Alex Hollywood has broken her silence over her marriage to Paul Hollywood, comparing his cheating to a fatal motorway smash.
Dignified Alex, who up until now had not spoken about their 2017 split, compared coping with their divorce to a bereavement and said that although her anger had passed, she felt deep hurt over the way blue-eyed baker Paul ended their marriage.
She told Prima magazine: “No one should underestimate how separation and divorce can hit you.
“I compare it to a moment where you’re driving along the motorway and then the next moment, something beyond your control happens and you’re driving in a completely different direction.
“You have to give yourself time to get your head round it.”
Alex and Paul, who share son Josh together, briefly split in 2013 when the blue-eyed baker fell for 37-year-old Mexican-American divorcee Marcela Valladolid, who described him as “a handsome devil” on the show.
He went on to date Marcela but they split in the September when Paul said he still loved Alex.
“I made the biggest mistake of my life and I regret it,” he said at the time.
Yet just five years later, their marriage was in tatters again when Paul fell for 23-year-old barmaid Summer Monteys-Fullam.
He maintains there was no overlap.
An accomplished chef herself, Alex speaks eloquently about her devastation over their split.
“We all react differently and I went on automatic pilot to star with. I think I went through the same five stages of grief that a bereaved person does [denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance].
“You go there in your own way, but I think it’s healthy to do that. Being able to be weak is a strength, too, and it’s okay to sit and have a cry,” she said.
“Paul and I had an ordinary marriage – it lasted for 19 years with a hiccup in the middle and then an abrupt end. I don’t feel angry with Paul – though of course there’s a certain amount of hurt.
“Anger is emotive and I’m not carrying that around with me. All it does is upset you.”
Having not only had to content with the end of her relationship, Alex was left devastated by the loss of two close friends to cancer, while her and Paul’s son Josh has chosen to spend part of his year away from the family home at boarding school.
While he hasn’t publicly spoken about his dad’s behaviour, Alex hinted that they’ve spoken in private about the family breakdown.
“I tell my son that if you behave the way you want people to behave to you, then you will have done the right thing and feel good about yourself,” she added.
In August 2018, Alex vowed to reveal the Great British Bake Off star’s alleged adultery and name his new lover in their £10 million divorce case.
In court documents she confirmed she was divorcing Paul on the grounds of adultery, claiming he’d started an affair with barmaid Summer while they were still a couple.
Months previously, in May last year, the estranged couple swapped snippy recipes over social media that many of their followers believed was a mutual dig.
Alex was praised for sharing her ‘easy summer tart’ instructions – which many saw as shots fired at Paul’s new woman.
He then hit back with a recipe for ‘sourdough’ , with a quip about using ‘Cox’s apples’.
Hollywood was head baker at a five-star hotel in Cyprus when he first clapped eyes on the gorgeous blonde.
Alex was working as a scuba diving instructor at the hotel and they fell head over heels for eachother.
The couple married in 1998 within weeks of first being introduced.
Alex Hollywood’s full interview appears in the February issue of Prima, on sale now. For further exclusive content, visit prima.co.uk