Millionaire Father Of Three Receives A Diagnosis That Raises Questions

Receiving a worrisome health diagnosis is difficult on its own. Once Richard Mason learned that he was suffering from cystic fibrosis, his entire world came crashing down in one day. At 55-years-old, Richard had three sons with his ex-wife of over 20 years. Once he learned of his medical condition, Richard began to suspect that she had been lying to him for their entire marriage. Here’s how he found out what she had been hiding from him.

A Successful Business Man And Father Of Three

At 55-years-old, Richard Mason was a successful businessman living in the UK. One of his biggest ventures was co-founding a popular website,, which many people use to compare prices while shopping.


Richard and his wife, Kate, met while they were both working at a bank. They fell in love, got married, and had three sons. Richard worked hard and lived a good life. He never could have expected everything to fall apart so quickly.

The Couple Divorced As The Kids Left The House

Richard and his wife Kate had three boys together: Will, and twins Ed and Joel. When Will was 23-years-old and the twins were 19, Richard and Kate made the tough decision to separate.

While their marriage was no longer serving them, they both remained close to their boys and knew that they were doing what’s best for the family. With all three of their sons over the age of 18, the couple officially divorced in early 2008.

Kate Pushed For More Money In The Divorce


While the couple mutually agreed to divorce, once the proceedings began, Kate kept pushing for Richard to pay more money. They had agreed in the financial settlement that Kate would receive a $5 million lump sum.

The $5 million Richard would be paying also included money for private school for all three of their sons. He didn’t understand why Kate wanted more money. He said that his ex-wife “hounded me for years… and tried to make me pay more.”

Eight Years Later, The Truth Is Revealed

Although the couple had been divorced since 2008, it wasn’t until 2016 that Richard learned that his ex-wife had been keeping a major secret from him for their entire marriage.

What’s worse is that she didn’t admit her wrongdoings. No, he found out about Kate’s massive secret after going to see the doctor for a routine health check-up. While he knew she was after his money, he never expected to learn that she had been deceiving him for so long.

Richard Was Diagnosed With Cystic Fibrosis


At 55-years-old, Richard went to the doctor for a routine health check-up. He thought that he would be in and out in a short matter of time, but the doctor decided to run some extra tests while he was there.

Richard was taken aback when the doctor delivered the hard news that he had cystic fibrosis. He was not expecting anything out of the ordinary to come from the doctor appointment and this was pretty tough news to swallow.

The Disease Is Genetic


Being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis was a scary realization for Richard at this point in his life. His sister had been diagnosed with the same disease, so he knew there was a chance he’d have it too.

Cystic fibrosis causes frequent lung infections which leads to damaged lungs and decreased lung capacity, making it hard to breathe. Being a genetic disease, Richard was immediately worried that he had passed it on to his three sons.

The Doctor Said That His Sons Wouldn’t Have It


Richard then worried that he had passed on the genes for cystic fibrosis to his three sons. It’s a tough question for a parent to ask a doctor. Richard was incredibly worried that one of his kids would have to face the same diagnosis.

As he sat there, trying to process all of the information he was being given, and figuring out the important questions to ask the doctor, he asked about his sons.

Men With Cystic Fibrosis Are Infertile


Then, the doctor delivered the news that Richard wasn’t expecting at all. Richard recalls the life-changing conversation, “When the discussion then turned to fertility, he said, ‘Look, yourself and Emma (Richard’s second wife) you know- you’re gonna have difficulty having children because you are, as a man with cystic fibrosis, infertile.'”

At that point, Richard thought that he might have received an incorrect diagnosis of having cystic fibrosis. After all, he had three healthy sons.

The Diagnosis Must Be Wrong


Richard vocalized his thought to his doctor. “Well,” he said, “you must have the diagnosis wrong because I’ve already got three boys.” Clearly, he would need to do more testing, right?

He recalls in an interview, “I actually felt pleased to be able to tell him this, because in my mind it proved his diagnosis was wrong.” The doctor’s eyes grew wide and he and Richard knew what he was going to say next.

The Diagnosis Was Correct. His Ex-Wife Had Been Lying.

Through the doctor’s silence, Richard realized what he was going to say. The cystic fibrosis diagnosis was correct. It was Richard’s ex-wife who was lying. It felt like his entire world was crashing down.

Not only had Richard received terrible news concerning his health, but the 55-year-old also learned on the same day that his three sons weren’t biologically his. For all this time, Kate had been lying to Richard. But now he knew the truth.

He Began Putting Things Together


Learning this while sitting at the doctor’s office, realizations flashed through Richard’s head. He began thinking of all of the times that Kate could have been lying to him, and sneaking off with another man.

He thought back to times that should have been a red flag. But Richard had pushed those thoughts to the back of his mind, trusting that his wife was telling him the truth. How could she do this?

Had He Ignored The Red Flags?


Before his cystic fibrosis diagnosis, Richard had never considered that his ex-wife could have been having an affair during their marriage. Now, looking back on it, it was entirely possible that this was all going on under his nose.

Richard was a hard-working, successful businessman, often working late nights. So he didn’t think anything of it when Kate would occasionally have a work-related matter come up. Like that time Kate stayed in London for a night during a “work trip” after she said that her flight had been canceled.

People Didn’t Think The Twins Looked Like Him


Before that day at the doctor’s office, Richard had never considered that his boys wouldn’t be his own. Now that he was being told he was infertile, thoughts started raising through his head. He remembered people commenting on how much the twins looked like his ex-wife Kate when they were born, but not like Richard.

At the time, he brushed off the comments. But now, they seemed to be louder than ever.

Out Of Nowhere, Kate Wanted The Kids To Be Jewish


When Kate became pregnant with the couple’s first child, they had been married for seven years. During that time, Kate never mentioned wanting to teach their future kids Judaism, so Richard found it surprising that she brought it up when she was pregnant with Will.

Instead of teaching the kids Christianity and getting them baptized, as both Richard and Kate had been, she instead met with a Rabbi and taught the kids about Judaism. They also ended up giving all three of their children Jewish middle names.

He Began Thinking Of Who The Boys Looked Like


So many thoughts were running through Richard’s head as he began putting the pieces of the past together. Then he began thinking about who the boys looked like, other than Kate.

He recognized they shared similarities to someone that he knew, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Was he really certain that Kate had been having an affair with another man all this time? Richard knew that he had to get to the bottom of it.

He Suspected Who It Was


That meant that she could be cheating with someone at her work. Richard thought of one man, a co-worker of Kate’s, who he thought the boys resembled. Then, the last piece of the puzzle came together when he remembered that the man was Jewish.

Richard Sent An Email To Kate, Pressing Her To Confess


Being that the couple was no longer married, Richard wasn’t able to come home and confront Kate. He decided to send his ex-wife an email, explaining what he had learned at the doctor’s office that day, and demanding that she provide some answers.

He boldly wrote, “I went to the Liverpool Chest Hospital today… to finally receive my diagnosis that I have cystic fibrosis. In their experience, they have never had a male with CF who has fathered a child let alone three. It is 98% certain that I am not the father of any children.”

When He Didn’t Hear Back, He Sent Off Another Email


Being handed his diagnosis was tough enough. Now left wondering if his three kids were biologically his, Richard just wanted the truth. He felt that Kate owed him that. After she didn’t reply to the first email, Richard sent a second.

He wrote, “I was hoping that you could relieve me of 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 tell the boys. But, if you force me to go through these extra tests then I shall be telling them as I wish.”

She Denied It


Kate replied back to Richard’s second email. In her reply, she denied that she had an affair during their marriage, and that there was any chance that the boys were biologically anyone but his.

She wrote, “Of course the boys are yours, no matter what the science might suggest.” As Richard had stated, if she didn’t tell him the truth, he would go through with the test, and confront his sons about it. After reading Kate’s reply, he didn’t believe her. And so, he decided to go through with the tests.

Richard Called His Eldest Son


Richard decided that he would contact his oldest son, Will, about the matter. He was nearly certain that he was not the 23-year-old’s biological father. He needed a DNA test to be sure. He also needed to let his sons know about his cystic fibrosis diagnosis. And just like had been dealt to him, Richard was going to have both conversations on the same day.

Richard recalls of his conversation with Will, “I told him I’d just been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, which he took surprisingly calmly.”

Richard Tells Will His Suspicions

During the same conversation with his son Will, Richard recalls, “And I said, ‘Yes but one of the things that I’ve just been told is that it is extremely unlikely that someone with cystic fibrosis could father a child.'”

Then, during the hardest conversation that Richard has ever had to have, something unexpected happened. Richard said, “He said, ‘I’m already ahead of you, Dad. You’re saying you’re probably not my father?'”

Richard Told Him Everything

“It would have been the hardest sentence to utter, and he did it for me,” Richard said of his conversation with Will. He expressed that he would always be his ‘dad’ even if he wasn’t biologically related to Will.

No one ever dreams of having that conversation with a parent when you’re 23-years-old. It was a heavy topic. Richard says, “It was very emotional but I was also very angry.”

It Was Hurtful To Learn He Didn’t Have Any Biological Kids


For 23 years, Richard believed that he had children. He thought that he had passed down his genes to the next generation, and that his three sons carried his bloodline. Learning the truth was shocking.

Richard was also extremely hurt with this fact because his cystic fibrosis diagnosis meant that he might not have as much time left as he thought he did. Having to have both conversations at the same time was a lot to handle.

Will Confronted His Mom


After speaking with Richard, Will confronted his mom Kate about what he had learned. He asked her if she was sure that Richard was his father. Although she lied to Richard, she didn’t lie to Will. Kate confessed that she had been having an affair.

She admitted the affair started during the couple’s marriage, and that it was likely Will’s biological father was someone other than who he thought was his dad. Richard’s suspicions of Kate having an affair had been true after all.

The Affair Lasted For 20 Years


Finally, Kate had admitted that she had an affair. The affair started after they had gotten married– so who was it? She admitted that she had met him the same way that she had met Richard, working at a bank.

Just as Richard thought, the man Kate had been seeing was someone she worked with at Barclays bank. For more than two decades she kept her affair a secret from everyone.

She Said She Still Believed Richard Was Their Father


Although Kate admitted to having an affair with someone that she worked with, she insisted that the boys were Richard’s biological sons. Of course, he didn’t believe her and decided to go through with the tests.

At this point, Richard felt as though his entire life had been a lie. His ex-wife had been living a double life and leading him to believe that the three boys he raised for all of their lives were his. He needed to know the absolute truth.

Richard Goes Through With The Tests


In order to sort everything out, Richard had to take several tests. Under the guidance of Roger Terrell, a paternity fraud expert, Richard first took tests to check his fertility levels. The test results confirmed that Richard was unable to father children.

Then, already fearing the worst, he would need to submit a DNA test. He would also need to get DNA samples from his sons, to see if they matched up.

He’s Not The Father Of The Twins


His two youngest boys, 19-year-old twins Ed and Joel, agreed to take the DNA tests to see if Richard was their biological father. Once again confirming Richard’s suspicions, the boys’ DNA tests showed that Richard was not their father.

It was the ultimate proof that Kate had been carrying on a long affair during their marriage, and lied to Richard about the kids being his. Richard was devastated to learn that the twins weren’t his biological sons.

Will Refused To Take The Test


Will was the first of the three sons to learn that Richard might not be his biological father. The twins were the first to take the DNA test, and Will heard the results. But when Richard and the paternity fraud expert reached out to Will to take the DNA test, he refused.

Will said, “As far as I’m concerned, he’s my Dad and that’s that.” Clearly, Richard had a positive impact on Will’s life, and Will was proud to be able to call Richard his dad.

Will Told Richard Not To Sue Their Mom

Richard would have had a better case for taking legal action against Kate if he had Will’s DNA sample, but there was something else. Richard recalls his conversation with Will: “My eldest son told me, ‘Dad, if you sue Mum, I will never speak to you again.'”

Richard went through with the lawsuit against Kate and admits that Will stayed true to his word, and hasn’t spoken to him since.

The Twins Still Support Their Dad


Although Richard’s oldest son is angry about the lawsuit, twins Ed and Joel are on good terms with their Dad. Richard recalls a letter they wrote him: “Dad, as I explained from the beginning you would never not be dad to me regardless of all of this.”

He continued, “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.”

Richard Won The Paternal Fraud Case


When all was said and done, Richard won the paternal fraud lawsuit against Kate. The court ordered her to pay over $300,000. Part of the agreement that was settled in court was that the father of the boys shall not be revealed.

Richard believed that the boys have a right to know who their biological father is, but agreed to the terms. He’s currently undergoing treatment for cystic fibrosis and has reported that his health is improving.