Louis Theroux feared being arrested for “marriage of convenience” with his first wife
Louis Theroux married twice in completely opposite circumstances – as he described his first as a ‘marriage of convenience’.
The documentary maker has been described as ‘obsessively private’ and previously claimed he didn’t want to open up to prevent it becoming a ‘human soap opera’.
However, Louis, whose new three-part series Forbidden America by Louis Theroux kicked off Sunday night on BBC One, has mellowed over the years.
He spoke of living in his north-west London home with his wife Nancy Strang and their three children, Albert, 15, Frederick, 13 and Walter, six.
But one of the most intriguing parts of Louis’ personal life is his first marriage to writer Susanna Kleeman, whom he met in Westminster when she was 15.
Louis had always refused to discuss his marriage with Susanna, who published a short memoir and a novel, but was happy to explain why it was so controversial.
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Louis and Susanna were living together in New York and decided to get married for a reason other than love.
“See, I was married,” Louis told the Financial Times in 2005. “What happened was my girlfriend was living with me in New York.
“She had trouble finding work…legally. So we got married, to make it easier for her.
“We never really thought of ourselves as married in the full sense – there were no wedding photos or anything like that.
“It really was a marriage of convenience. I hope I don’t get arrested for this.
The former couple divorced after three years of marriage from 1998 to 2001, and then Louis went on to find love with current wife Nancy Strang.
Television producer Nancy has worked on several award-winning productions, including Timewatch and Imagine, during her 20-year career in the television industry.
She also co-founded the production company Mindhouse Productions alongside her husband, where she also works as director of development.
Talk to Clara Amfo about her Podcast from this city he recalled spotting Nancy around London and being stunned by her beauty.
He said: “I started seeing her around the White City building. And I remember thinking ‘wow, she’s beautiful.’ She looked a bit like a French singer.
“And she was kind of fashionable, but kind of not styled aggressively. People didn’t really say ‘hipster’ back then, but she had a hipster touch to it.
“She would go out and smoke cigarettes outside in front of the building. I would see her on these little trips. I would pass her in the hallways as she went out to smoke cigarettes.”
Louis may be cool in his interviews, but he had a hard time introducing himself to Nancy until he worked up the courage to talk to her at a Christmas party.
But Nancy claimed they had met before when she once tried to speak to Louis in an elevator, but he did not respond, although the documentary maker says he finds “it was necessary to believe”.
They had arranged to meet at work the next day but Louis “drank too much” and went into the lake, so their first date was postponed for a week.
Louis and Nancy married in July 2012 after a decade of being together and have three sons together.
In July 2020, Louis revealed that he still consults with his wife on her TV plans, which included visiting brothels and porn sets.
He said Who Magazine “Clearly, I’m not going to do anything that would make my wife too uncomfortable.”
Louis added, “Nancy thinks [I will retire soon]and I don’t know if I have the heart to tell him that I don’t see him on the horizon.”
He may have the quietest presence on television, but Louis admitted to having fits of rage during confinement at home with his wife and children.
In December last year he told the Mirror: ‘On one occasion the kids were just acting up and I just lost my shit royally and found out for two or three days I couldn’t. speak. I could whisper but that was it.
“I thought I had broken my vocal cords and for a while I wondered if I could ever be in broadcasting again.”
Louis admitted there was ‘no hiding place’ as he was locked down with his family 24 hours a day during the lockdown.
He claimed he was ‘pretty relaxed’ most of the time, but was particularly triggered trying to teach his son at home.
“But there were times when I was trying to homeschool my six-year-old, who was five at the time, while working at the same time,” he explained.
“And then his app malfunctioned, and he was bored and then all of a sudden I had this weird feeling of sudden rage.
“It wasn’t exactly a red flag, but it was an embarrassing incident and a strange passage of time.
“But it made me feel like I wanted to admit that I’m just as misfit and irritable and embarrassing as I am backstage.”
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