Mariella Capes was a London nightclub dancer who also used the names Henrietta Chapman and Maria Novotny. She had different stories of her life to go with each name. Mariella Capes was born in London and became a striptease dancer to support her old mother; Henrietta Chapman was a budding author waiting for a publisher to discover her talent; and Maria Novotny was a refugee, the niece of the former President of Czechoslovakia, and worked part-time for the British Secret Service.
The truth is that Mariella was a fantasist who told so many lies in her brief but tempestuous life that it is now extremely difficult to unravel the truth from her fairy tales. The only certainty is that she was a prostitute and a police informer, whose real name was Stella Capes. At least that is the name she used when, on the 29th January 1960, she was married at Caxton Hall to Horace ("Hod") Dibben, a wealthy antique dealer and nightclub owner, 36 years her senior. Mariella denied that she was marrying Hod for his money, "I've met a lot of rich men in my time as a dancer," she said. "But none of them has shown me the care, love and attention that Hod has."
Less than a year after they were married, Mariella went off to the United States. Dibben told the newspapers that their married life had been hectic. "She used to tie me to a chair in my leather suit, whip me and then make me watch while she screwed someone in front of me." According to Dibben, Mariellla performed similar acts for some prominent men and women in London and was well paid for it. "I liked her to earn a few bob on the side," Dibben said, "It made her feel independent."
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Genre – Politics, Espionage, Scandal
Rating – PG-16
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