The Irish husband of “Fifty Shades of Grey” author EL James has denied he was the inspiration for the erotic bestseller.
Speaking to the Guardian about his wife’s famous book, Niall Leonard said, “I’m not a masochist and that’s all I’m going to say about our sex life.”
“I am the least romantic fecker who ever lived — ask my wife Erika, aka EL James,” he joked.
“Our first Christmas together I bought her a tin opener.”
Leonard, also a writer, has just released his new crime novel “Crusher”, which he self describes as an urban murder mystery.
The father of two attended his father’s funeral in Newry recently. His Dad Phillip was MD of the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council.
The novelist said, “Do we have a dungeon? Or a Red Room of Pain? Maybe, and maybe there’s a helicopter pad on the roof in case Christian Grey drops in for a spanking. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is just a fantasy — have hey forgotten what that means? Do they chase JK Rowling down the street daring her to use her Avada Kedavra spell?”
The couple met in National Film and Television School, where they both studied. In the past Leonard has worked on TV shows such as Ballykissangel, Wire In The Blood, and Monarch Of The Glen.
“We had sworn we would never work together in television. As a producer she would have fired me the day I directed The Bill and ran over by 30 minutes. One evening a week we’d sit down at her laptop and go through her latest Fifty Shades instalment and somehow we managed that for 18 months without killing each other,” he told the Guardian newspaper.
The loyal husband even proofread his wife’s racy novel, which led to some arguments.
“I stomped off without finishing the chapter and she published it anyway. If any commas were in the wrong place, no-one noticed.”
Niall added, “Whenever Erika encountered a story problem, she’d describe it, and I — being a bloke — would come up with a simple solution that was clear, elegant and always so utterly wrong she’d immediately devise her own. I don’t think she once followed a suggestion of mine.”
Despite numerous movie offers and millions of copies sold worldwide, he says their life is pretty normal.
“The dog has to be walked, the kids have to be fed, there are ageing relatives and the next novel to be fretted about. We may have swapped our pongy Honda for a big shiny Volkswagen but that’s about it,” he said.