AN unemployed mum who is seeking £500,000 from her former partner has told a court how she used to pick up his “dirty” underpants from their bathroom floor.
Jacqueline Whigham, 49, made the claim on the second day of her “palimony” battle at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
Ms Whigham is claiming the money from her ex-boyfriend, Steven Owen, insisting she spent years working for the Midlothian-based businessman whilst he built up a property and business empire worth £3 million.
The court heard evidence about how she kept accounts and acted as an administrator for the businesses.
Ms Whigham, of Penicuik, Midlothian, yesterday told Mr Owen’s advocate, John Speir, that she spent her time with Mr Owen doing mundane tasks she didn’t enjoy.
The mum-of-three said: “I even picked up Mr Owen’s dirty pants off the bathroom floor.”
Although they were never formally married, the court has heard claims that the pair lived together as husband and wife.
Ms Whigham said: “If I had any ideas, I was not allowed to act on them. I was not allowed to have any access to funds so I could set up a business. It was complete control.”
Ms Whigham also told the court that she used to spend her time giving Mr Owen massages – and that he would be unhappy if she refused.
She said: “I used to give Mr Owen an hour-and-a-half to two-hour long massages on his back. If I didn’t do it, there would be consequences.
“He would go into the most terrible moods.”
She told the court that there were occasions during their relationship when she felt she was being abused.
She said: “Mr Owen was very manipulative and abusive.”
The court also heard that the pair were referred to in business documentation as “Mr and Mrs Owen”.
Ms Whigham told the court: “I was his wife.”
Later during yesterday’s hearing, Ms Whigham’s daughter, Danielle, 27, gave evidence.
She told the court that she realised her parents weren’t married when she was around 14-15 years old.
She said: “They used to have a laugh about it.”
On the first day of the trial, the court heard how Ms Whigham spent years doing all the cooking and cleaning for her partner. She also claimed that she was left to run a hotel that Mr Owen had bought almost single-handedly – even working within days of the birth of her first daughter.
She also told the court how she helped Mr Owen run two businesses – plumbing firm Dial-a-Rod and internet shop Gadget Wizard – for little or no pay.
The hearing before Lord Drummond Young continues.