Shrien Dewani / Instagram
Shrien Dewani, who was tried for the 2010 murder of his wife, Anni, is in a relationship with a man. And it’s making international headlines.
The British and South African media have reported that the 38-year-old British millionaire has been in a relationship for around 18 months with Brazilian-born photographer Gledison Lopez Martins.
Social media pictures of Dewani and his beau cuddling while on holiday have been published alongside the reports. The news led Anni’s father to lash out at his son-in-law. “Why the f**k did he get married if he knew he was gay? He was lying to me all this time,” Vinod Hindocha told News24.
Dewani was accused of paying three men – Mziwamadoda Qwabe, Xolile Mngeni and Monde Mbolombo – to stage a hijacking in Cape Town in order to have Anni killed. The couple were on their honeymoon at the time.
The state argued that Dewani’s motive was that he was a closeted gay man who married a woman to please his family and wanted a way to get out of the marriage.
The prosecution even brought a German UK-based fetish rent boy, Leopold Leisser, to South Africa to testify in the trial that the two men had engaged in a series of paid-sex sessions.
In response, Dewani came out as bisexual in a statement to the court at the start of the 2014 trial and confirmed that he had indeed paid for sex with S&M rent boys before the marriage.
The judge, however, refused to allow further testimony about Dewani’s sexuality and argued his sexuality alone could not prove that he murdered his wife. He was found not guilty and released.
The story was made even more tragic when, in 2016, Leisser hanged himself in his Birmingham flat. It was claimed that he suffered from stress as a result of the trial. Leisser had also reportedly faced financial difficulties after he was forced to shut down his escort website due to the publicity around the case.
It’s not clear if Dewani now identifies as bisexual or gay, but the intense media coverage of the murder and trial highlighted common and persistent misconceptions about bisexuality, including the belief that bisexual people are actually gay but won’t acknowledge it and that they cannot have monogamous relationships.