Dad Sues Mom for 'Tricking' Him into Believing 3 Sons Were His for 21 Years

Richard Mason
The Metro

A millionaire is looking for justice after his ex-wife's alleged web of lies made him question the paternity of his three grown children. Richard Mason was recently diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, but the diagnosis didn't just mean that he was facing a life-threatening illness; it also meant there was no way he could have fathered his three adult sons. The distraught man sued his ex-wife for paternity fraud, but winning the case cost him more than he imagined.

  • Richard, who is now remarried, only recently discovered that he was infertile while trying to start a family with his new wife.

    Richard divorced his first wife Kate in 2008 after having three sons, a now 23-year-old and a pair of 19-year-old twins, according to the Daily Mail. 

    But his entire life came crashing down in 2016 when the UK businessman was trying to expand his family with his second wife, Emma, and having no luck.

    During that time, Richard went to the doctor for what he thought was chest pain due to pleurisy he'd been suffering from for a year. Richard's sister died from cystic fibrosis in 1989, but he when he was tested for the disease in the '80s, he was given the all-clear. During this appointment, however, he received a different diagnosis that both altered his quality of life and drastically changed his family. 

    "The consultant sat us down in his office and broke it to me as Emma sat by my side," Richard explained. “He said, 'I’m really sorry to tell you, Richard, that you’ve got cystic fibrosis.'"

    "I was stunned -- my initial reaction was 'F*ck no!' because my sister had died of this and my younger sister’s also very ill," Richard said. 

    But the couple was also trying to have a baby, which the doctor knew, and his next bit of news was just as devastating.

    "He told me that 98 percent of male CF patients were infertile, and I realized he was telling me that it was highly unlikely I could have fathered any children," Richard remembered.

    Of course, Richard thought that the existence of his three sons was enough to prove the doctor wrong. However, "a number of medical professionals" also confirmed what his doctor had told him.

    "I was told that of all the patients with CF which they dealt with a the hospital, no male had conceived a child," he said. "After that, I just had that feeling of ringing in my ears after you hit your head really hard. Nothing seemed to sink in.

    "I was just thinking, 'sh*t, my life is ruined."

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  • The problem became how to tell his sons and question his ex-wife, who was reluctant to admit to any wrongdoing.

    Still in a daze, Richard returned to his car and composed a text to his ex, Kate, telling her about his diagnosis and what that meant when it came to the paternity of their sons: 

    "I was hoping that you could relieve me of this further indignity by letting me know now if I am the father. I am happy to go along with your advice as to how best to tell the boys. But, if you force me to go through these extra tests then I shall be telling them as I wish. I have no intention of suing you and would like to remain in the boys’ lives."
    But Kate was allegedly adamant in her reply, which came only minutes later, that there was no cause to be alarmed. "'Of course the boys are yours, no matter what the science might suggest,'" Richard recalled her responding.

    Her message was less than convincing. Richard then went to his oldest son, 21 years old at the time, and revealed the shocking news. His son later confronted his mother about the scandal, which prompted her to confess to Richard two days later that she had had an affair during their marriage. 

    Refusing to name the man she had been sleeping with, Kate finally admitted that she had been seeing him on-and-off during their 20-year marriage. She argued, however, that they had only slept together six to 12 times and that each time they used a condom, so Richard still had to be the boys' biological dad. 

    Facing Kate's adamant denial, Richard then took his case to a paternity fraud expert, Roger Terrell, and a legal case was launched to have the divorce settlement reviewed in family court and seek damages for paternity fraud in Birmingham County Court.

    First they had to discover once and for all if Richard really was the father of his kids.

  • A medical test revealed the awful truth: Richard was incapable of producing sperm in any way and DNA tests prove that his twin sons were not his.

    Richard's oldest son refused to get tested. "As far as I’m concerned he’s my dad and that’s that," his oldest had said. That same son, however, apparently felt just as strong when it came to the ongoing legal battle between his mom and dad. 

    "My eldest told me, 'Dad, if you sue Mom, I will never speak to you again' -- and he hasn’t," Richard said. He said one of his twin sons also refuses to speak with him, but the other has sent texts. 

    Following the discovery of Kate's deceit, she agreed out of court to hand back $446,000 of the more than $5 million she had been awarded in a lump sum in their original divorce settlement in 2008. But the money has healed only some of the wounds that Richard said he feels, now that he knows he's ill and effectively has no blood family.

    "You don’t know what’s real and what isn’t -- it’s as if I’m living in The Matrix" he said. "Someone says to you, 'All that you know and everything you thought to be solid and true is not real, and never did exist. You are not a father, you are not able to have kids, your name will not continue.'"

    The hardest part is still seeing his sons' lives only on Facebook. "It’s heart-wrenching because we saw the graduation of the eldest on there, but I wasn’t invited. And when friends post things on Facebook about their own families like their first grandchild or saying they’re proud of their boy for something, I just think, 'My God, that’s all been taken away from me,'" he said.

    Although life has recently been difficult for Richard, a few weeks ago he received a text from one of his sons that gave him hope: 

    "Dad, as I explained from the beginning you would never not be dad to me regardless of all this. Of course I’ll stay in touch, that will never change… I’m always here for you too and you will always be Dad. Love you x."

  • After facing some backlash for going public with his family drama, Richard shared that his "wounded pride" was partly behind his decision. 

    "It may not be the answer you want to hear, but yes, I think it did," he told the Daily Mail. "However, neither launching the case nor going public were steps I took without a lot of thought. For a start, the boys are now adults and if they were children I wouldn’t have." 

    He added, however, that after so many years of his wife lying, he wanted to show his kids what telling the truth looks like. "I also wanted to be honest and end all the secrets and lies," he said. "They’re very clever boys and because of the way I brought them up to do the right thing, I hoped they -- now grown men -- would understand that I needed to take that decision."