Belfast Telegraph

Sharon Corr splits with Belfast barrister Gavin Bonnar as he finds love with Spanish Queen's sister

Sharon Corr and Gavin Bonnar
Sharon Corr and Gavin Bonnar

By Niamh Horan

Sharon Corr and her husband Gavin Bonnar have separated after 18 years of marriage.

The relationship “ended by mutual agreement some time ago”, according to a source familiar with the situation. 

The Belfast born barrister has since found love again with the sister of the Queen of Spain, Telma Ortiz. Mr Bonnar and Ms Ortiz only became an item "some time after the separation", according to the source.

The Irish man and Ms. Ortiz made their first official public appearance as a couple last week when they attended the Princess of Asturias awards in Spain.

Ms Ortiz and Mr Bonnar had their photograph taken with Telma’s sister, Queen Letizia, and her daughters, Princess Leonor and the infant Sofia in a clear sign that Mr Bonnar has received a warm welcome into the upper echelons of Spanish royalty.

In recent weeks, the relationship has been attracting intense interest in the Spanish media-nicknamed ‘the pink press’ due to the fact that Ms. Ortiz’s sister, Letizia, is married to King Felipe.

When Letizia, a commoner, married Prince Felipe in May 2004, the former journalist became a regular in the glossy pages of Spain's gossip magazines and took her unsuspecting family members with her.

However none has garnered as much attention as Telma. For years, the brunette lived and worked as an overseas aid worker in Manila in the Philippines but eventually moved back to Spain where her daily life- from her trips on the back of a motorcycle to her beauty regime- has been poured over by the press.

Following the split, a source close to the former couple said “their children and their privacy are their number one priority.”

It is understood M. Bonnar is enforcing his legal rights and those of his children against certain media outlets in Spain for revealing private data details like names and ages.

Sharon Corr
Sharon Corr

The news will come as a shock to people who knew the couple in Dublin’s social circles. The pair tied the knot in 2001 after Sharon had acquired international fame with The Corrs, alongside siblings Jim, Caroline and Andrea.

In 2006 the band went on an extended hiatus to spend time with their families and pursue solo careers. In 2012 Ms Corr and Mr Bonnar left Ireland to live in Andorra.

Mr Bonnar, an established lawyer, founded RGB Corporate in 2014, where he is now CEO. He is a fluent Spanish speaker and his work extends to Dublin, London, Cape Town, Barcelona and Madrid. Most recently he has been writing articles on the impact of Brexit in the Spanish press.

The couple had only moved to Madrid last year and had rented a luxury apartment in a historic quarter of the city. In an interview in 2018 Sharon told Vanity Fair magazine how she had fallen in love with her surroundings.

Since beginning her new life, the musician has become a welcome face in the Spanish capital's thriving social scene. She was pictured sitting front row for the Lexdeux show at Madrid Fashion Week, then appearing at the Vanity Fair Spain's Personality of the Year gala in September 2018 and the Starlite Festival before that.

Her last high profile appearance was in March when she received an honorary degree her exceptional contribution to education and culture at a ceremony in London.

Telma Ortiz and Gavin Bonnar during the Princesa de Asturias Awards 2019 ceremony at the Campoamor Theater on October 18, 2019 in Oviedo, Spain. (Photo by Europa Press Entertainment/Europa Press via Getty Images)
Telma Ortiz and Gavin Bonnar during the Princesa de Asturias Awards 2019 ceremony at the Campoamor Theater on October 18, 2019 in Oviedo, Spain. (Photo by Europa Press Entertainment/Europa Press via Getty Images)

However the Grammy nominee and Brit Award winner was notably absent at her sister Andrea’s recent book launch in the Bestsellers café and wine bar on Dublin’s Dawson street.

For her part, Ms Ortiz divorced from her husband Jaime del Burgo in June 2016, after two years of marriage. The couple had an atypical relationship, never living together because Ms Ortiz lived in Barcelona and Mr Burgo in Switzerland.

She has previously tried to protect her private life from the press but in 2008 a judge in Toledo, Spain ruled that Telma was a sister-in-law to the heir to the Spanish throne, and as such, had a public profile.

Her relationship with Mr Bonnar is her first high profile romance to hit the papers since the split. Looking notably different from his past appearance, pictures have appeared of Mr Bonnar stepping out with Ms. Ortiz sporting a rugged beard and deep tan. The pair have been spotted attending the theatre with Ms Ortiz’s family.

When contacted for comment neither Ms Corr or Mr Bonnar was available for comment.

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