The Day Stephen Hawking's Girl Told Police: My Father Could Be Tortured to Death

Daily Mail (London), May 6, 2004 | Go to article overview

The Day Stephen Hawking's Girl Told Police: My Father Could Be Tortured to Death


Byline: ANNETTE WITHERIDGE

THE daughter of Stephen Hawking has revealed she contacted police because she feared he could be ' tortured to death'.

Lucy Hawking said she set off the recent investigation into claims the mathematics genius was being mistreated by his second wife, Elaine.

Miss Hawking, 33, went to Cambridgeshire police last August when she discovered her father had suffered sunstroke and severe sunburn after being left outside in his wheelchair on the hottest day of the year.

She told detectives: 'I think he could be tortured to death and I can't let that happen.' Miss Hawking, who has not told her father she started the recent police investigation, said she had a 'horrible image of nothing happening'.

'You see, some years ago, I did phone Social Services and I said "I think my father is at risk". And they didn't believe me,' she told Vanity Fair magazine.

'Because my father has this reputation-as the World's Greatest Living Scientist or the World's Most Intelligent Man, people refused to believe that he might be abused.' Hawking, who has motor neurone disease and is confined to a wheelchair, became a household name thanks to his 1988 book A Brief History of Time. It sold 10million copies and earned him more than [pounds sterling]4million.

He married his second wife Elaine in 1995 after leaving Lucy's mother, Jane, who had devoted her life to caring for him.

Miss Hawking recalls one of her father's nurses calling her at 7am on her 29th birthday in November 1999 to say he had mysteriously broken his wrist.

'I believe it was Elaine who had broken his wrist,' Miss Hawking said.

Her father refused to go to hospital and even though 'he didn't say it didn't happen' he 'asked me not to interfere in his relationship with Elaine', she said.

'I went to a lawyer and discussed the matter with him.

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