The soap actress fiancee of Britain’s most notorious prisoner Charles Bronson has said she is taking a “huge risk” in marrying him.
Paula Williamson, who has appeared in Emmerdale and Coronation Street, insisted the relationship is not a publicity stunt and is hoping Bronson will be released later this year.
The 64-year-old inmate, born Michael Peterson and now called Charles Salvador having changed his name by deed poll, is serving a life sentence for robbery and kidnap and has earned public notoriety with a history of violence inside and outside jail.
Williamson told Good Morning Britain: “Charlie’s the first to admit that he’s done a lot of terrifying things and I’m aware of those things.
“However, the Charlie that I know is not the same person that’s committed all those offences while he’s been incarcerated. He is that person, he’s committed these offences and he’s made these mistakes, but he’s a different character now.
“I’m not frightened at all. Charlie, and this may seem completely bizarre to many people, he’s a gentle giant and he is a gentleman. He’s very, very caring. He’s never hurt a woman, he’s never hurt a child.”
She added that she was “in love” with him, saying: “I’m very excited to be his fiancee”.
Asked if the relationship was a publicity stunt, Williamson said: “No, not at all, not at all.
“He’s got a parole hearing later this year. If I was doing it for any kind of publicity reasons, I wouldn’t get married to Britain’s most notorious prisoner, it would make no sense.
“I’ve not deliberately sought him for that reason. I wrote to him because I connected with him with a book I read that he’d written called Broadmoor. It was about his time (at the psychiatric hospital) and I found his spirit phenomenal and very inspiring.”
She added: “He is where he is and I’ve met him and I can’t deny chemistry, I can’t deny when you fall in love with somebody, I cannot deny that. I’m taking a huge risk here – I’ve been sacked from one of my jobs already.”