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Paul Hollywood on split with ex-wife Alex: 'I didn't want to carry on'

The GBBO star split from Alex in 2017

paul hollywood alex
Nichola Murphy
Nichola MurphyDeputy Lifestyle Editor
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Paul Hollywood has opened up about dealing with his very public split from ex-wife Alex, to whom he was married from 1998 to 2019.

READ: Fern Britton's surprising confession about rift in 12-year marriage with ex-husband

The Great British Bake Off star, 55, said he has "withdrawn a lot" from the spotlight over the past few years after being unable to speak out against the press' "twisted truth" over his alleged infidelity. The former couple – who share son Josh – are believed to have met in Cyprus in 1997 and tied the knot two years later, but Alex accused Paul of multiple affairs during their marriage.

WATCH: Alex Hollywood reveals why she kept her surname following split from Paul

They first split in 2013 after he reportedly had an affair with his American Baking Competition co-star, Marcela Valladolid. The celebrity chef and the cookbook author reconciled shortly afterwards before announcing their split once again in 2017.

During an interview with Platinum magazine, he said: "I was in a really dark place. I didn't want to carry on at one point.

MORE: Great British Bake Off: meet the partners of the judges and hosts

RELATED: Paul Hollywood takes to social media following ex wife's claims of infidelities

paul hollywood wife

Paul and Alex announced their split in 2017 after 19 years of marriage

"Most of what was being said was a lie or a twisted truth. The truth was very different to what the tabloids were writing. The press intrusion can be such a horrible thing to deal with, and it isn't fair, because there’s no right to reply," he said.

"I've withdrawn a lot in the last six years and I'm happiest at home, just putting on my slippers and dressing gown in front of the telly. I don’t go out that much and being in large groups of people makes me nervous."

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The GBBO star joked about being a heartthrob

Alex shocked some fans with revelations about her marriage during a social media post on Valentine's Day in 2022.

Referring to her single status, Alex wrote in part: "It's taken me a while to get here and it hasn't been easy, but I love the woman I am now. Women often lose themselves in relationships, we don't naturally put ourselves first and I know only too well that not every marriage/partnership is a recipe for happiness & success.

Platinum Magazine August Cover

Paul discussed his marriage in the August issue of Platinum

"My own marriage was too over-seasoned with extra marital affairs for my taste and so I opted out and chose the single menu instead.

"It wasn't easy and it took some getting used to, I wasn't even sure I liked it much at first, but as I regained my confidence, my freedom and myself after so long, I discovered that it really isn't a cliche to say happiness really does comes from within."

The mum-of-one continued: "I still get the occasional well-meaning comment - that I'll get 'snapped up soon' (rather like a supermarket meal deal) people don't like to believe that a woman can be happier single and I'm told that I shouldn't worry, that I'll meet someone special again. But that's just it. I already have. That someone special is me…"

After his marriage broke down, Paul has dated Summer Monteys-Fullam, now 26, and more recently, Melissa Spalding, 37. On being a heartthrob, he told Platinum: "I mean, ultimately, it’s very flattering and I’ve had a few marriage proposals, which is odd, but you don’t take that sort of stuff to heart because it’s just a bit of fun. You could put anybody in my position, and they’d get the same attention."

Read the full interview in the August 2022 issue of Platinum – out now.

MORE: 12 celebrity bridal dresses with secret messages: Nicola Peltz, Gwen Stefani & more

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