"family friend" NN
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About "family friend" NN
In her 2008 autobiography, Julie Andrews revealed how the man she thought of as 'mummy's friend' was really her father. The actress was a love child, the result of a passionate liaison her mother shared with “a man by a beautiful lake near Walton-on-Thames”.
Julie had kept her secret deeply buried. In fact, she had kept it hidden for 58 years, ever since the news was broken to her. At the time, she was a wholly unsuspecting 14-year-old.
In the autumn of 1949 Julie had been asked by her mother to perform at the home of a family friend.
“After I had sung, the owner of the house approached me,” she wrote in her memoirs. “He was tall and fleshily handsome, and I recognised him as a man who had come round to visit the Meuse (her family home) once or twice in earlier years. That evening the man came and sat on the couch next to me. I remember feeling an electricity between us that I couldn’t explain.”
However, it was only when they were driving home that her mother asked her whether she liked him. Julie told her that “he seemed pleasant” and her mother then enquired why she thought she had taken her there. Before Julie could answer, however, her mother blurted out: “That man is your father.”
She went on to tell her shell-shocked child that “daddy and I weren’t being very romantic in those days” so she had embarked on a brief liaison. She never wanted to hurt Julie but, she explained, there was an overpowering attraction between her and Julie’s biological father. She had wanted to tell the truth for 14 years but had felt unable.
Julie did not reveal whether she saw her biological father again but said her brain “slammed into defence mode” as she fought to make sense of the earth-shattering news.
“Somehow,” she wrote, “I was able to push it to a dark corner of my mind. It did not alter the fact that the man who had raised me was the man I loved. I would always consider him my father.”While she lived with her mother and stepfather – who frequently turned to drink and embarked on flaming rows – she still saw Wells during holidays and weekends when they’d go on bike rides.
Like her mother, Wells remarried but Julie writes of the “wonderful memories” she has of the man who taught her to read and write by the time she was three. “I loved him with all my being,” she says.
Julie never told Wells that her mother had divulged the truth of her parentage. Nevertheless, she had been curious to know whether Wells had been aware of her mother’s infidelity or that Julie was not his child.
Following her mother’s death, Julie turned to her aunt Joan for the answer. Joan told her that Wells had known all along that Julie was not his daughter. “And that simply knocked me sideways,” said Julie.