UK

Chris Huhne's Marriage To Vicky Pryce: The Millionaire MP And The Top Economist

07/03/2013 15:41 GMT | Updated 07/03/2013 16:07 GMT

To many, Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce appeared to have everything.

He was a Cabinet minister with a shot at the Lib Dem leadership, she was the Government's top economist.

Between them they had amassed a healthy fortune.

Former journalist and City economist Huhne, known as "nine homes Huhne", was a millionaire in his own right, with a large property portfolio.

And Greek-born Pryce boasted a glittering career as a corporate economist, later becoming the government's top economist on a six-figure salary, then joining a consultancy firm.

Huhne took on Pryce's two daughters from her first marriage, giving them away at their weddings, and the couple had three children of their own.

Wealthy, successful, and apparently happy, they boasted high-profile friends such as Vince Cable and Lord Oakeshott, as well as Nick Clegg and his wife Miriam, and regularly entertained big names at their London home, including their annual "post-Davos" party.

But during Vicky Pryce's trial, the economist painted a very different picture of her marriage to Chris Huhne.

He was a ferociously ambitious husband who would stop at nothing to achieve his political aims, and she described having to constantly compromise and sacrifice her own career so he could pursue his, only for him to dump her unceremoniously after 26 years.

Pryce first met Huhne in 1982, a year after her first marriage ended.

Despite breaking their engagement off because of "second thoughts", they married a year later.

She had two children from her first marriage and they went on to have three more.

She later took a job as the Government's top economist, but struggled to cope with a constantly "absent" husband.

Pryce learned to handle "arrogant" Huhne by ignoring him and compromising.

But the biggest compromise came in 1990, when she fell pregnant accidentally and was pressured by him into having an abortion because it was "bad for his career".

He tried exerting the same pressure again two years later, but she resisted and went on to give birth to their third and youngest child.

It was a decade later, in 2003, that Huhne bullied his then-wife into taking his speeding points, she claimed.

She said he nominated her as the driver without telling her, then stood in their hallway "waving" a pen, leaving her no choice but to sign the form.

The couple celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 2009, but Pryce later found out that Huhne was already having an affair with PR adviser Carina Trimingham at that point.

He finally came clean in 2010 when faced with exposure by a newspaper, confessing during half-time of a World Cup football match.

In an unceremonious end to 26 years of marriage, he drafted a statement for the press, then went to the gym, without even an apology, Pryce said.

His decision not only ended his marriage, but ruined his relationship with his children, including youngest son Peter.

In angry text messages revealed to the court, Peter, then 18, told his father he "disgusted" him, rebuffing Huhne's attempts to contact him.