He once claimed he's the Son of God and the world is run by alien lizards, but the story of David Icke's marriage breakdown is almost as weird
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The audience at the theatre in Times Square, New York, sat in reverential silence as David Icke took the stage and made his great revelation.
Our planet, he declared, is secretly ruled by a race of reptile-like aliens.
These reptiles, malevolent in nature, sometimes ‘shape-shift’ into human form. The Queen, for example, is a reptilian, President Barack Obama another.
Bonkers, yes. But Icke’s show in November, with tickets costing $50 (£32) a head, was a sell-out, as have been most of the other dates on his world tour, which ends in Britain later this year.
Wherever he goes, thousands flock to see him. Twenty years after the famous TV interview on Wogan, when the once-respected sports commentator became a national laughing stock for saying he was the Son of God, Icke’s brand of loopiness has proved more resilient and lucrative than anyone could have guessed.
But there is one thing Icke has not yet talked about on his tour — and he does go on rather, sometimes for eight hours at a time — and that is the increasingly bitter divorce battle he is embroiled in with his second wife, Pamela Leigh Richards.
Or that one of the reasons they split up, according to Pamela, is that he became suspicious that she is a shape-shifting alien.
‘He can’t figure me out — he thinks I might be a reptilian,’ says Pamela.
‘Of course, I’m not. David and I had a deep connection, we were meant to be together, but he turned against me. I’ve been through utter bewilderment, pain, sorrow and heartbreak.’
So presumably Pamela thinks her husband is crazy, a fraud or is enjoying a great joke at the expense of gullible conspiracy theorists? Well, actually no.
Pamela — in all other respects an intelligent and articulate woman — also believes sinister forces lurk in dark corners.
So much so, that during the 11 years they spent together, she devotedly accompanied Icke on his travels, spreading the word.
Every marriage is unique, but surely there is none to match the barminess of the union between David Icke and Pamela Leigh Richards.
Pamela, 52, and the mother of a 24-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, met Icke in Jamaica in August 1997. It was six years after the interview on Wogan and Icke was still a national joke in Britain.
Pamela, the daughter of an American fighter pilot, worked in financial services and was attending a conference on the island. Icke was giving one of his talks at the same hotel and Pamela was intrigued enough to attend — and was mesmerised by what she heard.
‘You could have heard a pin drop when David spoke. I came away with the knowledge that the world is not what I thought it was and I learned about its reptilian aspect.
‘I went up to David afterwards to thank him, but at that time I was not romantically attracted to him.’
Three months later, they met on the Caribbean island of Aruba, where Icke was giving another talk at a conference and Pamela was on another business trip.
This encounter was, apparently, even more auspicious. Before his trip, Icke had visited a psychic who told him he was going to meet a lady from America who would ask him out to dinner and with whom he would be joined at the hip. She would be wearing a mauve gown.
Pamela says she was that person (and never mind that the dress she was wearing was yellow).
‘The day before the talk, we passed each other by the pool of the hotel where he was speaking and we were both staying. He stopped and said hello,’ says Pamela.
‘We talked for a while and I could feel a strong connection beginning.
‘Later, when we got together, he told me he stopped because he thought: “Oh My God, this could be The One.”
‘The following day I saw him again and invited him to dinner with a few friends. Afterwards we walked along the pier and sat at the end of the walkway. ‘It was there that being joined at the hip and inseparable became as real as it gets.’
Icke had once predicted that the world would end in 1997, and was no doubt mightily relieved that his prediction did not come true, allowing him to pursue Pamela.
It was not imminent Armageddon but his own unusual domestic arrangements that provided the backdrop to his new romance.
For Icke was still married and living with his first wife, Linda, and their three children at the family home in Ryde on the Isle of Wight.
To make matters trickier, another woman, Deborah Shaw, had moved into the marital home in 1990.
It was reported that David, Linda and Deborah had a menage a trois for a while, but that Linda kicked out Deborah when she became pregnant with a daughter, Rebecca, by Icke.
Yet none of this seemingly troubled his new American girlfriend.
‘David told me all about Linda and said that though he still lived at the family home, it was all over between them.’
So for two years, Pamela ‘commuted’ from her home in Phoenix, Arizona, to the Isle of Wight to be with Icke before moving permanently to the island.
You might imagine Icke’s wife might have harboured some, er, ‘negative thought patterns’ towards the attractive new blonde in her husband’s life, but Pamela says that was not the case. At least, not initially.
‘She was very kind to me at the beginning and even helped David and I find a flat.’
When Linda and David finally divorced, it wasn’t long before a new Mrs Icke had filled the vacancy.
On September 20, 2001, nine days after 9/11 — the lizards blew up the Twin Towers, according to Icke — Pamela and Icke were married in a simple ceremony at Newport county court on the Isle of Wight.
The wedding was attended by Icke’s three children from his marriage to Linda — his daughter Kerry and sons Jaymie and Gareth — and the wedding reception was in a local pub.
The pair settled happily enough into married life in Ryde, with Pamela remaining ever supportive of Icke’s increasingly bizarre theories — among them that Princess Diana was assassinated by a New World Order and that the Moon was constructed by aliens.
Yet when Icke wasn’t working on his conspiracy theories, he and Pamela led rather a conventional life, weirdly at odds with his dramatic pronouncements.
Often, they would stay in and watch TV — her husband’s favourite programmes were The Vicar of Dibley and Only Fools And Horses.
Icke’s other great passion, apart from saving mankind, is steam trains, and together the couple visited steam railways across Britain. Oh, and they also went hiking with his first wife, who remained his business manager.
‘The three of us got along very well,’ says Pamela.
‘David has a connection with Linda through his children. He is great company and has a really good sense of humour. I used to tell him he should become a stand-up comedian.’
Things started to go wrong in 2006 when Icke decided to restructure his expanding business ventures.
‘I had set up David’s website and got the whole thing going, but it was agreed I’d transfer my duties to his daughter Kerry,’ says Pamela.
‘We had a meeting with Linda and we agreed how money made from the business would be split.
‘I could tell Linda was getting upset about what was being discussed. The thing was, she had always been responsible for the business side of things and I don’t think she liked the new set-up.’
Tensions increased, she says, when a psychic whom Icke had consulted for advice began influencing him against Pamela.
‘She was crucial to what has happened. She told David I was out to take his business and separate him from his children. Everyone was against me — I was the target.’
To make matters worse, Pamela says Icke became suspicious that she was showing reptilian tendencies.
‘He’d say accusingly: “Your face has changed, you look different.” ’
Pamela says the fact that her father was a fighter pilot and she had grown up on air bases — Icke suspects the military to be under the control of reptilian forces — will have fuelled her husband’s fears.
Yet despite their deteriorating relationship, Pamela says she was still shocked when she learned, in typically unconventional style, that Icke wanted her out of his life.
‘We were on tour — in Vancouver, I think — when the driver said to me out of the blue: “David wants you to go.” I was so shocked I felt as though I was having heart palpitations. There was no reason for it.
‘When we got to our hotel, my bag was chucked into the car — David had thrown my clothes into the bag.
‘The driver took me to the airport and I flew to Phoenix, where I stayed in the apartment I’d kept on, until David came some days later to get me. It happened several times — David just could not make up his mind.’
With the marriage under increasing strain, Pamela took off to Egypt for six months in 2007.
‘I was being hit by what I would call aggressive and attacking “thought forms,”’ she says.
‘There was fear all around. My heart and energy field was being crushed.’
When she returned to Icke in Ryde, they hoped they could work things out, but the rows became worse.
After a final argument in February 2008, she fled the marital home and moved back to Arizona.
‘Before I left, I was on my knees, crying, so exhausted from it all I couldn’t move. I said: “It’s over, I’ve got to go.”
‘When I walked out of the door I turned round and he was at the window, watching me.
‘He didn’t want me to go. Even then, he thought it could work between us. How could something so powerful end?’
That year, Icke filed for divorce, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’.
For the past three years, he and Pamela have been battling over the financial details of their divorce.
They have spoken only once, in January 2010, after Pamela suffered a fall and sustained a serious brain injury.
She says her lawyer has instructed her not to disclose the size of the settlement she is seeking, but it is likely that Icke is a rich man.
His tour is a success, he has written 18 books, published in 20 countries and sells DVDs of his performances.
‘David is drawing this out, we can’t agree over the finances. He is controlling and angry — he has issues.’
David Icke did not respond to requests for a comment, but in an online blog one of his friends has written about the divorce battle between him and Pamela.
She says Pamela is demanding ‘immense amounts of money’ from her husband and that his first wife, Linda, and his children have been supportive of him.
Pamela, meanwhile, says she just wants to get on with her life.
‘I have learned that no matter how kind you can be to someone, or how loving you are to someone, if they choose to remain holding on to their own emotional stuff, you must love them and leave them.
‘I am unattached emotionally, though I care for him. I have always been an extreme optimist and peace is my desire. I just want the divorce settled so I can move on.’
Last night, Mr Icke rejected the allegations made against him by Pamela and refuted her version of events.
He pointed out that she had not made any allegations until it seemed money had become an issue for her.