Emily Maitlis is best known for her 2019 interview with Prince Andrew, where he sensationally opened up about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. But over the years, the BBC presenter’s own private life has also made the news.
Maitlis has been stalked by a man named Edward Vines for three decades. Even when Vines was jailed for his persistent harassment of Maitlis, he continued to write her letters from jail.
Vines describes his stalking behaviour, including turning up to her home late at night, as “a Hugh Grant sort of thing”.
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Maitlis and Vines met as students at Cambridge University in 1989. They had a platonic friendship, but when Maitlis realised Vines wanted more than that, she broke off contact.
After university, Maitlis went into radio broadcasting and worked in Hong Kong, where she met investment manager Mark Gwynne. They moved back to the UK and got married, after she proposed to him.
Somehow, none of that seemed to matter to Vines. Over the years he repeatedly tried to contact Maitlis. In 1999 and 2000, he bombarded her with letters, turned up to her workplace and tried to contact her through other people.
In 2002, Vines was sentenced to four months in prison for his harassment of Maitlis, but walked free because he’d already spent two and a half months in jail on remand.
He was told that there was a restraining order against him, and if he contacted Maitlis again, he would face five years in jail.
"I'm immensely relieved and pleased that it is over,” Maitlis said at the time, “and I would like to thank the police for all the support they have given me."
Sadly, it wasn’t all over. Maitlis went on to great success at the BBC, and to have two sons, Milo and Max, with Gwynne, but Vines never left her alone.
Over the years, Vines breached restraining orders 12 times, and was prosecuted seven times, spending more time behind bars. But even that didn’t end the harassment, with Vines sending Maitlis letters from jail and also from a bail hostel.
Maitlis said she felt “scared and let down” by the jail letters, and she said it also scared her kids "who thought the threats had gone away... while he was behind bars".
In 2018, Maitlis told BBC Radio 5’s Emma Barnett Show that the stalking had turned her into “this person who shouts at your kids for the wrong thing".