This is an amended version of the original piece which included statements I am no longer comfortable with.
Most mystifying story of the day is why a writer called Precious Williams would have concocted a story about having a six-year affair with Channel 4 journalist Jon Snow while he lived with barrister Madeleine Colvin.
Over two weeks in May the Mail on Sunday ran a torrid account of his purported relationship with Williams. “The pair smoked marijuana, talked about books and politics and he seduced her with his 'chivalrous charm',” ran one purple sentence, a line that now looks like a crude attempt at Truman Capote’s non-fiction novel approach to journalism. Then yesterday, the paper ran this:
“Over the past two Sundays we published stories claiming that TV news presenter Jon Snow had an affair with a writer called Precious Williams, and that they smoked cannabis together. There is no truth in these allegations. We accept that in fact Mr Snow never had any relationship with Miss Williams, and that the allegation of drug taking was unfounded. We are happy to set the record straight, and we apologise for the embarrassment caused.”
MediaGuardian reports: "In a statement, Mr Snow said: 'The stories about me in the Mail on Sunday ... were entirely fabricated and caused myself, my family and my friends considerable distress. This has been one of the most upsetting and difficult experiences of my life.'"
For sight of Ms Williams see her website. A link takes you to another site wherein her history is briefly told including the information that she now works for the Mail on Sunday – or did. I can’t imagine she’ll be in Derry Street much longer if she hasn't been kicked out already.
For a fuller account of Williams' life, go to her Telegraph piece.
The mystery of this story is ongoing.