Porn baron David Sullivan’s life of garish mansions and reality star girlfriend

It's the latest love story to hit the headlines.

Buxom businesswoman and reality TV star, 40, meets former porn mogul and football club owner, 72, and love blossoms.

But the stories about a rumoured engagement between former Real Housewives of Cheshire star Ampika Pickston and West Ham owner David Sullivan are just the latest headlines which have followed the mogul since he made his first millions in his early 20s.

Here we take a look at his fascinating life.

Brought up in a middle class home with his Dad a high flier in the RAF, Sullivan studied hard and got a degree in economics.

While most must have guessed Sullivan would follow an 'ordinary' career, one day he read an article about the growing success of Penthouse magazine in the USA.

Using money he had saved from a part time job at a petrol station, Sullivan hired a girl to model and a photographer to take some risque photos and advertised them in local papers – £1 for 50 pics.

The cash flooded in – soon he was making £800 a week – and he decided porn was the way to go.

He then produced a brochure of sex positions called "The ABC of Love" – based on the popular Kama Sutra – but which used photos instead of drawings, and tens of thousands flew off the shelves.

After entering into a partnership with fellow porn mogul David Gold, they began to expand, soon controlling more than half of the UK adult magazine market and 150 sex shops, making tens of millions in the process.

He also began producing sex films starring his then girlfriend Mary Millington with titles such as Come Play With Me and The Playbirds, but harder times were to follow.

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In 1978, two years after they broke up, Millington, who suffered from depression and drug problems, committed suicide.

Then, in 1982, Sullivan was convicted of living off the immoral earnings of prostitutes. He successfully appealed against the court's decision and was released after serving 71 days in prison

In 1986 Sullivan founded the Sunday Sport newspaper, which was famous for its nude images and outlandish stories such as "Adolf Hitler was a woman," before selling the paper for £45 million in 2007.

Over the years as the cash flowed he invested heavily in property and other business ventures and, along with Mr Gold, bought Birmingham Football club in 1993 and then West Ham United in 2010.

Speaking of his porn past Mr Sullivan once said: "If I was an arms manufacturer or a cigarette manufacturer, and my products killed millions of my clients, I'd have a bit of doubt about the whole thing.

"I was a freedom fighter. I believe in the right of adults to make their own decisions."

And the race horse owning billionaire has never been scared to flash the cash.

Having started a relationship with former adult model Emma Vorley – who starred in films including 'Lesbian Nurses' and 'Naked Neighbours – the couple raised their two sons in a massive £7.5m Essex mansion,

It covers more than 25,000sq ft and has 14 bedrooms, a dining room which can seat 24 people at the table, and has been described as a mini Buckingham palace.

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It comes complete with a bowling alley, indoor and outdoor swimming pool, games room and tennis court and is packed with priceless art and other treasures, including a weird collection of servants made from silicone – said to be worth about £50k each – which are scattered throughout the rooms.

It has been reported Mr Sullivan – who is also known for supporting a number of charities – split with Ms Vorley in October of last year.

As for rumoured new girlfriend Ampika Pickston, she runs cosmetic training business Ampika Aesthetics and became infamous for her risque outfits when she appeared on the Real Housewives of Cheshire

She recently added pictures to Instagram of her wearing a large diamond engagement ring but the couple are remaining tight-lipped on their romance.

Will the course of love run smooth? Only time will tell.

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