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Niall Ferguson Leaves Wife for Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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Posted on February 7 2010 12:42 pm
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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hat-tip to Kathy Shaidle

The history man and fatwa girl: How will David Cameron take news that think-tank guru Niall Ferguson has deserted wife Sue Douglas for Somali feminist?

By Katie Nicholl , Miles Goslett and Caroline Graham

The internationally celebrated historian and TV presenter Niall Ferguson has broken up with his wife of 16 years after a string of adulterous affairs.

The 45-year-old Harvard professor has left former newspaper editor Susan Douglas, with whom he has three children, for his mistress, the Somalian-born feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Ms Hirsi Ali, 40, is a lawyer and former Dutch MP who wrote the script for a controversial film that criticised Islam and resulted in the assassination of its director. She is currently living under police protection in America.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Niall FergusonA meeting of minds: The night Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Niall Ferguson first met at a Time magazine party in New York last May

Professor Ferguson, whose books, television programmes and work with financial hedge funds earn an estimated £5million a year, is understood to have been in a relationship with Ms Hirsi Ali since last summer.

Today, The Mail on Sunday can reveal how Ferguson’s philandering behaviour – described by one confidante as ‘more akin to a Premiership footballer’s louche ways than an esteemed professor’s’ – wrecked his marriage to Ms Douglas, one of Tory leader David Cameron’s closest friends, a leading member of the Tory ‘A-list’ of potential parliamentary candidates and a former Fleet Street editor.

Ferguson ‘cheated eight times in five years’

Ferguson, who also has high-level links to the Tory Party, with a seat on the board of the Right-wing think-tank the Centre for Policy Studies, has been seen with Ms Hirsi Ali at a number of high-profile events over recent months.

Just two weeks ago they attended the Jaipur Literary Festival in India where they were photographed kissing in the opulent surroundings of the spectacular Diggi Palace.

Ms Hirsi Ali had been flown to the event secretly. She has been the subject of threats from Muslim extremists since writing the script for the movie Submission, which was critical of Islam.

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