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Articles > Brian May Articles > 08-01-1999 - Sunday Mirror - Secret Mistress

Meet the secret mistress who rocked Brian May's 11-year romance

THEY were the showbiz couple who became each other's trophies. The rock superstar and the glamorous actress stepping out arm-in-arm without a care in the world.

No premiere or party was complete without the smiling faces of Brian May and Anita Dobson posing in front of the flashbulbs.

The smiles often masked a fiery partnership that blew hot and cold with numerous partings and reconciliations. But now the relationship that even showbusiness cynics predicted would survive all the mantraps is in deep trouble.

Today the Sunday Mirror can reveal why - Brian was caught cheating on Anita with his married secretary.

Furious Anita - not exactly renowned for her placid temperament - did what most women would do when she discovered Brian was sleeping with his glamorous Girl Friday, Julie Glover.

She hit the roof...and more.

It was almost a real-life replay of her most famous role in EastEnders as the acid-tongued, Queen Vic landlady Angie Watts.

FIRST Anita telephoned her love rival's unsuspecting husband to tell him his wife was sleeping with her multi-millionaire boss.

THEN she issued an ultimatum to Brian: "Sack that woman or we're finished forever."

Forced to make the choice, former Queen guitarist Brian, 52, plumped for Anita, his partner of 11 years. The loser is besotted Julie, 10 years younger than Brian, who has now left her showbiz manager husband John Glover.

In order to win back Anita, Brian has mounted a desperate rescue operation.

Last weekend he flew out to Canada, where 50-year-old Anita is appearing in a stage show, to try to persuade her to give him another chance.

Meanwhile Julie is attempting to rebuild her shattered life. Last week she left her job as Brian's personal assistant - a post she has held for more than 15 years - with a "generous" pay-off from the guilt-stricken star.

She has also moved out of the £400,000 cottage she shared with John, her husband of 10 years, and taken a rented bungalow just two miles from Brian's Surrey mansion.

Last night a mutual friend said: "Julie has lost her marriage, her job and Brian. The whole thing is a mess with broken hearts everywhere.

"Brian is beside himself over everything that's happened, but he's decided he can't live without Anita."

Friends told how Brian became close to Julie before his temporary split from Anita earlier this year.

The star announced in January that he and Anita were separating. Not everyone was convinced, though. The overriding reaction in TV and music circles was: "Here we go again."

Meanwhile Brian and Julie began a sizzling affair behind the back of her husband, who represents singer Beverly Craven.

It all looked cut and dried - except that where Brian and Anita are concerned, nothing ever is.

Friends revealed how the rocker, who has forged a solo career after the death of Queen front man Freddie Mercury eight years ago, began to pine for Anita.

Said one pal: "He is very fond of Julie but he can't live without Anita."

Weeks later the couple were back together with Brian telling a distraught Julie it was all over between them. Or was it? Anita didn't think so. After finding out about the relationship, she was convinced it was still going on.

Julie continued to work for Brian at his luxury mansion in Windlesham, where she regularly stayed late at night. Even yesterday, friends confirmed that Brian and Julie still have "strong feelings" for each other.

They told how jealous Anita spilled the beans to Julie's husband. "Anita was certain the relationship was not over," one said, "especially as Julie was spending every day with Brian at his house. Anita rarely goes there herself. She tends to stay at their house in London."

One day Anita's feelings reached boiling point. "She decided to ring up John Glover to tell him Julie was cheating on him with Brian. He was obviously completely shocked."

"He had always considered Brian to be a friend and had no idea what was going on behind his back. Poor John is distraught."

Anita then told Brian she would not consider going back to him until he sacked Julie. Meanwhile Anita flew to Toronto to appear in a production of the stage show, The Pajama Game.

Brian was due to join her on opening night, but other members of the production revealed how Anita told him not to come.

"She told him she wanted nothing to do with him while Julie was still on the scene," said one.

Julie's cheated husband was also involved in the Toronto end of things. "He has a client in the production and flew over for the premiere. You can imagine the atmosphere." Back here a friend spoke frankly of Julie's heartbreak: "Julie is completely devastated. She truly loves Brian. Now her marriage has been wrecked and she has lost Brian too. But he says he just can't live without Anita.

He has been in a terrible state. It's a very unhappy situation for everyone."

In Toronto, an insider on The Pajama Game told of Anita's own reaction. "Anita has been doing her best to get on with her work, but the situation with Brian is very stressful. She has told her best friends about what is happening and they are being supportive.

"She can't accept that Brian wasn't seeing Julie before they split up. Brian had been spending virtually all his time at his country home and not much time with her."

Brian first fell for Anita in 1986 when she was starring as the brassy Angie - wife of Dirty Den - in the BBC soap. At the time he was married to his teenage sweetheart Chrissy, the mother of his three children. In an ironic echo of the current turmoil, Brian and Anita began a secret affair behind Chrissy's back before he eventually moved in with Anita in 1988.

The couple are famous for their volatile relationship. Their make- ups are almost as spectacular as their break-ups. When they got back together after their parting earlier this year, Brian picked Anita up in his Mercedes with a huge pink balloon bouncing around on the back seat. As late as last April things still seemed to be going swimmingly. At Anita's 50th birthday party, they kissed and cuddled over a cake in the shape of a red heart.

What a difference four months make. Last night a friend outlined the rock star's state of mind. "Brian's life is a mess and he has been very depressed. But he has made his decision."

"It's Anita he wants, although he realises he will have to work very hard to get her to trust him again."