Antonia de Sancha
Antonia de Sancha (born 14 September 1961 in Hammersmith, London) is an English actress and businesswoman best known as the former mistress of British Conservative Member of Parliament and Cabinet minister David Mellor which became public knowledge in 1992.
She is the daughter of a Spanish film producer father, who died in the mid-1980s, and a Swedish mother who, suffering from severe depression, committed suicide 18 months later, shortly before her daughter began studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. At the time of the revelations of her affair, de Sancha was described by some news outlets as a "soft-porn actress" because she had played the part of a prostitute in a film in which she had simulated sex. The film "The Pieman" also featured John Hemming-Clark, leader of political party Independents to Save Queen Mary's Hospital, as de Sancha's husband. The affair with Mellor was a contributory factor in his subsequent resignation from the cabinet on 24 September 1992.
Believing her acting career was ruined and aware that newspapers were making money out of the story and she wasn't, de Sancha hired publicist Max Clifford to sell her story to various newspapers. She made about £30,000 from those sales.
The furore that followed publication left her deeply unhappy. "It was emotional rape", de Sancha told an interviewer ten years after the scandal referring to the bugging of her flat which led to the affair being made public. She has had scarcely any work as an actress since the scandal, and considers the scandal as the reason a subsequent marriage failed.
She was the subject of an instalment of the Discovery Channel documentary series The Mistress in 2002. De Sancha now runs an Indian textiles importing business in Portobello Road, Kensington, west London.
- Stuart, Julia. (July 21, 2002). "Antonia De Sancha: I kissed, I told, and then...". Irish Independent.
- Ferguson, Euan (November 3, 2002). "He's behind you...". The Guardian.
- Neil Tweedle & Tom Rowley "Whatever happened to Antonia de Sancha - the kiss-and-tell lover who brought down David Mellor?", telegraph.co.uk 1 February 2013. The Telegraph piece says 1985, the Irish Independent 1984.
- "1992: Mellor resigns over sex scandal". BBC News. September 24, 1992.
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