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My Pretty Woman; Shameful secret of heir to pounds 200m fortune and his call-girl lover.

He looks like a handsome film star, drives a fast sports car and one day will inherit a pounds 200 million cash family fortune which includes ownership of historic landmarks Lands End and John O'Groats.

Alan Leech, the eldest son of a Jersey-based multi-millionaire, is on the A-list of Britain's most eligible bachelors.

The kind of man mothers would love their daughters to bring home for tea. But behind the automatic security gates to his luxury London flat, football-loving Alan is hiding a bizarre secret.

Just like Richard Gere in the hit film Pretty Woman, wealthy Alan has fallen for the irresistible charms of a beautiful high-class prostitute.

Yesterday Alan revealed that he and his curvy girlfriend - she is famous as a porn star - recently talked about marriage over a romantic meal.

Speaking at his home as 26-year-old Claire took a bath upstairs, he added: "There are no major plans at the moment. We just talked about it once over dinner."

When her connections to smutty porn magazines were raised Alan looked shocked and hurt. "There are a lot of jealous people out there," he said. "That's all she does, mate."

When asked why he was living with a prostitute, he replied: "That's the last thing my girlfriend is ... do you think I am mad? It is disgraceful. What an accusation!"

Claire then appeared and said: "What is wrong with magazine work? That is all I do." But a Sunday Mirror investigation has uncovered Claire's life as a call-girl.

Calling herself Charlie, she uses a mobile phone for messages and has a direct telephone line to the flat which is registered in the name of both Alan Leech and Claire's alias, Claire Dalton.

When a reporter rang posing as a representative for rich Arab businessmen, Claire admitted she was prepared to have full sex in a hotel in London's West End if the money was right.

She said: "The price depends on how long I'm there. It all goes on the time. Normally you'd say, for an hour and a half, pounds 300 and it sort of like goes up."

She added: "I don't do drugs or anything like that. A lot of them seem to like that and I won't do it. But drink? I'll drink until it comes out of my ears." Friends of the couple compare the romance to that of Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in the hit movie Pretty Woman.

Alan, 26, is the eldest son of Manchester-born Kevin Leech, 53, who made his money by building up his own father's funeral business into a chain of 38 undertakers which he sold in 1982 for pounds 2.3 million.

Mr Leech, who has two other children, is rated as Britain's 90th richest man thanks to shrewd investments.

In one deal he backed an inventor of a device to replace kidney dialysis machines with pounds 50,000. and had a return of pounds 750,000.

He has also backed the company which now runs the old Reliant Robin car business and poured money into the building company which Alan works for in London, as well as owning Lands End and John O'Groats.

Claire's father Rod Margarson is a Grimsby businessman with his own plumbing company.

She started work as a chip shop fryer, moved to London to make her fortune, and ended up on the front cover of top-shelf glossy magazines.

Claire made regular appearances on the saucy TV Fantasy Channel before being dropped by producers for being unreliable. Hustler magazine hired her to write a sex column called Catching Up With Claire, billing her as "Britain's spunkiest superbabe". Alan first met Claire in October 1996 at a motorcycle show in Manchester where she was modelling on one of the exhibition stands.

Alan, who is also said to own a chain of sports shops, was introduced to her and they went on a date.

"He fell for her instantly," said a friend. "They shared two days together before Claire had to fly out to Singapore. When she left, Alan was in tears."

After a short period in the Far East and Australia, Claire returned to Europe - and into Alan's arms. "He met her in Milan and had bought her a ring," the friend revealed.

"It wasn't officially an engagement ring but he told everybody it was."

Claire moved into Alan's flat in an exclusive area of Fulham, South West London, just before Christmas. The recently-built apartment block in Exeter Mews has fortress-like security gates to protect its wealthy residents.

Neighbours often stop to chat with Alan as he walks Claire's fluffy shitzu dogs in the quiet street outside their home while his girlfriend arranges to meet clients.

While it may seem a strange choice of girlfriend for a man with the power to get any woman he wants, friends say Alan is besotted.

"She is very cute," said Claire's former madam, for whom she worked as a hooker based in London's Chelsea. "Men like her so much because she is a very, very sexy lady. She's good fun." The madam had been told that Claire gave up prostitution when she went to live with Alan.

Despite the marriage talk, stunning Claire continues to offer sex for money. A friend added: "Maybe she will stop if she marries Alan.

"I mean, she wouldn't need to work then would she? With all that family wealth they'd live happily ever after."

Friends say Alan is aware of Claire "being on the game" and detests her activities. But he has been given a "like it or lump it" ultimatum by Claire.

"She's the boss," said the friend. "This is what she did before she met Alan and she still wants the money.

"She has him wrapped around her little finger - she's totally in control."

With the couple's dogs biting at his ankles as he held the front door half-open, Alan looked surprised when told how the Sunday Mirror had booked Claire for sex, posing as a representative of Arab businessmen.

"You are joking," he said. "She has been getting crank calls for about a month. She has turned her mobile phone off because she has been getting these crank calls."

He added: "Claire, they are calling you a prostitute." She replied: "Why?"
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Author:Vincent, Nigel; Bell, Matthew
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 4, 1998
Words:1042
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