The Great British Baking Show Celebrity Holiday judge shared the details regarding her 13-year affair with Rayne Kruger, her first husband, before they officially got together in her 2012 memoir, Relish: My Life on a Plate. In the memoir, the 83-year-old recounted how she and Kruger were secretly seeing each other while he was still married to her mother’s best friend, Nan Munro.
Now, the novelist has spoken candidly about why she chose to tell the truth in the book about her life. “I thought when you’re writing an autobiography, what you should be doing is writing the interesting bits and leaving out the boring bits,” she said in an interview with E! News.
Leith assumed readers would be more interested in her missteps, so she gave them what they wanted. “Nobody’s interested in your achievements. They’re interested in your failures,” she added.
But omitting the specifics of her relationship with Kruger didn’t seem authentic to their partnership either.
“Love is the most important thing in anyone’s life and to just decide to leave out the most important man in your whole life - who’s been your lover, your chairman, your husband, the father of your children - it would be ridiculous,” she remarked.
That being said, Leith didn’t foresee the damage it would cause. According to Leith, her children – Danny, 49, and Li-Da, 48 – were greatly impacted by her confession, not because they hadn’t been made aware, but because it was all anyone could talk about. Before they read her memoir, they had known about how their mother and father started seeing each other.
“It upset my children a lot,” she noted. “They had read it all before and they knew it was just part of the whole story.”
Now, they’ve all moved on. “It’s not the end of the world... It’s my own fault,” Leith admitted. “If I go public on something, I can hardly complain if somebody talks about it.”
“I think it’s a good piece of writing. It’s the truth and I was trying to write my life, so what I did was correct,“ she continued.
Leith and Kruger tied the knot in 1974, which also happened to be the year his divorce from Munro was settled. At the time, Leith was around 34 years old, while Kruger was 54. Kruger passed away in December 2002. Since his passing, Leith has embarked on her second marriage, saying “I do” to the retired fashion designer John Playfair in 2016. The two wed in Scotland.
“I had to get married in Scotland, because he refused to wear a kilt south of the border,” Leith said on The Jonathan Ross Show. “I was determined, if I was going to get married this guy had to be in a kilt.”