Niall Ferguson leaves his wife for Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Historians in the News

With their close ties to David Cameron and illustrious careers in academia and publishing, they were a formidable couple.

But last night it appeared that the 16-year marriage of celebrated historian Niall Ferguson and former newspaper editor Sue Douglas has ended.

The Harvard professor has left his wife for Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a glamorous Somali lawyer threatened with death for scripting a film critical of Islam.

A friend of Miss Douglas, 52, said: 'Despite all the lessons of history, Niall has set himself off in pursuit of some liberal idea of individual freedom and appears hellbent on breaking up his family....

Neither Ferguson nor Miss Hirsi Ali were available for comment....

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Lisa Kazmier - 2/10/2010

Could be an unreality on a lot of levels.

Ed Frank - 2/10/2010

The academic world reels at the revelation that one of its stars has affairs.

Tomorrow: politician lies!

David Austin Walsh - 2/10/2010

I admit, I feel that it is somewhat distasteful to report on the public implosion of a man's marriage, but because of the play it has been getting in the British press (and not just tabloids), and because of the public prominence of Ferguson AND Hirsi Ali, I felt that it warranted a place in Historians in the News.

Unless something ground-shattering happens in this story, though, this is the last I plan on reporting it.

Thomas Holloway - 2/9/2010

If I wanted to follow such personal "news" I would buy the scandal sheets at the supermarket checkout. This has no place on HNN