A LOVELORN shop fitter who posed as a male model has inadvertently helped a couple find their ‘fairytale ending’.
Alan Stanley from Stratford posed as handsome bachelor ‘Ronaldo’ on dating site Zoosk, using another man’s pictures.
He was talking to restaurant manager Emma Perrier from London for around a year.
She said: “We were talking from morning until night every day. Plus, Ronny, as I called him, was absolutely gorgeous. I couldn’t believe my luck.”
But 35 year-old Emma became suspicious after he repeatedly refused to meet her in person and was never free for a video call.
Emma turned detective and last September downloaded an app which traces pictures – and the truth was devastating.
She discovered Ronaldo was in fact 55 year-old shop fitter Alan, and after confronting him he admitted everything.
She said: “Some pictures Ronaldo had sent me of food from a holiday to Italy traced back to a Tripadvisor account – and the name on it was Alan.
“It was devastating and I felt sick. He told me he was bored and lonely.
“He admitted he was a dad, over 50 and divorced. He said he found ‘Ronaldo’s’ pictures online and used them as he thought no one would talk to him if he used his own.”
Emma decided to track down the real man in the pictures, and found they belonged to 35 year-old model Adam Guzel who lived in Turkey.
But in a twist of fate the pair have thanked Alan after they met and fell for each other.
Emma said: “At first I hated Alan for duping me and was shocked to discover his real identity. But now we are grateful he tricked me as it led me to finding the love of my life.
“I hope my story serves as a cautionary tale to others. I was lucky it led to me finding love but most people just end up heartbroken.”
Adam chatted online and on the phone to Emma for around three months, and has now moved to London to be with her.
The pair sent a picture of themselves together to Alan – who has since admitted his actions were wrong and wished the pair the best.
He said: “I have asked myself a million times why I did it.
“I knew she wouldn’t talk to me as Alan, that’s why I used the photos. I know what I did was wrong and felt guilty but the more she involved me, the harder it was to admit what I’d done.
“I was going through a low point and wanted someone to talk to. But I think it’s brilliant Emma and Adam have met, it’s almost like fate.”
Emma added: “There’s no point holding grudges. I hope Alan meets someone nice too who will love him for who he really is.”