Dating piano by serial number
Because the purring blonde to whom Stuart proposed was none other than Susan Sangster - then a thrice-married millionairess who had amassed a fortune from divorce settlements.
The story of how they married and broke up, and how Susan fought to have their pre-nuptial agreement overturned to give her a claim to some of Stuart's £45million fortune has made headline news and left London society aghast.
Ironically, he specialised in divorce and matrimonial law, before turning to property development and life as a full-time businessman. His first marriage gave him a daughter, now 32, and a son, 30, while a second 12-year relationship saw the birth of two sons, now aged 14 and nine.
He remains close to his former partners and his children.
Since then, with a total of £18million from her wealthy ex-husbands, Susan Sangster has divided her time between a £6.2million flat in Belgravia and a home in Barbados.
She married first husband Kevin Nicholson - whose family founded the Kwik Save supermarket chain - in 1975 when she was just 18. Four years later, she exchanged vows again - this time with Peter Lilley, heir to the Lilley & Skinner shoe empire.At my age, I was looking for a companion - a permanent friendship."Then I met Sue and she seemed to be the sort of woman that I could settle down with. I really believed our relationship had a very good chance."Some friends warned him not to be so hasty, but in September 2005 - just three months after they had first met - Stuart blurted out a proposal. "I asked her because I thought that was what she wanted."We were having some problems, and I thought that getting married would virtually eliminate those."As Susan squealed with joy and embraced her new husband-to-be, it must have appeared that all their problems were indeed over.But a few days later, Stuart had another suggestion.Stuart claims he realised "after just a couple of months" that things weren't going well between them, and on several occasions he packed his bags.
But it was only on March 16, 2007 - the date is ingrained on his memory - that he realised the marriage was over.
Both had children, both had previous partners, and both - Stuart genuinely believes - were looking for companionship and love."I thought Sue was someone who was intelligent," he says.