I am making this statement about
a recent incident involving Martha and me in order to clear up any
misunderstandings that might have arisen from certain published photographs. These purport to show her in some distress,
barely conscious and tied to a park bench apparently suspended from Waterloo Bridge.
I have voluntarily made a full statement
to the police, because I did not want this affair hanging over our
marriage. No complaints have been made
to the police and I have been assured that no further action will be taken by
them. The bench has been returned to the
park from which it was taken.
The incident has been widely misinterpreted
in the media. Far from being a case of
attempted murder, as has been insinuated in some irresponsible press reports,
it was nothing more than a playful prank.
The explanation is simple. My
wife, as is well known, is afraid of water.
As we were driving along the Embankment late at night, on an impulse I
suggested an experiment which I thought might cure the condition. I would lower her down to the water to show
her that there is nothing to fear from it.
For her safety and comfort, I decided
to secure her to something that could easily be lowered and raised. A park bench seemed entirely suitable for this
purpose, and one was readily available in nearby Embankment Gardens. The gag was necessary to stifle any cries
that might be caused by a panic attack in the event she should suddenly
awaken. As for the concrete blocks
attached to the bench, they were required to ensure stability by preventing the
bench from swinging against the bridge stanchions.
I realise in retrospect that this
exercise was misguided and dangerous, and might have resulted in a dreadful
accident. For that, I take full
Martha would, I am certain, wish
it to be known that our marriage remains, as it always has been, sound and
loving. She is at present receiving
treatment in St. Thomas’s
Hospital. Although she remains in a
coma, apparently the result of a blow to the head, doctors believe that her
prospects for a full recovery are fair.
My solicitors have advised me
against issuing any further statements.