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    Cougar, 66, ‘conned’ out of £500k says she was a fool

    SHE claims to be a “naive fool” so enthralled by her young van-driving lover that he duped her out of £500,000.

    He, on the other hand, says he was “in love” with the blue-blooded millionaire blonde 37 years his senior and was left heartbroken when she dumped him for an even younger man.

    The Sun last week revealed how Christiane Shellard, 66, is now suing 29-year-old Romanian romeo Cristian Mihalea in the High Court, saying she loaned him half a million pounds to buy a flat in her name.

    He insists the money was a gift and that they were regularly intimate.

    She denies this and recalls just two unsatisfactorily brief moments of closeness.

    Here, speaking exclusively to The Sun, both parties tell their side of the story.

    The cougar Christiane

    GLAMOROUS Christiane was dining in the exclusive Bluebird restaurant in King’s Road, West London, when she spotted the handsome Eastern European in the outdoor smoking area.

    Sidling up to Cristian Mihalea, she asked him for a light for her Vogue slim cigarette. “He was very good-looking, thin as a rake — but no way was I interested at that stage,” said the retired French teacher.

    Recalling their 2016 meeting, she added: “We exchanged numbers but I was going away, so he finally came to my place in September.

    "We started seeing each other nightly, then it became fortnightly. I did not want to become possessive.”

    But Christiane, from Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, claims Cristian was soon asking her for money.

    Over their 18-month relationship she lavished the Romanian with luxury holidays in Mauritius and St Lucia, bought him a Porsche Panamera and designer watches and gave him £160,000 for supposed life- saving treatment for his father.

    Christiane, 66, said: “All he had was a van and no work, and then he said he could not pay his rent. I gave him £700. The strange thing is, he never told me where he lived. I later used a private detective to find that out.

    “Then he moaned his BMW had broken down and it would be very expensive to repair. So I told him I would buy him a car, but gave him a limit — £20,000, I think. He bought a second-hand Porsche Panamera. But he never showed me any receipts.

    “Over the next 18 months I was putting money into his account. He said his father was going to die of liver cancer, and had six months to live unless he got a transplant in a German hospital.

    “Then he announced that they had a donor. I asked him how much and he told me. I gave him £160,000. I now believe he was lying. I considered him my boyfriend — he told me he was my boyfriend. I certainly would not have expected him to go out with anyone else.”

    But now the tearful mum-of-one believes Cristian, 29, targeted her as an “open purse” from the moment he set eyes on her.She said: “I was a naive fool but I was smitten. I was recently divorced from my husband of 38 years. I had never been unfaithful to him.

    “I was free, on my own for the first time. I had never done anything like that before. It got me. I was flattered with a boyfriend 37 years my junior on my arm. I was vulnerable and he turned out to be cold-hearted and opportunistic.”

    In 2013 Christiane had divorced her husband David, 75, the boss of a global City headhunting firm. While she is tight-lipped about the settlement, the family home was sold for £2.25million.

    She is now dreading her son and ex-husband discovering her “utter foolishness”. Christiane even had to confront Cristian about a Sun feature from 2014 in which he boasted of spending £37,000 on £250-a-time hookers. He laughed it off.

    But she claims their own sexual encounters were limited to a couple of brief, awkward incidents which left her “completely unfulfilled”. Shuddering, she said: “It was all over in minutes.

    “He was always making excuses about why we could not be close — he was ill, had stomach ache or was having injections. We did not really sleep together, even when we were on nice holidays. He said he had had an accident getting out of the bath, and he could not get an erection.

    “He would sit on the sofa away from me, would not put his arm around me, and just leave after we had been to a restaurant. I complained to him that there was little affection. I was thinking, ‘If he thinks I am repulsive-looking, why is he with me?’”

    But now Christiane fears she knows the answer. When she floated the idea of buying a property to bring in rental income, Cristian suggested a house in Brentford, West London.

    She recalled: “He said he had seen somewhere online and he would sort it. I had never been to Brentford. My husband used to do all that sort of thing. Cristian told me not to worry.”

    Christiane will not reveal the exact amount she transferred to his account, though it is believed to be the £500,025 she is claiming back through the High Court. She said of the home-buying episode: “He even snatched the phone out of my hand to transfer the money into his account.

    “He refused to wait until after the weekend, as he insisted we would lose it as it would be sold. The idea was that he could live there until he could afford a mortgage to get his own place.

    “A few days later he was saying, ‘Bad news, it has been sold,’ but said he would put his name down with all the estate agents to find another. That’s the first time it dawned on me he might be taking me for a ride. I phoned the estate agent and they had never heard of Cristian.

    “I texted him to say I was now looking for a flat in my block and I needed my money back. He replied he was going for a mortgage and my money would beef up his account to get one. On November 14 he said he was going to Eastern Europe for two weeks, which became three weeks, then until after Christmas.

    “I told him, ‘I hardly see you any more, what kind of a relationship is that?’ He replied, ‘Have a nice day,’ and put the phone down. I knew it was over. I felt such a fool and embarrassed. That is what happens to women my age. Looking back, I suspect he targeted me from the moment he lit my cigarette.

    “What hurts is that he has been telling his solicitor he still loves me. I was never in love with him. I liked him a lot but was not stupid enough to think I could have a future with someone so young — I thought it could last three or four years.

    "I have destroyed every picture of him and I am so ashamed. The guy I was smitten with was a monster. I’ve learned my lesson, I’ve been bitten. If that’s what happens when you date someone, I’d rather stay single.”

    The toyboy Cristian

    DEFIANT Cristian claims that far from being a victim of gold–digging, Christiane is a cougar who upset him by running off with a younger model.

    The 29-year-old Romanian claimed: “I found out she had been seeing another guy for three months late in November. I saw ‘love you’ text messages and pictures.

    “The guy looked very young. I don’t want to trash or rubbish her reputation though. I mentioned this guy to her and I can’t remember exactly what she said. I was obviously shocked and upset, and I’m still upset.”

    Last night Christiane furiously dismissed his claims as nonsense, insisting Cristian was her only boyfriend since her 2013 divorce. Cristian — accused of being a “devious and calculating liar” by Christiane’s legal team, which he vigorously denies — agreed that they first met at the restaurant in 2016.

    And he said they soon formed a physical relationship, despite their age gap.

    He said: “She gifted me half a million to buy a flat for myself in Brentford Dock in West London in August 2017. There was no contract between her and myself.

    “We were a couple in love. I was certainly in love with her. I was seeing her perhaps weekly. Most of the times we met, we got physical. We were boyfriend and girlfriend for nearly two years. The age gap didn’t bother me, it seemed normal — she is very well preserved for her age. We went on holiday together.”

    Elegant mum-of-one Christiane is now suing Cristian in the High Court, saying that she only lent him the £500,000 to buy a flat in her name. But the jobless courier insists he cannot pay her back, as he blew the lot on gold bullion, poker, online gambling and fancy watches.

    Judge Nicholas Cooke has ordered Cristian’s assets to be frozen worldwide while lawyers probe the money trail. Cristian admits that in February this year police quizzed him under caution for possible theft, but dropped the case after three weeks.

    He added: “It was then that she tried to claim back her money through the civil courts. But there is no way she can win her case as she has no proof and there are no contracts.”

    Cristian’s lawyer John Szepietowski added: “It is very sad when a loving relationship turns into a nasty and bitter fight.He was accused of stealing the money, but police decided not to pursue it.

    “This has hit my client in a shocking way.There are texts that support my case that the £500,000 was a gift.”

  2. #2
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    It was about time this type of situation started happening with the genders reversed.


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