Premier League star Kolo Toure had a lengthy affair with a young model – after tricking her into believing he was a car salesman.
The Manchester City defender told pretty Kessel Kasuisyo his name was Francois and showered her with expensive gifts he claimed he bought with cash he made selling motors, she claims.
And in a desperate bid to keep his real identity secret, she says, the £90,000-a -week star would sneak into her council flat wearing sunglasses with a baseball cap pulled over his face.
Smitten Toure, 31, kept up the astonishing facade for two years.
He married the mother of his two children during the alleged affair and even carried out a bizarre pretend proposal to Kessel, 22 – getting down one one knee to give her a £1,000 diamond ring.
But the game was up for the Ivory Coast international – who portrays himself as a devoted family man – when one of his mistress’s pals recognised him.
She told Kessel to Google her car salesman boyfriend’s real name – and the shocked beauty found Toure’s wedding pictures online.
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, Kessel says: “I am devastated. On some of the wedding pictures he is crying but a few weeks before he was in my bed. “Two or three weeks after the wedding he was at mine. Around the time he got married he called and said he was back in Africa and had just sold two cars.
“I believed everything he said, I am hurt and confused by it all. Maybe he wanted me to be a second wife. I just don’t know. Everything about his strange behaviour now all makes sense.”
Kessel met Toure, whose brother Yaya also plays for City, outside the Bijou nightclub in Manchester in September 2010. “He started chatting me up and we swapped numbers,” she says.
“Then he gave me a lift home. The next day he called me and we met at a hotel. I told him he looked familiar and he just said maybe he looks like somebody. He said he sold cars in Africa and did some charity work.”
At least Toure wasn’t lying about his charity work – he is an ambassador for Save The Children.
Kessel says: “He said he came from Ghana and was a student too. He said his father was a minister. I am not a fan of football. I thought maybe I had seen him on telly with his father.”
He called her again within a fortnight and they met in the same hotel, the Malmaison in Manchester. “He bought me some sexy white lingerie and black shoes,” says Kessel. “We started kissing and ended up doing it.”
Kessel claims their relationship was on and off until December of that year.
“We would go a week without seeing each other and then he would call me. Sometimes we would meet twice in a week,” she says. “I asked if he had a girlfriend and he said no.”
But devout Muslim Toure had been with fiancee Awo for at least nine years. The couple live in Manchester with their daughter and son. When Toure – who joined Man City for £16million from Arsenal – suddenly stopped calling Kessel in December 2010 she thought it was the end of their brief fling.
But nine months later, after she had moved home, he called her again. “He asked if I wanted to meet up and I told him I had my own flat now,” says Kessel. “He came around in a big car. He was wearing a cap and big sunglasses.
“I told him it was my birthday and he asked me if I would wear some of the stuff he bought me so I got dressed up and we ended up in the bedroom.
“The next time I saw him he bought me a birthday present. He got me a gold watch and some 18-carat diamond earrings.
“He used to call me constantly but from a private number so I couldn’t call back. I was suspicious, but he said he didn’t want me to waste my money calling.
“He once gave me £500 to send to my mother in Zimbabwe. Another time he gave me £200 for food because my fridge was empty. I started to question him about exactly what he did and he would say just selling cars. Things were on and off. This January he asked me to be a girlfriend but said he was going back to Africa to do business.”
Kessel said Toure, banned last year for six months by the FA for taking his wife’s diet pills, broke off contact again between January and May this year. When he got back with Kessel, she had no idea he was weeks away from getting hitched. “He said he had something special for me,” she says. “He called me Princess and turned up with a £1,000 diamond and ruby ring.
“It wasn’t an engagement ring but he said it was symbol of how he felt. He went down on his knee and said he was really serious about me.
“He really got to me. I started telling my friends about him. But whenever I asked to take his picture he refused which I found a bit odd.” Yet Kessel managed to snap him off guard. In June Toure went back to Africa and married Awo at a mosque in the Ivorian capital Abidjan with his brother Yaya as best man.
Kessel still had no idea her new man was anything but a very successful car salesman.
Weeks after his wedding, “Francois” was seeing her back at her flat. “He told me he wanted me to go to Paris and said he would meet me there,” says Kessel. “I told him before I did that I needed to meet his parents.
“But he said I should give it time to talk to his parents because I am not a Muslim and they would expect me to be with a Muslim. I believed almost everything he said.” But eventually she got fed up with his secretive behaviour and hung up on him during a call in September. He hasn’t been in contact since. Kessel says she only found out the truth a fortnight ago when she showed a pal some of the snaps she had managed to take.
“She said I should go on Google and type in Kolo Toure. It all came up – Manchester City, the wedding pictures to his long-time girlfriend. I felt a fool. I now understand why he used to hide his face and use a private number. I want to make sure he doesn’t do it to anyone else.”
In an interview in 2005, Toure spoke about his excitement at becoming a dad and said he loved relaxing with his partner and family. And last month, on a visit to a school in Ivory Coast where he is a hero, he said: “We are role models. The way I behave is the way the children will want to be.” A source close to Toure said last night: “I have spoken to Kolo and he is denying ever knowing or meeting the girl.”