Elaine Mason had a controversial relationship with Stephen Hawking, with the ex-wife of the famed scientist initially serving as his nurse, leading him to a messy divorce from his first wife, and eventually being accused of physically and emotionally abusing Hawking.
Mason has been thrust into the spotlight after the death of Hawking this week at the age of 76. There has been a surge of interest in Hawking’s entire family, including his first wife and children and his controversial second marriage to Mason, which The Sun noted also dredged up some of the accusations against Mason.
The circumstances that first brought Stephen Hawking and Elaine Mason together were controversial. His first wife, Jane Wilde, had been with Hawking since before his diagnosis with motor neurone disease and supported him, but said Hawking left her and their three children behind after he published A Brief History of Time and became surrounded by “sycophantic” admirers, the Independent reported.
They divorced, and as The Sun noted there were rumors that Hawking had been having an affair with Mason, who first served as his nurse. Five years later, Hawking married Elaine Mason, who left her own husband and children to pursue the relationship.
But the relationship was not entirely smooth. As The Sun also noted, Elaine Mason was repeatedly accused of being physically and emotionally abusive toward Stephen Hawking during their marriage, with reports noting that she had a dominating personality and some reports referring to her as a “bully.”
The allegations of abuse were significant, The Sun noted. Hawking’s daughter accused Mason of slamming Hawking’s wrist into his wheelchair, fracturing his wrist. She also allegedly abused her position of power over him, including refusing him access to a bottle to urinate in and forcing him to wet himself, and leaving him alone in a garden on the hottest day of the year, leaving him to suffer heat stroke.
These incidents led to police investigations, but Elaine Mason was never charged with any crimes against Stephen Hawking, the report noted.
Eventually, Elaine Mason and Stephen Hawking also divorced, and it is unclear what settlement followed. As The Sun noted, Mason was often accused of only marrying Hawking for his money, but repeatedly denied the allegations.