Unofficial Dawn French Biographer Says Lenny Henry’s Career ‘Overshadowed Her’ Causing ‘Critical’ Moment Before Their Divorce

According to Alison Bowyer, the author who wrote Dawn French’s unauthorized biography, the 64-year-old comedian’s marriage to Lenny Henry reached a critical point after her husband’s career “overshadowed her.”

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Lenny, a comedian/actor and co-founder of Comic Relief, has appeared in many TV sitcoms but has also played some serious parts, such as his role in the new Amazon Prime Video series “Lord of the Rings.” The 63-year-old comedian has also done some Shakespeare, having starred as Othello in a critically acclaimed run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds.

For over 25 years, Dawn and Lenny were married with an adopted daughter named Billie, today age 30.

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Dawn is best known for her “French and Saudners” sketch comedy show and for her role as Reverend Geraldine Granger in “The Vicar of Dibley.”

The couple married in 19884 and 2010 announced their divorce based on Lenny’s “unreasonable behaviour.”

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However, according to Lenny’s representatives, the marriage ended “entirely amicably.”

But, during the time of their split, Bowyer claims that she noticed a “critical change” in their relationship.

The author claims that one turning point came when Lenny’s portrayal of Othello, a role that earned him a prestigious acting award in his Shakespear debut.

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Bowyer wrote:

“This critical change in the dynamics of their relationship was never more apparent than when Henry won that London Evening Standard Best Newcomer award last November for his highly acclaimed appearances as Othello.

“While Dawn was naturally proud of her husband, she was nonetheless bound to suffer, according to those who know the couple, more than a frisson of professional envy at his success.

“How it must have privately irked Dawn to see her husband, once the junior partner in the relationship, overshadow her so completely.”

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However, Dawn strongly refutes Bowyer’s claims, among others written in her book. She was so offended by the “untruths” being told by Bowyer that she wrote her autobiography in 2008 titled “Dear Fatty.” to set the record straight.

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Dawn also gave her own account of her marriage to Lenny in 2010, telling a Radio Times journalist how their partnership had changed. She said:

“Remarkably, we seem to have shifted with relative ease from a 25-year marriage to a lasting friendship.

“I am amazed by us – there is no war, we have turned out to be the best of friends.”

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When the publication interviewed her, she referred to her current situation as just a “marriage wobble.”

In the interview, Dawn added:

“We went to therapy for a few months.

“We went separately – it gives you an interesting way to come together with new ideas of how to deal with it.”

She was also asked if there were any secrets between her and Lenny that they needed to address, to which Dawn replied:

“I think everybody has to do that, empty your drawers out. I always want to empty my drawers. I like it that I am open.”

However, she also said: “Sometimes you have to let people have their drawers.”

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  1. “Lenny Henry’s ‘critical’ moment before Dawn French divorce as he ‘overshadowed her'” Express.Co.UK.