I was besotted with Paul Hollywood but mum told me it would explode, says Summer Monteys-Fullam
Feb. 11, 2020
SUMMER Monteys-Fullam has admitted she was “besotted” with lover Paul Hollywood.
In her first newspaper interview, the 24-year-old former barmaid said she was not fazed by the age gap with the Bake Off judge, 53 . Summer said: “If you love someone, then age is nothing but a number.”
But her mother Sabina had fears for the relationship from the start.
Sabina Monteys-Fullam said: “You’ve got a beautiful young redhead with an older man . . . the age gap. It was all there. I always knew it would explode.”
In her first newspaper interview, 24-year-old Summer insisted the 29-year gulf between her and Bake Off judge Paul, 53, never troubled her.
She said: “The age gap for me wasn’t a problem. I didn’t really care about it because if you love someone, then age is nothing but a number.”
She had asked her sisters for their blessing and even assured Sabina that the very public fling was serious — only for it to end acrimoniously last August amid rows and legal threats.
Mother and daughter have now opened up to The Sun’s Fabulous to tell how Summer is determined to move on.
She had known the TV baker for years from working as a barmaid in Paul’s local pub in Kent, before their friendship developed into something more in November 2017.
Although she had dated before, it was her first serious relationship.
They were together days after Paul announced his split from his wife of two decades, Alex.
Summer said: “It did move quickly and, yes, I was besotted at the beginning.”
They kept their growing romance private for months but Summer said she ensured her family was involved from day one.
She said: “I went to all of them, [including] my 12-year-old sister, because anything I do would potentially affect her.
"You have to be involved as a family.”
But while Sabina was a pillar of support for Summer from the start, she had her reservations.
“I knew the age difference would be a typical stereotype narrative that people would pick up on,” Sabina admitted.
“I said to Summer, ‘Are you serious?’ and she said yes, so I said, ‘Well, if you do love each other, then we’ll support you 100 per cent.’
"We’re always there for them whatever they need.
Looking back, Summer admitted she had no idea quite how much attention their relationship would attract and was floored when the paparazzi started queueing up outside her family home.
She said: “It was a sink-or-swim situation, so I chose to swim.
From the bottom of my heart all the way up, I loved him.”
But the furore showed no signs of dying down. In May 2018, social media was ablaze when Paul’s ex-wife Alex posted a photo of a summer berry tart, with the hashtags #easy and #tart — he responded in kind with a recipe for sourdough bread.
Then in February 2019, The Sun revealed that there had been a spat between cookery writer Alex, 55, and Sabina, Summer and her older sister Saskia in a Marks & Spencer branch.
Finally in August, the relationship came crashing to an end.
Heartbroken Summer sought solace in her family, while online trolls went to town on the split.
She was hurt by false stories and “people coming forward to try and line their pockets”.
Meanwhile Sabina appeared emotional as she recalled the toll it all had on her daughter.
She said: “It’s been hard for her and it’s been hard as a mum, as a parent, watching that.”
When asked if she lost herself throughout it all, Summer struggled to answer before Sabina jumped in with a firm “Yes”.
The pair look more like sisters than mother and daughter.
Both extremely glamorous, they are also refreshingly down-to-earth.
as they share a constant stream of jokes and hugs but it’s been a long and difficult road since their once-quiet country life was catapulted out of control almost three years ago.
Summer insisted she never pursued a life in the spotlight.
She said: “I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t ask for these doors to be opened, the world sucked me into it — in a good way, a really good way — and now I want to see what my options are.”
Her mum added: “She always had this really sort of cheeky, sassy spark and sparkle, and for a little while yes, it left the building.
I’m excited to see it back. It’s back with a vengeance! I’m really happy about that.”
Summer smiled and said: “I’m back to being the strong chick I was before, a few years ago.”
Despite saying she never sought the limelight, a quick glance at Summer’s Instagram account shows she appears to be making use of it, having racked up more than 30,000 followers.
Provocative underwear and lingerie shots are littered throughout her feed — among more innocent photos of her beloved horses Even Sabina is making use of her social media feed, with an impressive 13,000 followers herself.
Career-wise, Summer said she was planning to “grab the bull by the horns” — reality TV offers seem inevitable — and there was talk of starting her own business, inspired by her parents’ tattoo removal company.
Her mum said she had always been independent and determined, adding: “I am so proud of everything she’s done. She’s been very dignified.”
And as for her love life, Summer seemed tentatively hopeful.
She said: “I want to make the right decision this time. I’m ready but I’m taking my time.
"I have no regrets. You do everything for a reason but the one thing you shouldn’t do is live by regrets.”
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