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.
Paula 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, Paula 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.”
Paula said the wedding would take place “sooner rather than later”.
“We’ll get married in prison, within the prison chapel, depending on where he is at that point.
“I believe there’s about 10 guests allowed and there’ll be a selection of Charlie and I’s family friends.”