Tony and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, the couple dubbed the UK’s first gay dads, have announced that they are moving to divorce.
The Sun reports that Barrie announced that he fell “head over heels” for his daughter’s ex-boyfriend, 25 year-old bisexual Scott Hutchinson.
Both Saffron and Tony have given the relationship their blessing and the three men live happily under one roof with five kids in what they call “a very 21st-century family set-up”.
Yesterday, Barrie and Scott, who have been dating for nine months publicly declared that they intend to marry.
Barrie, 50, a self-made millionaire, says: “I’ve fallen in love with Scott and he has done the same. I feel stupid at my age to have these feelings about someone other than Tony and half my age. But when you know something is right, it’s right. We have not made definite plans, but I would like to marry Scott.
“I’m not having a mid-life crisis — if I were having one I’d buy myself a Porsche 911. This is the real deal. But not everyone will get it, as our living arrangements are unorthodox — I feel like I’m living in a commune, we are all still living together.
“Our children are still in a stable set-up, more so than many other families have. But now Dad’s got a new fella, and we are one bigger happy family instead.”
Tony and Barrie became known as the first gay couple to win the legal right to be named as dads on a birth certificate when their first children Saffron and Aspen were born via surrogacy.
The UK’s first gay dads went on to have three more children using egg donors and surrogates and are now multi-millionaires from their ventures, including a trans-Atlantic surrogacy business and a global medical research company.
Pressures of parenthood, being in the spotlight and Tony’s battle with cancer took a toll on the pair’s marriage and while they remain, great friends, Barrie says the romantic element of their relationship ended years ago.
Tony is now in remission, but when he was taken to hospital in March last year with complications following radiotherapy, Scott became “a shoulder to cry on” for Barrie.
Barrie says: “Tony and I decided many years ago it was better we had separate rooms. Once this had gone on for three or four years, we slid into a platonic relationship.
“People may judge me but our relationship has lasted a lot longer than many heterosexual relationships. I love Tony more than anyone. He’s my true love. I will never not adore him. He’s the most sensitive, loving person.
“But somewhere along the way, we turned from lovers into friends. Then Tony fell ill, and over the past three years, his health has deteriorated. I can’t even find words to tell you how hard it has been for the whole family, not least Tony.
“There were days when I wanted to end it all. I didn’t want to go on. I spent a lot of time with Scott and realised nine months ago that I had started to have feelings.
“Saffron and Scott had been split for many months, and this was something totally unexpected. Saffron and Scott were always just friends — their relationship was puppy love.
“They never had a sexual relationship as she was so young. Scott had made no secret of being bisexual, which was why their physical relationship never developed. It’s funny; it was Tony who first raised Scott with me.
“He said: ‘If I ended up going, Scott would be the person I’d like to see you with.’ My initial reaction was: ‘Tony, he’s half my age.’ But he kept mentioning it.
“I joked with him, ‘Is this your way of getting rid of me?’ and he replied: ‘No, this is my way of seeing you happy before anything happens to me.’
“Over the months, Scott and I developed and Tony and I decided we would move on — but amicably, as we want to be there for our children.”
Tony acted as mediator when they told Saffron about Barrie’s relationship with Scott.
Barrie says: “We all sat round the table at home and I told her. Of course, she was annoyed at first, but Tony said: ‘This is a good idea. You can see how Scott is with Daddy, he likes him.’ There were no rows. We just talked as adults.
“Saffron sees how happy we are and she has accepted it.”
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
For 30 years GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community. We want to go on providing this community hub in print and online, helping countless individuals across the country, but the revenue from advertising across the media is falling.
GCN needs your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from only €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.