Kay Schubach is a brave woman. It can’t be easy to publicly admit that you were in love with a man the media has labeled a ‘play boy’ and a ‘love rat’. But Kay is in very good company. In addition to a long list of intelligent professional women, Sydney playboy Simon Lowe (aka. Monteiro) has also dated Hollywood actress Barbara Hershey – a part of her life I’m sure Ms Hershey would rather forget.
In a recent telephone interview with the author, Kay Schubach told me that she has received a lot of criticism for ‘allowing herself’ to be fooled by Simon Lowe. But as someone who has been dating for twenty years, I can understand perfectly how it could happen to the best and brightest of women.
As detailed in Kay’s memoir, Perfect Stranger: A true story, Simon Lowe was skilled in the art of lies and seduction. He was charming, good looking, spontaneous and exciting.
You know the type. The kind of man who makes you feel like you’re the luckiest woman on Earth just to be with him. He could have any woman in the world, but ‘he chooses’ to be with you. And who among us can honestly say they wouldn’t be seduced, or at the very least, tempted?
But Kay was more than just tempted, she was completely taken in by Simon Lowe.
When they met, Kay Schubach was in a de facto relationship with another man. Although her relationship with Rob was relatively stable, there was one major point of difference. At 40 years of age Kay’s biological clock was ticking but Rob, who is 9 years her junior, wasn’t ready to be a father.
As Kay Schubach explained, “I’m an educated, well travelled, successful woman and [Simon] got under my guard so very quickly. So obviously there was something else working on me at the time. And part of that was that I was quite vulnerable because I wanted to have a baby and I was in a relationship with a man who was doing nothing about that and I was at my wit’s end with him. So Simon quickly picked up on that.”
“Simon was very skilled at seeing where women’s vulnerabilities and their wants and desires were and then feeding the information that he was going to be the white knight who would come in and be the answer to all your dreams.”
The one thing a writer has to be concerned about when publishing a book that portrays a real person in a negative light, is the possibility of legal action against the author for defamation. It struck me whilst reading Kay’s book that Simon Lowe is the kind of person who might file a law suit, even from prison, where he is currently serving a long sentence for the rape of another woman.
Kay Schubach told Australian Women Online, “My family, my friends, everyone’s very concerned about this. But I’ve got a very strong defamation clearance for the book from [the publisher] Penguin. So I feel very well armed…and there’s something about his personality type. He’s a narcissist, so he’s always moving onward to the next thing.”
Although the threat of a law suit doesn’t concern her, Kay understandably still harbor’s a fear that she hasn’t seen the last of Simon Lowe.
“He might come back out of vindictiveness and the Police have suggested I be very careful about being alone at night,” she said.
I was deeply saddened to read at the end of the book that after disentangling herself from the violent Simon Lowe, Kay Schubach then had to battle an aggressive type of cancer.
“It’s been 3 years since I finished my treatment and I just recently had a round of tests. I have to have them every 3 months and they’re actually better then they’ve ever been,” said Kay.
“The doctors have said I’m out of the danger zone now. But it’s still pretty anxiety making [because] it’s five years until you’re declared free of cancer. I’m technically in remission. But I must say I feel fabulous!”
Despite the heavy subject matter and with all due respect to women who find themselves in violent relationships, I found Kay’s book to be a very enjoyable read. It’s a real page turner and I devoured most of it in one night – a testimony to the author’s tremendous talent as a writer. Books like these pop up all the time, but often they are self-published and written by people who have lived through a horrific experience but have no real talent for writing. This is not the case with Kay Schubach’s Perfect Stranger.