A MUM’S world fell apart after discovering she was ‘married’ to a serial bigamist who had three wives, 13 kids and was a registered sex offender.
Mary Turner Thomson, 54, met US-born William Allen Jordan on an online dating site in 2000, and their whirlwind romance saw him propose just three weeks later.
Mary, from Edinburgh, fell pregnant with their daughter, Eilidh, within six months, and they welcomed son Zach three years later.
But Mary’s world fell apart when in 2006 she was contacted out of the blue by ‘the other Mrs Jordan’, who he’d been married to for over a decade.
Jordan’s web of lies was exposed, revealing he had three ‘wives’, 13 children with six women and was a registered sex offender, after being convicted of molesting a girl between the ages of nine and 13 in 1997.
During their time together, Mary, who has a daughter, Robyn, from a previous relationship, lost everything after being manipulated by Jordan.
He convinced Mary he was a CIA operative on secondment to the MI5, even coming up with paychecks to back up his story.
Jordan convinced Mary to sell ‘everything she had’ including her flat and possessions, by claiming her childrens’ lives were in danger from kidnappers and they had to pay ransoms.
In reality Jordan conned Mary of £200,000, and used his spy story as a cover for spending time with his other families.
Mary, author of The Bigamist and The Psychopath, said: “After living with a psychopath for nearly six years, I lost everything – I was homeless with three children to support.”
Jordan was unmasked as a scam artist and jailed in 2009 for bigamy, fraud and gun crimes, before being deported back to the US.
Mary previously said: “When he first told me that he worked for the CIA, it was really thrilling. Seeing someone that you’re with really making a difference felt a bit like dating Superman.”
But his web of lies unravelled, leaving Mary trying to pick up the pieces of her life.
She said: “Psychologically I was so manipulated. He stopped me being involved with my family, my friends, everybody.
“In just over the space of a year, he took everything away from me.
“I sold my flat, the money from that disappeared. I sold my life insurance policy, I borrowed money.
“Finally I was tapped out, there was nothing else. A few months after that, I found out the truth.
“When the police called, it was like coming out of the Matrix. It was like the walls around me collapsed.
“There was nobody chasing me, nobody coming after the children. But at the same time it was horrendous to know that he really was this sexual predator, bigamist, conman.”
She added: “He actively goes out to impregnate women to rip them off for money. That’s what he does.”
The trauma caused Mary to comfort eat and she piled on the pounds, tipping the scales at 19 stone last year.
The mum-of-three said: “After everything happened I initially gained two stone. I tried different diets to try to lose the weight, but nothing worked. I had resigned myself that this was going to be my size forever.”
In 2016 she slipped a disc in her back, leaving her bed bound.
She said: “It was constantly in excruciating pain. I couldn’t sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time and I had to do that sitting up with cushions piled up beside me. I had to crawl to and from the toilet.
“The kids were having to do the shopping, and every day I’d ask them for crisps and chocolate – I don’t remember eating a proper meal as I was on morphine the whole time.”
Her weight crept up and she put on another three stone, and was a size 24.
Between 2016-2018 Mary underwent two operations and was finally able to walk again, but as she had to take things slow she was still unable to lose the weight she’d piled on.
Mary said: “The very fact I could walk the shops was bliss!
“I had always wanted to get in control of my weight, but nothing was working.
“I was eating homecooked meals, but they were very carbohydrate heavy – and I couldn’t move enough or fast enough to burn off the calories.”
Mary heard about Second Nature, an NHS-backed weight-loss plan that ‘rewires’ bad eating habits, and she was sent ‘smart’ scales, an activity tracker, a recipe book, a meal plan and daily motivational articles.
Within the first week she lost 10lbs, calling it “incredible”.
- Breakfast – Two slices of toast
- Lunch – A sandwich
- Dinner – Pasta bolognese, cottage pie with rice
- Snacks – crisps and chocolate
- Breakfast – overnight oats with Greek yogurt raspberries
- Lunch – chicken or ham salad and vegetables vinegar
- Dinner – moussaka cottage pie with carrots and sweet potato – swapped out the carbs spag bol
- Snacks – no snacks
She said: ‘So many diets focus on just one thing – exercise or calories – but with Second Nature, it’s the combination of everything – food, exercise, sleep and water. You learn step-by-step how to lose weight for good.
“I didn’t understand why carbs were bad, and they explained the science behind what carbs do to your body. They send articles every day and reading those got me in the right mindset.
“I was also sent smart scales and a pedometer – and was encouraged to walk more every day. I felt very supported and like I wasn’t alone – and everything made sense, and it was a really clear path forward.”
By the end of 12 weeks she’d lost two stone, and said she finally felt “in control”, and claims her taste buds have since changed.
She noted: “I ate a packet of my favourite Jelly Tots a few weeks ago and they were disgusting! My tastebuds have completely changed and to me, things like milk and yoghurt now seem sweet.
“I don’t see it as a diet, I see it as a new way of life.”
Jordan was later sentenced to three years in 2015 in New Jersey, for theft by deception and impersonating a government official after conning another woman, and was released the following year.
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