‘I’ve been celibate for five Years’

Believing that no man would ever want me again, I felt like a 50-year-old virgin as I posted my divorce announcement on Facebook and Instagram. I experienced a tremendous sense of sadness as I wrote it, but there was also an element of excitement at the release from a situation that no longer made me happy. My intention was to announce the end of my marriage with all the love, respect and gravity I felt it warranted. The reaction was one of astonishment; everyone knew how ardently I had loved my husband. I’d waited until the decree absolute, almost two years after our separation, before publishing a word.

A decade of marriage, gone. Love, grief and intimacy were the subjects of my Amazon #1 bestseller, Mama: Love, Motherhood and Revolution, after all.

And then a handsome American friend, a lawyer, messaged me. He understood loss; his first wife, a model, had left him for another man. ‘That was before I made it,’ he said. ‘Now she rents in Hackney and I own a chateau in Auvergne. My God, you’re beautiful.’

When I told him I was celibate, he began to chase in earnest. It wasn’t the first time. Players have always targeted me because the seduction of an independent woman is a coup. But I wasn’t playing hard to get, I said; I really, truly was in pain. My heart was broken. Friends have asked whether there was ever a moment of temptation, but what I wanted was tenderness and sincerity;

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