real life

Bec's husband routinely denied he was sleeping with a 17yo. Then she discovered the truth.

“I was so suspicious. It was probably one of the lowest times of my life, and no one would listen. They all just thought I was jealous.”

Bec Rosen had the gut feeling her husband was having an affair with her son’s 17-year-old girlfriend, but his manipulation, gas-lighting and continuous denial made her feel like she was going crazy.

She was the victim of master criminal Hamish McClaren. A man who has been convicted of swindling $7 million from 15 different victims.

But it wasn’t just money he lied about – his manipulation tore relationships, and families, apart. In Bec’s case, Hamish broke their marriage, and almost turned Bec’s son against her.

Listen to Mia’s full chat with Bec on No Filter. Post continues after the podcast.

Bec met Hamish shortly after moving from Singapore to Blueys Beach on the NSW coast with her three young sons.

She was escaping a bad marriage, and after initially disliking the “fading surfy dude” who used to be her worst customer, she found herself falling for his supposed kindness.

He’d surf with her kids, buy her groceries, and take her boy to the dentist when he had a fall.

It wasn’t long before they were married. Soon, Bec started to grow suspicious.

Hamish was getting way to comfortable with her son Jack’s 17-year-old girlfriend Jane*. He’d started flirting with her.

“She’d come up for breakfast and she wouldn’t have much on… just like a girl would be hanging around with her family. He’d start doing things like flicking her bum with the tea towel,” Bec told No Filter.

“It’s so bizarre how your body reacts, just straight away after seeing that it made me feel weird. I approached him and told him it wasn’t cool… and he’d say ‘get over yourself Bec for f***sake, she’s a kid’.”

In The Australian podcast investigation Who The Hell Is Hamish, which has been unravelling the deceit of Hamish McLaren, Bec describes another incident that felt a bit off.

“Hamish and I were going down to the beach. I got to the top of the stairs at the beach and I don’t know what it was about this sight, but I saw Jane walking down to the water and Hamish leaning on his haunches watching her.

“I felt repulsed. I thought this is not right. I thought this is wrong,” she told the podcast.

“You’re a lunatic,” he’d tell her, when she’d raise her suspicions with him.

Hamish and Jane started spending a lot of time together. They’d go on runs together and train together.

“People would see them out on paddleboards by themselves [just Hamish and Jane], or at a cafe having coffee together,” Bec told No Filter.

Initially, Bec voiced her concerns to Hamish. Then, she started asking her son. They both assured her everything was fine, and that she was making a fuss over nothing.

Hamish had managed to gaslight not just her, but her sons.

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Hamish McLaren. Image: The Australian.
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Jack would tell her to "butt out of his relationship and stop going on about her and Hamish," telling his mum that his young girlfriend was "getting upset".

Bec was miserable. She knew in her gut something wasn't right, but she also felt a real pressure to uphold the relationship for her boys. They'd already seen her marriage breakdown with their father.

She started randomly turning up at Hamish's Sydney apartment where he had started spending a lot of time. She'd find Jane's stuff there.

"He'd go 'she was here with her sister, they went to a concert'," she said.

But Bec would find Jane's hair brush and her book on her side of the bed. Her swimmers would be downstairs. It just didn't add up.

He would tell her she was paranoid.

"Get over it. Why would she be interested in an old guy like me?" he'd say.

"I think he secretly wanted me to say 'oh because you're so amazing...'," Bec told No Filter.

One of the biggest clincher points was when Hamish told her he'd managed to get a scholarship for an internship at Princeton University for Jane. She'd be "going over there with an escort", he told her.

Shortly after that announcement, Hamish told Bec he'd had a business trip pop up and that he'd have to go China, "with a possible stop over in San Francisco."

Bec called him out on it. She gave him the ultimatum, if he met up with Jane they were done.

He met up with Jane. They went travelling together for two weeks in New York.

He denied it.

He made Jane deny it.

Jane describes in an episode of Who The Hell Is Hamish how he made her "stick to the plan, stick to the story, don't falter".

"We were sitting in Sydney, we'd just got back from the States and he was fabricating this story. 'Let's just tell them I saw you in passing at LAX'. My mind was reeling. I was nervous," she told the podcast.

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Bec and Hamish. Image supplied.

"It felt wrong. It was so draining to uphold the fabrication. I nearly crumbled. I remember thinking 'I've got to go and see Bec,'" Jane described.

"At 17, I didn't have the foresight or the mental or emotional capacity to deal with a man like Hamish," she admitted.

Back home in Blueys Beach, the community had cottoned on to Jane and Hamish's relationship. Some of them had just assumed Bec was OK with it.

It was Jane's stepfather who eventually put Bec out of her misery.

Hamish had called him, to ask if he could marry Jane. He'd replied; "Are you f***ing nuts, you're married to Bec."

In relaying the story to Bec, she was grateful. She finally had proof. She wasn't crazy.

Bec called him on loudspeaker, her sons by her side and told him they were over. He denied everything she accused him of. But soon after, he'd cut them out of his lives and moved onto his next victims, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

Jack, Jane and Bec have lived with the scars for years.

It seems Hamish had even more sinister plans while he was having an affair with Jane. He used his relationship with her to swindle money from her grandparents, eventually taking off with their life savings.

In telling their story, Jack and Bec have felt a bit lighter. They've taken back their narrative.

Now, all eyes are on Hamish, who will be sentenced for his crimes in June.

*name changed.

Read More:

The four relationship red flags Bec Rosen noticed while she was with Hamish McLaren.

The photo that undid fraudster Hamish McLaren.

How Sydney conman Hamish McLaren convinced everyone he was a millionaire.

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