Is a 72-year-old woman having an affair and a baby with her grandson?

When this story first popped up yesterday afternoon, my first reaction was skepticism.

Then again, stranger, grosser things have happened. All stories seem to point back to a single source (and picture) from New Idea, a New Zealand gossip magazine. But the couple, Pearl Carter, 72, and her 26-year-old grandson, Phil Bailey, are from Indiana. Hmmm…

According to the original article, Carter gave her daughter Lynette up for adoption when she was 18. While the pair were never reunited despite extensive searching on Carter’s part, Bailey tracked his grandmother down after his mother died of brain cancer. (Cue porn music.) If Carter is to be believed, the attraction was instantaneous, and part of a well-known phenomenon:

‘We both cried but kept talking for three hours,’ she says. ‘When he emailed me a photo, I thought what a handsome and sexy man he was before pinching myself – he was my grandson!’

Confused, Pearl talked to a friend, who told her about an article she’d read on Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA), which occurs when close relatives meet as adults and are attracted to each other.

Apparently, the feeling was mutual:

‘From the first moment that I saw him, I knew we would never have a grandmother-grandson relationship,’ Pearl remembers happily. ‘For the first time in years I felt sexually alive.’

Phil admits that he had the same feelings towards Pearl.

‘I wanted to kiss her there and then,’ he says. ‘My feelings were overwhelming.’

While a lot of the story hinges on the fact that the couple is now “expecting a child,” the baby was conceived with a donor egg and Bailey’s sperm.

Pearl says:

‘I am finally going to be a mum and not forced to give up my child. Phil’s going to be a great dad. I never in a million years thought at 72 I’d be “pregnant” and in love with my grandson. I make no apologies and I believe God’s given me a second chance.’

While it certainly makes for interesting and stomach turning reading, I’d like to again point out that media interest has been considerable, and this “couple” have not surfaced for a single follow up interview.