Richard Mason paternity row: Son breaks silence to claim millionaire father was 'very manipulative'

Phoebe Southworth
Richard Mason and his current wife Emma Louise and, right, his son Joel -  Ken McKay/ITV/REX 

The son of a millionaire businessman at the centre of a paternity row has broken his silence to say his father is "very manipulative" and "not the kind of person you want to be with".

Joel Mason, 19, revealed he has no plans to learn who his biological father is and that he hasn't spoken to Richard Mason, the man he grew up believing was his father, for three years.

Now he has spoken out about his strained relationship with Mr Mason, co-founder of price comparison website, who he believed was his father for 21 years.

Joel, along with his twin brother Ed and elder sibling Willem, 23, learned that Mr Mason had been infertile since birth after he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in 2016.

Their mother revealed she had a four-year affair during the 1990s and has now been ordered to pay her former husband £250,000 following an extraordinary legal case, which does not force her to reveal the true identity of her sons' father.

Speaking for the first time since the secret emerged, Joel described Mr Mason as "very manipulative" and said they had not spoken for years. 

He admitted that he thinks his biological father doesn't know he and his brothers exist.

“I don’t know if it’s estranged, I wouldn’t know what word to use. But I haven’t been speaking to him for about three years because of his behaviour," he told The Telegraph.

"He’s a very manipulative man, not the kind of person you want to be with. But he’s still my dad and I’m not going to look for my real one. I doubt he even knows we exist.”

Joel, who is studying property at University, revealed his parents had an "unhappy marriage" but his mother had wanted children.

Despite the revelation about Mr Mason two years ago, he has no interest in tracking down his biological father. 

He added: “I don’t know who he is, I don’t even know his name and I don’t want to - it is just a name. I don’t think he is in our lives and I don’t need or want him to find him.”

His mother Kate, 54, who he says is now single, lives in a luxury seven-bedroom home in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire.

Kate Mason Credit: Richard Stanton

Mr Mason, 55, who re-married and lives in Rhos, North Wales, launched a rare paternity fraud case against his ex-wife, who received £4million in their divorce settlement and ongoing maintenance.

During an interview on ITV's Good Morning Britain on Thursday, he told the boys he thought were his sons that his "door was always open" and suggested they sit down for a cup of tea.

"Boys, I haven't done anything wrong at all. I love you and my door's always open," he said.

"I've got the kettle waiting to go on, a six pack of beer, just come round, you'll get the biggest hug ever.

"Let's have a cry, let's just hug, let's just get back to where we were before. And just have a word with your mum, tell her to stop being so daft."