Mary Portas has revealed she’s divorcing wife Melanie Rickey after 17 years together

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  • The Queen of Shops star Mary Portas admitted in a statement that the pair separated a year ago.

    Mary and Melanie started dating in 2003, with Mary divorcing her husband of 13 years, Graham Portas, the same year.

    Last year, she opened up about entering into a relationship with a woman for the first time. Mary told the Guardian: ‘In one way, it was just about Melanie. But there was a sexual attraction. I do love women.

    ‘What surprised me afterwards was that so many women are fluid in this way. I would meet them and they would say: “I was married, now I’m with a woman.”’

    Mary has two children from her relationship with ex-husband Graham: a son called Mylo and a daughter called Verity. She also has a six-year-old son called Horatio with Melanie. He was born through IVF using sperm donated by Mary’s brother Lawrence.

    45-year-old Melanie, who works as a fashion journalist and brand consultant, met Mary at a dinner at the Royal College of Art. She moved in with Mary and her two children in 2005, before the pair entered into a civil partnership in May 2010.

    Mary Portas and Melanie Rickey

    Credit: Jonathan Hordle/REX/Shutterstock

    The couple converted their civil partnership to a full marriage in 2014, just after gay marriage was legalised.

    But in a statement last week, they sadly revealed: ‘After 17 years together we have decided to separate. There is no one else involved.

    ‘We have spent the last year consciously managing our separation in as good-heartedly, open and mature a way as possible to ensure a smooth, amicable evolution for us.’

    ‘In the end they decided they were better off as wonderful friends,’ a friend of the couple told the Sun.

    58-year-old Mary began her retail career designing window displays for shops including Topshop and Harvey Nichols before rising to fame on the TV show Mary Queen of Shops in 2007. A few years later, David Cameron made her the UK’s first ‘shopping tsar’.