Stephen Hawking is world-famous as an astrophysicist; however, his personal life was as complicated as his theories.
The author of ‘A Brief History of Time’ was married twice but unfortunately, both of his marriages ended in divorce followed by accusations of abuse by his ex-wife.
The world’s most intelligent person died at the age of 76. He was first married to his girlfriend, Jane Wilde in 1965 just two years after he was diagnosed with neurodegenerative disease. The couple was married for the next 30 years and blessed with three children.
However, the marriage couldn’t last any further. According to the interview that his wife gave after the divorce, the problems in their marriage started when Stephen got fame after his book, “A brief history of time” got worldwide popularity.
Wilde said that people started to take advantage of his husband. She said, “I rather felt that the family had been left behind. To me, Stephen was my husband and the father of my children; one does not say to one’s husband, “Oh, you’re so clever! I must worship the ground under your feet, or in this case, wheels.” I found this kind of sycophantic attitude – the attitude adopted by so many people around Stephen – exceptionally frustrating and, of course, it grew a lot worse when we finally had to engage carers.”
She continued, “I was, I suppose, very innocent. I expected that carers came into the home to help look after the disabled person and respect the rest of the family. Very few of them did that. I was desperate; I didn’t think I could carry on because I was so drained.”
Jane Wilde remarried so did Hawking. Their tragic romance was told in a memoir written by Jane called “Travelling to Infinity”. That memoir became the basis for the script to the 2014 movie The Theory of Everything.
The marriage ended in 1995 and Hawking began a relationship with his nurse, Elaine Mason. Hawking and Mason were married in 1995, a year after his divorce. But it wasn't all smooth sailing.
The second marriage caused friction with Hawking's children, who accused their stepmother of restricting access to their famous father.
Further tension came in 2003 after Hawking's nurses accused Mason of physically abusing Hawking and reported the incident to police. However, upon investigation, Hawkins denied the allegations.
After 11 years of marriage, Mason filed for divorce in 2006. There was immediate speculation Hawking was cheating on her — something he strongly denied — and a matter-of-fact response was issued through a spokesperson.
"He is far too busy. This is just an annoying distraction. We don't have any time for any of this. We have no interest in any of the gossip that is going on," was the official response.
After the marriage to Mason ended, things improved dramatically.
Wilde said she began communicating with Hawking again after his second divorce and even appeared alongside him in front of the world's media on the red carpet when the film The Theory of Everything premiered in London.
Neither Wilde nor Mason have publicly commented since his death, but Hawking's children announced the news with a touching statement and tribute.
"He once said, 'It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love.' We will miss him forever."