I got my baby a £500k ring & my teens have unlimited credit cards, I’m Britain’s most lavish dad & glad to spoil my kids
FOR most dads Father’s Day is an excuse to close the bank of dad and enjoy being spoiled themselves for once.
But not for Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, 51, who’s greatest pleasure in life is blowing thousands on his six children.
Barrie and his ex-husband Tony Drewitt-Barlow, 56, were the first gay men in the UK to father children through surrogacy.
The pair had a combined wealth of £40million, and despite parting ways since Barrie found love with Scott, 27, who is also the ex-boyfriend of Tony and Barrie’s 21-year-old daughter Saffron, they continue to share their wealth, most of which is spent on their children.
Barrie prides himself on his generosity towards his kids, never denying them of anything whether that’s the latest designer clobber or a million dollar apartment.
Here he reveals why there’s nothing wrong with spoiling his kids – and why he’ll never say no to their demands…
Nothing makes me happier than seeing my children light up when I buy them the latest design gear or a new set of wheels.
People accuse me of spoiling my kids and they’re right, I have been splashing the cash since the moment they were born and I have no plans on stopping any time soon.
I first started lavishing my eldest, twins Saffron and Aspen, 22, from day dot as I felt I needed to make up for the fact they don’t have a mother in their lives.
The moment Saffron was born I gave her a diamond and ruby ring owned by Wallis Simpson that was worth $700,000 (£500,000.)
While I couldn’t give the mum, I wanted to give them everything my parents couldn’t give me – so I worked hard to make sure they had everything and anything they wanted.
Inside Barrie’s family
Millions will recall pictures of Barrie and Tony cradling week-old twins Saffron and Aspen — born to a surrogate in California in 1999 — as they revealed themselves as the UK’s first gay dads and the first same-sex couple to be named on a birth certificate as parents.
The former couple, now worth £40million from their ventures including a trans-Atlantic surrogacy business and a global medical research company, became civil partners in 2006, then wed as soon as it became legal in the UK in 2014.
Saffron and her brother Aspen were conceived using the donor eggs of one woman, Tracie McCune, and carried in the womb of surrogate Rosalind Bellamy.
Manchester-born Barrie is the biological father of one, and Tony is the dad of the other — so they are actually half-siblings born at the same time.
Aspen, though, does have an identical twin — Orlando, 17. This is because the embryo from which Aspen was born split in two in the lab.
The other half was put on ice for four years before being carried for Barrie and Tony in the womb of a Japanese woman called Donna.
Barrie and Tony also have a second set of twins, Dallas and Jasper, born 11 years ago after Donna acted as surrogate again.
This time the eggs were from a Brazilian model, who Barrie spotted on a catwalk and paid £35,000.
They have now split, with Barrie dating Saffron’s ex Scott, 27. They have four-month-old daughter Valentina together.
Barrie and Tony, who also has a new partner, remain amicable and the self-confessed “happy blended family’ all live together in their mansion in Tampa, Florida.
Tony and I as adults made the decision years ago to promote same sex parenting, and although some called us trail blazers – in reality we became the whipping boys!
I think showering them with gifts is the least we could do to make up for a childhood living inside a goldfish bowl.
Tony doesn’t always agree, I call him the voice of reason, but that doesn’t mean I pay any attention.
People call my kids spoilt but quite frankly, any criticism is like water off a duck’s back now – I couldn’t give a flying fig what anyone thinks of my parenting skills.
I don’t like to blow my own trumpet, but I know we have been better parents than a lot of straight people!
When it comes to spoiling them, the sky’s the limit – quite literally.
That might seem extravagant but for Saffron and any of my other kids, it’s just their way of life
Just this week Saffron flew to Las Vegas with her friends and she thought nothing of putting the $165,000 (£120,000) private jet cost on my AMEX – she really is a daddy’s girl.
That might seem extravagant but for Saffron and any of my other kids, it’s just their way of life.
The moment that my kids hit 16 they were given cars (one written off) and when Saffron was 18 she was given a selection of diamonds that I had been collecting her entire life.
They all own properties, businesses, valuable pieces of art, whatever they want, they get it.
There’s really no limit on how much I’ll spend either, I’ve been known to blow £500,000 on a Faberge ring for Saffron, and one time I spent £1.8 million in a single day on a new apartment.
None of my children have an allowance, what’s the need? Instead Aspen, Saffron and Orlando, 17, have an unlimited Black Amex card.
They can just spend whatever they want and at the end of the month I pick up the bill.
I know some people would disapprove but who cares, I don’t do anything to please anyone but myself.
Scott often says that I go over the top with Saffron, and he has asked me many times not to give in to her and just buy her what she wants, but I do it anyway.
And why not? She is my daughter, I'm going to do whatever I like.
Saffron isn’t my only daughter of course, and since I welcomed little Valentina with Scott in September, I’ve had even more of an excuse to splash the cash.
Already my eight-month-old daughter’s wardrobe is worth around $100,000 (£70,000), and she grows out of things so fast so we’re constantly having to replace things.
To be honest, Scott is worse than me when it comes to spoiling her, he’s always in Tiffany buying her little gifts, he recently got her a diamond and platinum bracelet for $50,000 (£35,000.)
If she likes my other kids it won’t be long until she’s treating herself too.
My kids never ask for anything, if they want something they’ll buy it, they’ve all got their own AMEX cards and they know how to use them.
People who claim that spoiling their kids makes them ungrateful are just using it as an excuse not to treat them.
My kids are perfectly well behaved, being rich is no reflection on behaviour, I mean just look at how some kids from poor families turn out to be wrong-uns!
My two older children are both successful in their own right and another who is about to qualify as a doctor, being spoiled has not made them lazy or unambitious.
Saffron knows that I am there to help whenever she needs it, but she also works hard for her own money.
She has a great approach to money and how to make it, but in the same respect, she LOVES to splash the cash all the time!
And it isn’t just my kids who get spoilt, this Father’s Day I know they will be just as generous when it comes to treating me.
Father’s Day is a wonderful time of year in our house and this will be Scott’s very first time celebrating, so I am going to surprise him with a wonderful gift from Valentina.
We are just about to start our second surrogacy together and this time next year, we may have had twin girls, sisters for Valentina, and I just can’t wait to start spoiling them too.
Saffron revealed she has spent $100k on surgery after trolls said she had flat boobs, now her dad wants her to get more.
She also opened up about her fashion must-haves – and why Primark isn’t one of them.
Plus Tony revealed how he and Barrie are still best mates despite their split.
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