The news last week that 112-year-old Somalian Ahmed Muhamed Dore had wed his blushing (imaginably for all the wrong reasons) 17-year-old bride inspired us to delve a little deeper into the mixed up world of the uber-age gap marriage.
1. An oldy but a goody, Woody Allen’s relationship with his then stepdaughter Soon-Yi Previn caused a bit of a stir back in 1992. The legacy of Allen’s 12-year-long coupling with actress Mia Farrow, the 34-year age gap (Previn was 22 and Allen 56 at the time) and dubious familial connections have not hindered the pair’s leviathan 17-year endurance.
2. Another coupling with odd infantile roots, Celine Dion was managed by a 38-year-old Rene Angelil from the tender age of 12. After sleeping with a photo of him under her pillow (?!) for a good few decades, the pair finally married in 1994. If the couple’s all but weekly vow renewals are anything to go by (the last involved a strange, exotic ceremony featuring live animals), the 36-year age gap has helped keep the flame alive.
3. A little easier to swallow than the previous pairings, Catherine Zeta Jones’s enduring devotion to Michael Douglas – despite the 25 year age gap – has given men of advancing years around the world hope that there is, in fact, a God.
4. One of the most ill fated uber-age gaps of recent years, glamour model Anna Nicole Smith’s marriage to oil magnate James Howard Marshall II ended in a bitter broth of litigation, addiction and suicide - perhaps it was down to the pair’s 63-year age gap.
5. An attempt to throw a little diversity into the mix, William Shakespeare was a mere slip of a lad at 18 when he married Ann Hathaway – who, at the ripe old age of 26, was eight years his senior. Proof then that even the best of us need not always strive for those of a more junior disposition; it certainly didn’t do the bard much harm. Teo van den Broeke