Irish chef Anthony Grant (aka Anthony J Grant or Antiono Grant Jr) and I were online friends for a long time, 2 years perhaps, before he showed he was a thief, a liar and a hopeless drunk. We actually have a couple of mutual friends/friends of friends. So we were chatting occasionally, then more often: every day via Messenger texts, and a few times a week via video chat.
What did he do that was so bad? At the end of February, my best friend (Josh) committed suicide. I found him, I cut him down. But he died right in front of me and I don’t think I will ever really recover from that.
Anthony was living with his parents in Crossgar, Downpatrick (Northern Ireland) by this stage and he said he hated his father and it was the last place he wanted to be. We chatted on the phone every night and mid-March he told me he had a job to go to in Cork but couldn’t afford to get there. So I loaned him some cash for a fresh start. This wasn’t the last time.
Irish chef Anthony Grant’s unexpected call
About three weeks later, while I was still trying to handle my grief over Josh and also dealing with a whole lot of other dramas in my life, Anthony told me he was in love with me. It was a bolt from the blue, and once I took the time to think about it, I believed I had feelings for him, too.
Our little drunk Irish chef Anthony Grant (aka Antiono Grant Jr) told me he was “working his bollocks off” to save to save money so he could move here. However, the first week after his little L-bomb bombshell I felt he was a bit distant. There were some issues that were later resolved while I was in New York for a last-minute trip. He was angry that I went to New York instead of Dublin but I made that choice because I was having doubts about his feelings. The whole time I was in New York he was chatting to me and to Matty (one of my closest friend, who Anthony had also friended on Facebook), doing all he could to convince us both that he was serious. He also made me feel incredibly guilty for going there instead of Dublin and tried to convince me to change my flights, to go there instead.
When I got home, we carried on with our plans. I began applying for jobs in other cities, where it would be easier for him to find chef work. I also started selling off some of my belongings to make it easier to move.
During this time, he repeatedly told me how he’d been cheated on and hurt in the past and made me promise over and over again that I would never do that to him.
He got a bit distant again in May, and once again I decided to back off. But once again, he pursued things. My friend Matty had just moved to the States when he had to rush back here because his father was very ill. Matty arrived in time to spend a couple of days at his father’s bedside before he died. Anthony contacted Matty and said his own father was deathly ill and he’d had to rush back to Downpatrick. He had lost his job, was broke and his father was dying. He told Matty he loved me more than life itself and would do anything to be with me.
Once again, we were back to making our plans. I was stressed about the upcoming coroner’s inquest into Josh’s death, and as that month went by Anthony moved to another job, this time with a flat. He begged me to go there, to “rescue him”. I told him I would, soon and the very next day, I booked a flight to go over there a few days after the inquest, which was on June 26. I was to fly out July 2.
Anthony blocked me on June 25. Ghosted me.
The lies unravel
June 30, I got a text from Karen Harris of Ballyheigue (formerly Karen Doran, of Tralee) and I phoned her. She told me they went on their first date Karen March 31. Anthony told Karen he loved her the day after they slept together on April 2. Moved in with her on April 11. Had was barely working; turning up drunk, or not turning up at all, cost him every job.
He’d already told Karen he loved her a few days before he told me the same. When he was laying a guilt trip on me when I was in New York, and begging me to go to Dublin, he was in bed with Karen.
When we were making our plans for a life together, while I was applying for jobs and making plans to move to another city to make things easier for him, he was with Karen.
And when he was pleading with me to go over there the day before I booked a flight there, Karen was in his bed while he was outside having a cigarette and talking to me on the phone. His father was never ill, and while he was claiming to be back in Crossgar with his family, he was actually in Ballyheigue with Karen. From the start of April to the end of June, he was making plans for a life with me that was never going to happen. It was all a con.
Anthony had robbed Karen, so she claimed. He was arrested and bailed to his parent’s home. At that point he contacted me, I didn’t respond well. So he went back to chasing Karen.
A day or so later, I had a major health issue: a couple of seizures left me out cold. I woke up in hospital with a hole in my memory, believing it was late May. I didn’t remember any of his lies. He was chatting to me as if none of it had happened.
He told me about the arrest and said he had a breakdown because of the booze. But he assured me that he still meant everything he’d said about us being together. He also later said he needed to go on the “lamb” (assuming he meant lam), but would need money. I believe he was trying to con more money out of me, even after everything he had already done.
My memory began to return, that was when he blocked me again.
Innocent or not?
I’m not 100% sure when Karen knew what was going on. He says she had nothing to do with any of it, but she admitted two things to me:
- She saw some text messages between us that he had forgotten to delete weeks before he “robbed her”.
- That she know about me and the money when he got it ($1000). At least the last 2 times. They were broke and needed the money, she said.
Another reason to disbelieve their claim she wasn’t in on it? Karen and Matty were also chatting online. He told her Anthony had told me he was having internet connection problems. Karen’s response was to say “that’s what he always says when he wants to chat to another woman”. So I believe she knew, and I also believe I wasn’t the only victim.
I’m writing this up in more detail, to show the lengths he went to, and will post it when it’s done. He used my grief to weasel his way into my life. And he did the same to Matty. He is a truly awful human being. They both are.
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