: “Charlie didn’t want to leave the marriage. It was a very difficult conversation but a brief one. I knew I had to end it.
"Through all of this my main focus had been on supporting the family, supporting Charlie and also working really hard at my job.
“During the trial I would sit in court and also go through emails from constituents.
"I was a wife, a mother and a working woman, I was doing the best I could but that meant I hadn’t really given myself any time to deal with what had happened.
“But at that moment I did feel it was time to draw a line so I sent that tweet.”
PUBLIC DISPLAY OF SUPPORT
Natalie said her main reason for retreating to a private court room was not to have it out with her husband, but to console their 13-year-old son and tell him his father had been convicted.
She said: “I video called him because I wanted to speak to him face-to-face. I had to be the one to tell him.
“He was tearful and this has had a huge impact. But he is resilient.”
The couple, who also have a daughter, 20, at university, had arrived at court hours earlier hand-in-hand. They left separately and stony-faced.
Natalie wasted little time in ending the marriage and has removed her wedding ring.
And she revealed how the text messages she had read in court papers broke her heart.
Referring to the messages Elphicke sent to his second victim, Natalie said: “I couldn’t help contrast them with the kinds of text messages he was sending to me at the time which said things like ‘Can you pick up the milk’ or ‘Which one of us is picking the kids up?’.
“Emotionally it was a bridge too far. I didn’t think our relationship could recover.
“During lockdown the papers were lying everywhere at home and I decided to go through them because I wanted to find out what was going on and I did.
“I confronted him and said, ‘You need to be open, this is a trial and this is serious’.”
Natalie also revealed she kept up her public display of support because she feared Elphicke might kill himself if she left.
Natalie said: “As early as 2017 when he was first suspended by the party he just fell apart.
"I would have to sit with him every hour, day and night, never leaving him because I was afraid of what he might do.
“In the beginning I urged him then to stand up and put himself back together and initially to carry on as an MP.
“So when it came to the trial, I felt I couldn’t just walk away.”
During the three-week court case Natalie had to listen to an excruciating catalogue of details outlining her husband’s unwanted sexual advances on young women.
The jury heard how Elphicke targeted one victim in the family home while Natalie was away on a business trip and the children were sleeping upstairs.
The victim, who cannot be identified, told how Elphicke tried to kiss and grope her and quizzed her about bondage.
He then chased her singing “I’m a naughty Tory” in behaviour described in court as being like a “Benny Hill sketch”.
During the investigation Elphicke was also forced to confess to a two-year affair with a third woman who was not a complainant in the court case.
He had initially lied to police saying he was not attracted to his second accuser. But at this point Natalie told him to alter his defence and admit to his infatuation.
He claimed he initially lied about his sexual attraction because he feared his marriage would not survive the revelation as well as admitting to an affair.
I would have to sit with him every hour, day and night, never leaving him because I was afraid of what he might do.
At his trial Elphicke consistently denied assaulting both of his accusers.
But he did finally admit he was “besotted” by his second victim, who claims Elphicke pestered her for sex in 2016.
The court heard the MP cornered her in an office and tried to kiss and grope her.
When the victim rejected his advances he told her: “Oh, I’m naughty sometimes, aren’t I? I can be so badly behaved but I can’t help it.”
Natalie recalled the painful moment her husband was forced to lay bare the serious allegations he faced.
She said: “It was after his police interview in March 2018. It went late into the night and so we didn’t sit down until the next day.
“He explained what the allegations actually were for the first time and he also told me about the affair with the other woman. It was a very difficult conversation indeed.”
Rage? No, just shock
By Caroline Iggulden, Associate Editor
HAVING read, like millions of others, the lurid details of self-proclaimed “naughty Tory” Charlie Elphicke’s behaviour, I expected to find his wife Natalie spitting feathers.
But instead of rage, the mother of two’s delicate features show shock.
Tearful, she has to take breaks in our interview to compose herself.
Choosing her words carefully, she speaks quietly as if struggling to articulate what has gone on in the past three years under her nose.
She realised last week that her marriage would never recover and acted swiftly, ignoring her husband’s pleas to give him another chance.
Natalie strikes me as a woman used only to seeing the best in him.
Coming to terms with the new Charlie Elphicke presented in court may be a slow and painful process.
Natalie, elected Tory MP for Dover last year after her husband was barred from standing, knew Charlie’s lover, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
She said: “She was a local woman and one of the most hurtful and difficult things is that people who I knew, knew something and didn’t tell me.
“Why? Why is the wife always the last to know? I wish people had told me what was going on.”
Elphicke’s first accuser was also known to Natalie.
The court heard how in 2007 Elphicke, then working as a tax lawyer, invited the woman to share a £40 bottle of wine with him at the marital home in Belgravia while Natalie was on a business trip.
It was the first time she had spent the night away since giving birth to their son.
The woman said: “He just basically jumped on me. He pushed me down by my shoulders and he had his knee between my legs and he was groping my breast.
“He was trying to put his mouth on my mouth. He was all over me.”
The victim escaped by barricading herself in a separate room and rang her boyfriend.
Elphicke subsequently paid her some £5,000 in increments which he kept secret from Natalie.
She told The Sun on Sunday: “I had a good relationship with this woman and I wish she had come to me at the time so I could have had the chance to confront my husband there and then.”
The whiff of scandal first came in 2016 when the parliamentary worker brought claims against Elphicke to deputy chief whip Anne Milton.
She quizzed the MP yet he was allowed to stand for re-election in June 2017.
But in the wake of the #MeToo scandal a political gossip website published a “dirty dossier” of Tory MPs accused of sexual misdemeanours.
Elphicke had the whip withdrawn in November 2017 only for it to be restored in December 2018 when then Prime Minister Theresa May faced a no-confidence vote.
It was removed again in 2019 when he was charged by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Despite her husband’s pattern of predatory behaviour, Natalie, who got an OBE in 2015 for her services to housing, insists she believed their marriage was a happy one.
The pair met in law school. Natalie said: “He was charming. I loved him from the first time I spent time with him. I thought he was the most amazing man in the world.
Breaking down again as she reflects on the ruins of her relationship she said: “I was very happy in my marriage.
“I loved him absolutely. He was a kind and loving husband and we still spent time together. We live by the sea and I would go paddle-boarding and he would kayak next to me. It felt so right until it all went wrong.
“The last three years have been extraordinarily difficult and they have ended my marriage.
“But I don’t regret standing by my husband. I believe in the rule of law and innocent until proven guilty. But I accept the verdict too.”
GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]
Source: Read Full Article