An Australian bridegroom was horrified to learn after he had walked down the aisle that he was already married — after a drunken holiday romance he could barely remember.
The husband has had to confess in the Family Court that he spent 28 days partying and drinking in Arizona in 1978 on leave from his job as a cook on the oil rigs.
He can remember the "nice" blonde American woman he met through a pen pal newspaper advertisement — but little more.
"He has no recollection of going through any form of ceremony of marriage with her, or of discussing marriage, or of anything referable to marriage," said Justice Sally Brown, who annulled the marriage last month.
Not only that, but the man, who describes himself as an old-fashioned romantic, was already married at the time — to his wife of 14 years.
Yesterday the 67-year-old, who cannot be identified, told The Daily Telegraph "the sky fell in" when he was shown the Arizona marriage license.
"I looked at the signature and thought it could have been mine or it could not have been," he said.
The man had since divorced his 1966 wife. It was when he married his Hawaiian girlfriend in 2006 and applied to live in Hawaii with her that U.S. immigration authorities broke the bad news.
He said his latest wife, who has become his girlfriend again because their marriage was declared invalid, was very understanding.