OBSESSED FAN PREYED ON MY POOR LENA; FAMILY FURY: Tragic Star’s Father Hits out after Friend Claims He Proposed to Her

Article excerpt

THE man who claims he proposed to tragic Lena Zavaroni on her death-bed is a depressive in search of fame.

Yesterday, the former child star’s family accused him of jumping on the bandwagon after her death.

Club and pub singer Ray Dexter, 58, said he and Lena were in love.

He said she accepted his offer of marriage days after a brain operation to tackle her anorexia.

He was a devoted fan of Lena since she shot to fame aged nine on television’s Opportunity Knocks with the song Ma He’s Making Eyes At Me.

And he even wrote a song for her, entitled Look At Me Now, which told of the transition of a young star to a beautiful woman.

Lena died in hospital on Friday of a chest infection two weeks after the operation.

Despite the apparent success of the surgery, she weighed less than four stone and was too frail to fight the infection. There may be an inquest into her death.

Lena’s father, Victor, hit out at Dexter, saying: “We are all very upset about the story because it is untrue.

“This is somebody who has jumped on the bandwagon. Lena was never engaged nor ever intended to marry this guy.

“He did try and help Lena with her illness. But the girl was not capable of a relationship because she was so frail and weak.

“I know he was friends with her but although in some ways he was good for her, there was no relationship.

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“Ray was obsessed with Lena. He was absolutely besotted.

“He was in the hospital when she went in for the operation and he was there after it.

“But Lena was only semi- conscious and disoriented on her deathbed. She was not capable of making decisions.”

There is no doubt that a close friendship developed between Lena and Dexter - despite him being 23 years older than her.

It began more than two years ago when he telephoned Victor to say he had written a song for Lena.

He sounded genuine, Victor passed on her phone number and the two began to see each other every day.

He would travel the few miles from his home in Harlow, Essex, to Lena’s ex-council flat in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, to help her with odd jobs. …

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland) Article By Smith, Anna