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Was she actually worth it, Ronan..?

Byline: Fiona McIntosh

WHEN Take That's Mark Owen was exposed as a serial adulterer, I wrote at the time it's always the quiet ones who are at it.

Think of the most unlikely cheater, and it will be him.

Call me Mystic Mac, because blow me down if this prediction hasn't come true. Until now, the music industry's most unlikely adulterer was Ronan Keating. This tiny choirboy blond appeared to have the most bulletproof marriage in the business. He had been nominated for Celebrity Dad of the Year 2010, just as John Terry had been in 2009 (wow, they can really pick 'em). In the druggy, sexcrazed world of music, Ronan was always the good lad, the God-fearing Irish kid who loved his dear mum and droned on endlessly about his beautiful, model wife Yvonne. "She is everything to me," he once said in a line that could have come from a Boyzone ballad. "She's my rock, the love of my life. I'm very lucky."

But Ronan clearly felt so lucky, he thought he could risk his marriage by cracking on to a pretty blonde dancer. A dancer? That's original. We know the girl who led Ronan into temptation is a 26-year-old poppet called Francine Cornell who looks rather like Ronan's 36-yearold wife did 10 years ago. As I said, original.

It was during his solo world tour that Ronan hooked up with Francine. Whatever shenanigans they got up to, it was obvious enough to become the talk of the tour - a fact I imagine wasn't lost on Yvonne when she was finally told the devastating truth.

A discreet, one-night stand on the road might be forgiven by the wife of a pop star. But a relationship that becomes the hot gossip of the tour? That's off-the-scale humiliation. For the proud, glamorous Yvonne, this must have been the last straw.

So cheeky chappy Ronan Keating isn't looking so chipper now. Yvonne has told him the marriage is over. Finito. No second chances. He has been turfed out of the family home outside Dublin and will wake up in the morning without the three children he adores. His kids Jack, 11, Marie, nine, and Ali just four, are at an age where they'll be worried and confused about where Daddy's gone. Which is just one more reason for Ronan Keating to hang his head in shame.

I have no doubt Ronan loves his wife and children dearly. He will be devastated by the break-up of his 12-year marriage.

He will be ashamed of the humiliation he has put Yvonne through and the hurt it has caused his young kids. Worst of all, he knows all of it could have been avoided if he'd just kept it in his pants. Stupid, or what?

Adultery is a gamble. Everyone knows that, even egomaniac pop stars having their second stab at fame. But while Mark Owen has been allowed back into the family home, Ronan's gamble has failed with devastating consequences.

When the stakes are a loving wife, three gorgeous kids and a family life that fills you with purpose and happiness, how can it ever be worth the risk?

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Perfect couple... Ronan & Yvonne
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 23, 2010
Words:532
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