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Brit Cabinet minister's mistress to beg wife for forgiveness

February 7, 2011 - London

A British Cabinet minister's mistress is planning to write to his wife begging forgiveness for troubling her family.

Birgit Cunningham, who has allegedly been in a seven-year affair with Lord Strathclyde, a Tory peer and Leader of the House of Lords, said their relationship was "a horrible thing to do to a family,"

However, the privately educated single mother insisted that she was not after his money or home and had resisted his attempts to start an affair for years before finally giving up.

Cunningham also claimed Strathclyde told her the Government was planning to get rid of "the whole lot" of benefits, despite knowing she relied on state handouts.

He has been married for almost 20 years and has three daughters.

"I am going to write Jane a letter. I just hope that she can find it somewhere in her heart to forgive me because I am very, very pro women and what I did to her and her children is unforgivable," The Telegraph quoted her as telling a Sunday newspaper.

Cunningham, a former Los Angeles socialite who dated Kevin Costner, met the 50-year-old peer in the 1980s but they lost touch in the early 1990s when she moved to the US.

They met again a decade later when she started campaigning for reform of the Child Support Agency (CSA), but she denied they had a long-term love affair.

"I said 'no' for seven years and we are talking about a lot of restaurants, perhaps 10 dates. I rebuffed him all the time," she said.

"He is incorrigible. With him it was a full-time job saying 'no'," she added.


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