It is surprising that the true story of Alison Wilson, portrayed by her granddaughter Ruth, gripped viewers watching the BBC drama.
She thought she had the perfect marriage until she found out her husband, who said he was a ‘spy’, had other wives.
Mary Turner Thompson, 53, watched the BBC story and felt like it was her life being played out on screen.
The 53-year-old also thought she had the perfect marriage until she found out that her ‘CIA agent’ husband had another wife and at least 13 children with 6 women.
Because William Allen Jordan was attentive, kind and a wonderful dad to their children, she never expected it will all come down to this. The man was also a serial liar who had another wife throughout their 6-year relationship. He was sent to jail for bigamy in 2014.
“Watching the series has been very like looking at my own story,” Miss Turner Thomson said. “I met William online when I was a single mum with a nine-month-old baby. He was very charming, and we sent emails back and forth.
“We started dating and he actually asked me to marry him within two weeks of meeting – I said no, but we did eventually get engaged, then were married for four years.
“After six months of being together I fell pregnant, which was a huge surprise because he told me he was infertile after having mumps as a child.
“I thought he was going to think I’d had an affair because he was so utterly convinced he couldn’t have kids.”
Jordan managed to manipulate his wife, making her believe he was a CIA agent on secondment to MI5.
Time away on missions allowed him to make a perfect cover for seeing his other women. He even convinced Miss Turner Thomson to find £200,000 to pay ‘blackmailers’ he said had threatened to kidnap their children.
“In 2004 when I was pregnant with Zach, he told me somebody he met on an undercover operation was going to kill our kids, kidnap them, rip bits off and send them to us in the post if we didn’t give them money,” she said.
“By this stage, I was four years in and completely under his control, so I sold everything I owned – my house, my car, my life insurance, everything.”
There were no undercover missions, no blackmailer, but there was another wife, Mischele Lewis, who contacted her in 2006. “She said, ‘Are you Mary Turner Thomson?’ I said yes.
“Then she asked: ‘Are you also Mrs Jordan?’ I said yes, and she replied, ‘Well, I’m the other Mrs Jordan.’
“We met in a café and talked for about 12 hours. When she left at six in the morning, I sent him a text and dumped him.
“I carried on talking to him to get information, but he never wavered from his story and said time would vindicate him. It was all nonsense.”
Jordan was jailed for bigamy, fraud and illegally possessing a stun gun.
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