BRITAIN’S most married man has told of his heartbreak – after being ‘catfished’ for more than two years by a woman who he met on Facebook.
Retired entertainments manager and dad-of-eight Ron Sheppard, 72, Somerset, has found fame for being wed an astonishing eight times.
But sadly none of his marriages have lasted. After first being married in 1966, his longest union was 12 years and the shortest about ten months.
Still, he thought he might have finally found the one when he ‘met’ Jane* via social media in January 2019.
“She approached me on Facebook,” he told Fabulous. “She contacted me in messages and said ‘hello my name is Jane, it’s nice to meet you – do you want to chat?
“I’ll chat to anybody, me. It’s probably my downfall.”
- Wife No1: Margaret in 1966. Had three kids and divorced after two years.
- Wife No2: Jeanette, 1973. Lasted one year.
- Wife No3: Lesley, 1976. Had two boys. Ron left in 1981.
- Wife No4: Kathy, 1982. Had one daughter.
- Wife No5: Sue, 1986. They had two sons, but she threw him out in 1997.
- Wife No6: Usha, 1999. Ended after four years.
- Wife No7: Wan, 2003. She left to go home to Bangkok after eight months.
- Wife No8: Weng, 2004. Split up in November.
Ron told how he has numerous approaches on Facebook – verging on thousands – but Jane stood out because she kept getting back in contact.
“I wasn’t keen at first but as it went on she won me over, she was really nice and we became friends,” he said. “She explained she was 37 and from Aberdeen in Scotland but living in Ghana, West Africa, to care for her sick nan.
“She told me a story about how her mum had suffered a heart attack and her nan was ill so she was in Ghana temporarily having just travelled there to look after them but would be back home soon,” he said.
“She seemed really caring and I really fell for her. She said she had nobody and I had nobody. We hadn’t discussed marriage yet.”
Over the next few years Ron and Jane chatted over Facebook messenger, sharing tales and jokes.
“I’ve got Parkinson’s and I get very lonely,” said Ron. “We really hit it off and I thought she might be the one.
“I wasn’t really thinking about marriage.”
Around a year after the pair started speaking Jane suggested a video call – and Ron was alarmed she didn’t sound particularly Scottish. “I was a bit surprised she didn’t have a Scottish accent – it sounded more Ghanian – but she said she’d picked it up while there.
“It seemed very quick to pick up an accent but I believed that, I have a very trusting heart.”
But over the next few weeks – just a month or so ago – Ron said something felt “off”.
“I began to wonder if she was who she said she was,” he said. “I offered to pay for her to get a flight back to the UK and she showed me a passport but it didn’t look genuine.
“Then I mentioned something about National Insurance numbers – but she said she didn’t have one.
I was just a pawn. I think she’d read about me and my wives and thought I was easy prey.
“But doesn’t everyone in the UK have one?”
Ron said he didn’t give her much money, transferring her around £100, before he confronted her, asking if she really was from the UK and intending to come home.
“I asked her if she was who she’d said she was. I said ‘tell me the truth – are you really from Scotland?’
“It emerged she had never been to Britain before but was keen to live here. I was just a pawn. I think she’d read about me and my wives and thought I was easy prey.
“I cut her off and blocked her.
“She took advantage of a man who is very loving.”
But Ron, who is keen for a film to be made about his life – which he wants to be called The Wife Collector, has still not given up on finding The One.
He said: “Each time something has gone wrong. But it hasn’t deterred me looking for love and I’m clearly not good on my own.
“I was nicknamed Lord of the Wedding Rings as I have tried it so many times. I am a man who loves getting married.
“I’ve attracted a lot of attention online because of my history and so a lot of women have contacted me.”
Ron’s last marriage ended acrimoniously when wife Weng accused him of cheating but he claims their relationship broke down before that.
And he said his true love is a woman called Cristel who he wanted to marry but ultimately didn’t.
“Sadly our marriage wasn’t to be because she was ultimately banned from the UK for overstaying on the wrong kind of visa,” he said.
“But I really loved her.
“She was ‘The One’ really.
“What can I say? I don’t like being alone. I just love the company of women.”
In more catfish news, this dinner lady was horrified to discover a woman she met on holiday when she was eight stole her pics and used them to entice men.
And this woman became a sex addict after being catfished.
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