London, June 7 : Audrey Hepburn's ex-husband Mel Ferrer, who recently passed away, was so jealous of her success and lovers that he almost ruined her ambitions.
The famous director first met Hepburn in 1954 at a party hosted by Gregory Peck. He wooed her relentlessly, and at his urging she agreed to star with him as the water sprite in a Broadway production of 'Ondine'.
Later the same year she became his third wife when they married in Switzerland. After the wedding, however, Ferrer was said to have withheld the affection, which Audrey Hepburn so clearly needed, and he was perceived as a Svengali who promoted, yet was jealous, of her talent.
He won her more lucrative contracts but there were constant rumours of difficulties in the marriage.
"Ferrer used Audrey's crush on him to rule her with an iron fist," The Daily Express quoted director Alfred Lunt, as saying.
Although actor William Holden felt that the star couple's relationship was more evenly balanced.
"Audrey allows Mel to think he influences her," he said.
Ferrer also got on badly with his aristocratic Dutch mother-in-law, a fact which left Audrey Hepburn in a state of acute anxiety.
"It ate away at me that they couldn't get along," Hepburn said.