Cliff Richard said affair with bandmate’s wife could have ‘wrecked career

Cliff Richard reportedly began an affair with Jet Harris’s wife Carol Costa in 1960 while they were performing with The Shadows.

Cliff was one of Jet’s close friends but when Carol discovered her husband had been unfaithful, a connection developed between her and Cliff.

Their connection eventually became romantic and it remains the only sexual relationship that Cliff has admitted.

The affair did not go down well with his family after his mother, Dorothy, found a love letter sent by Carol.

She told Cliff’s father, Rodger, and both were livid. As Christians, they believed sex out of wedlock was wrong.

READ MORE: Cliff Richard distracts BBC fans as he shares moment he’ll stop singing

Cliff recalled in his 2008 autobiography, My Life My Way, as reported by the Express at the time it was published: “What my father was angry about was the fact that I was having this relationship – any relationship – behind his back.

“’Who is she?’ he demanded. ‘Why have we not met her?’ Had he known the full truth he would not have been pleased.”

The confrontation confirmed that Cliff had to end the affair. He went on: “Adultery was a cause for serious scandal at that time and if my affair with Carol had become public knowledge, or if she and Jet had divorced and I had rushed off and married her, it would almost certainly have wrecked my career.”

However, Cliff did not break the relationship off himself and instead left it to The Shadows drummer Tony Meehan to inform Carol.

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Carol has spoken out about the moment the affair ended, admitting she was “heartbroken”.

She told the Daily Mail in 2009: “I remember the moment the phone went. Tony was the only one of The Shadows who knew then what was going on. He said Cliff had asked him to tell me he wasn’t coming back that night, that Cliff loved me and wouldn’t marry anyone else. He said it was over.

“Tony said Cliff had been crying about it and couldn’t bring himself to the phone. He should have had the decency to tell me himself. I was shattered, completely heartbroken.

“My instinct was to run up there and say: ‘Why? Why? Why?’. But my pride wouldn’t let me. So I just stayed away. I stayed out of his life.”

It comes as Cliff will release his brand new orchestral album, My Kinda Life, on November 3.

It will feature seven decades of hits including Living Doll, Summer Holiday, We Don’t Talk Anymore and Suddenly featuring Olivia Newton-John.

You can find out more here.

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