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April 5, 2013

The Accidental Mistress


Photo Credit: Ruven Afanador

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It was all about the deal going through at the end of November. He suggested I call realtors—I could have a $4 million apartment and a $2 million beach house. We never fought; I'm not a fighter. We were so compatible; we had the same temperament and the same interests. We were going to have this great life together. I thought I got lucky. But why shouldn't this happen to me? It happens to people all the time.

We'd gone to a big dinner with friends from India, and they were all saying we were the next ones to be married. And I was like, "I always wanted an Indian wedding," and they were like, "That's what you're going to do!" Andrew said Adam Carolla was his friend, and I thought, I'm going to ask Adam to marry us. We'd only been dating for three months, but it seemed like forever because we were so involved in each other's lives. He came out with me all the time and knew everyone important to me. Except I hadn't met anyone on his side. His kids would visit, but I didn't meet them because it felt a little bit too soon. He kept saying all of his friends were in L.A. and that he didn't know anyone here except the guys at work. There was supposed to be a dinner with the other partners to celebrate the deal, but it kept getting canceled. I didn't think that much of it because I once had a long-term relationship with an investment banker, and things like that got canceled all the time. I had lived through that life; I was living that life. I could decide on a Sunday to go to Thailand for work and be gone on Wednesday, and that would not be abnormal.

Finally, I was going to meet his childhood friends at a party in L.A. a week before Thanksgiving and his kids over the holiday. He and his friends had all gone to high school together; his ex had been his high school sweetheart. They were great and said to me, "We're so happy he's not with Jennifer anymore." Back at the hotel, I told him, "You keep telling me you want to spend the rest of your life with me and how much you love me. So is that a proposal?" He said it was but that I had to let him do it his way. I thought he would give me a ring for Christmas.

On our last day in L.A., the hotel landline rang at 4:30 in the morning. He had said he might have a conference call, so when a woman asked for Andrew, I assumed it was a secretary and handed the phone over. He listened for a bit, then hung up. He said it was his ex and that she was concerned about my meeting the children the next week. He had told me stories about how difficult his ex was. Once home, he told me he had to go to London again because things were looking very bad for the deal. At one point, he had promised me, "I'm going to support you." I would have no financial worries and could do whatever project I wanted. But now the deal was falling apart, and that's when I knew I really loved him. Because I didn't care. We had each other. All the other stuff didn't matter. On Saturday morning, I woke up and saw an e-mail from Jennifer. I thought it was going to be some nasty note about staying away from their children. The e-mail said: "Andrew is my husband. He's been lying to you. We're still married."

My jaw dropped. The air left my lungs. I shook from head to toe. I cried. I texted him, "I don't care where you are, you need to call me." When I didn't hear from him, I forwarded the e-mail to him with the question, "Is this true?" Then I forwarded the e-mail to two girlfriends, one who happened to be with someone who works at the Smoking Gun website and one who works in corporate espionage. The first friend called and said we needed to figure out who was telling the truth and started doing research on an iPad at a coffee shop. My corporate spy friend said Jennifer could just be a jealous ex-wife who went ballistic because he was bringing his girlfriend home for the first time. She called someone to start pulling records on him.

Within half an hour, we must have had 40 pages of documents on Andrew—no criminal activity but real estate and car and business records. A lot of things were based on truth. Then Jennifer texted a picture of him sitting in their living room to prove he wasn't in London. Then Andrew wrote, "It's true. I'm so sorry. I hate myself. I'm a terrible person. I never meant to hurt you. I was going to tell you." This was all by e-mail because she was controlling his phone and wouldn't let him call me. All this came out later, but according to him, she had run up a lot of credit card debt and they were now sharing one credit card. He had used that card at the hotel in L.A., and the credit card company sent an alert, which she saw. She called that morning to break his balls about staying in an expensive hotel and when a woman answered, she asked their son to get into Andrew's e-mail account, where she found all the e-mails we had written to each other. His "London" trip was actually a trip home because he'd been caught, which was a relief to him. It had gotten so out of hand.

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