Charles Bronson wrote letters to his first wife Irene Dunroe while in prison, but at the same time he met model Gemma Fernandez. Irene said she had no idea of the love triangle
Image: Sunday Mirror)
Britain’s most notorious jailbird was in a love triangle between his ex-wife and a lads’ mag model.
Charles Bronson, 70, was enjoying prison meetings with Gemma Fernandez, who is in her 30s and posed for FHM, while writing love letters to first wife Irene Dunroe.
We told in February how Gemma contacted him after seeing Tom Hardy star in the film about his life. She is campaigning to release the con, who has spent 47 years in jail, and has met him inside. She said: “It was his first visit in two years – a big, big day.
“It was lovely to see him. I gave him a massive hug. It was really, really nice. He was all excited.”
But he has told 70-year-old Irene, a former Ann Summers saleswoman, that he and Gemma have split because “romance and prison don’t mix”.
Irene said Bronson, now calling himself Charles Salvador, has pledged to take her on dates and to a hotel for the weekend if he ever gets parole.
Irene said: “I had no idea I was in a love triangle with somebody called Gemma. I thought she ran his Free Charles Salvador web page. Well, there isn’t one now as he has told me he and Gemma aren’t together.”
Bronson, considered Britain’s most violent criminal, with crimes including armed robbery and attacks on other inmates, has married twice in jail.
In 2017 in Wakefield Prison, West Yorks, he wed third wife, ex-soap actress Paula Williamson, then 37. They divorced and in July 2019 she was found dead.
He is now at HMP Woodhill, Bucks, and is due for a parole hearing this summer, which Irene will attend.
She and Bronson met aged 19. Their son Mike is now 49. Irene, who calls Bronson by his birth name, Mick Peterson, said: “The man I loved wasn’t the notorious Charles Bronson. He’s Mick, a great dad and loving husband. Jail created Bronson.”
The hardman kept his life of crime secret until 1974, when he was convicted of armed robbery and got seven years. Irene said: “He later told me every time he went to do a robbery, he always wore a pair of my knickers to bring him luck. He even joked: ‘I think I picked the wrong colour’.”
They divorced in 1977, severe contact until 26 years ago. But Irene said: “He’s turned his back on crime and it’s time he was freed.”
She said two gnomes in her garden represent their relationship. One has little glasses, like Mick, and next to it is one with a glass of wine. She added: “He said to me you never forget your first love, which I think is true.”
Gemma was approached for a comment.
Irene Dunroe’s The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth is available now at badboybooks.net
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.