Mistress, Cuckolded mother and Wife: Lady Annabel Goldsmith (Mother of Jemima Khan Goldsmith). Fruits of Adultery
As the wife and ex-wife of two unfaithful men, she explained her marriage philosophy to the Times in 1987: "I can never understand the wives who really mind, the wives who set such store by fidelity. How extraordinary, and how mad they are. Because, surely, if the man goes out and he comes back, it's not actually doing any harm."
On 10 March 1954, at the age of 19, she married businessman Mark Birley at the Caxton Hall register office in London. Birley famously paid tribute to her by naming in her honour his renowned nightclub, Annabel's, which opened on 4 June 1963 and was run by Birley for more than forty years. During the 1960s, Lady Annabel was a constant presence at Annabel's, known as one of the grandest nightclubs of the sixties and seventies, where she entertained guests ranging from Ted and Robert F. Kennedy to Frank Sinatra, Prince Charles, Richard Nixon, and Muhammad Ali. "I used to be there every night, even when I had three small children to take to school the next day. It was like a second home to me", she recalled.
She raised her three children with Birley at Pelham cottage. Her eldest son Rupert, who was born on 20 August 1955, studied at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford.
|Annabel and two legitimate children from Marriage with Annabel|
The Birleys separated in 1972 and later divorced in 1975 after the birth of her second child with James Goldsmith. "Our breakup was because of Mark's infidelities, not because I fell in love with Jimmy", she told Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth after Birley's death. Revealing that Birley had numerous other girlfriends from the beginning of their relationship, she added: "I think he was absolutely incapable of being faithful. He was a serial adulterer. Like a butterfly, he had to seduce every woman. Despite their divorce, the two remained best friends and soulmates, talking to each other every day and holidaying together until Birley's death in August 2007.Birley said they were "the true loves of each other's lives".