She suffered humiliation on a global scale when her husband was pictured passionately kissing and cuddling young actress Lily James sans wedding ring, during a romantic break in Rome – not caring who saw.
And hours after Dominic West’s wife Catherine Fitzgerald, 49, told friends she was ‘heartbroken’ over the images, which went viral, she agreed to take part in a bizarre show of unity with The Affair star, 50, with him telling reporters: ‘Our marriage is strong and we’re very much still together’.
The shell-shocked mother-of-four clutched a tissue in her hand as she gingerly stepped out of the marital home in Chippenham, Wiltshire, at 10:30am with her husband by her side, hiding her ring finger in her jeans pocket.
For a brief moment, she lingered in the doorway, biting her lip and staring anxiously at the ground as he glanced back and appeared to say something to her.
Wearing a blue polo neck, skinny jeans with pumps and socks, Catherine purposefully raised her head and passionately kissed Dominic for the cameras, as they emerged from their rambling cottage, through a rusty gate.
‘Our marriage is strong and we’re very much still together’: Defiant Dominic West and his wife kissed and put on a united front on Tuesday after his passionate clinch with Lily James – but his wedding ring was still OFF
The look that says he’s been forgiven: Dominic had a wry smile on his face during the public outing with Catherine, who seems to have forgiven him hours after telling friends the marriage was ‘probably over’
What were they thinking? The Affair star Dominic, 50, caused shockwaves when he was pictured kissing Lily James, 31, during a boozy al fresco lunch in Rome over the weekend – Catherine was said to be ‘heartbroken’ when she saw the images
Despite the couple’s public display of commitment to each other, for those who witnessed it, Catherine’s demeanour appeared uncomfortable, suggesting that some difficult conversations still lie ahead for them.
Dominic had a rather smug look on his face as he made a point of showing that he was still not wearing his wedding ring. He wore the same outfit he wore on his day out with Lily, adding a brown jacket.
Bizarre: West handed out a piece of paper, (written by him) to reporters asserting that he and Catherine would not be splitting – it was signed by them both
With fixed smiles planted on their faces, he and Catherine handed photographers a piece of paper, which repeated the words in his handwriting: ‘Our marriage is strong and we’re very much still together’, with their signatures placed underneath.
In the window of their porch hung a children’s drawing of a rainbow, in support of the NHS – a reminder of why Catherine might have been so quick to put on a show of support so publicly.
Dominic first returned home from his romantic break on Monday night for a showdown with his wife, who told a friend she believed their marriage was strong and had been blindsided by the pictures.
Dominic refused to answer any questions about what occurred in Italy.
Moments later, the couple left their home, driving off together to an unknown destination.
Earlier in the day, Dominic had looked downcast as he drove away from the property in his silver Volvo, with one of their children sitting in the back of the car.
MailOnline understands the actor flew back from Rome on Monday night for crisis talks with his wife of 10 years, just hours after she told a friend she was ‘heartbroken, shocked and devastated’ after seeing pictures of Dominic locked in an embrace with Lily, 31, while not wearing his wedding ring.
Dominic’s face had been largely concealed by his face mask as he drove and he had kept his ring finger from view, after brazenly removing it for his very amorous display with Lily.
A bizarre display: The couple stood outside their home in Wiltshire shortly after 10.30am – West put his arm around his wife of ten years for some staged smiling photos
The face that speaks volumes: Catherine looked very hesitant before greeting reporters and fixing on a smile
Keeping it off? Dominic made a point of showing that he was still not wearing his wedding band – Catherine had secreted a scrunched up tissue in her hand, which made it appear as though she had been crying
Why so secretive? Catherine continued to hide her ring finger despite clearly wanting to make a public statement
Holding her head high: No doubt Catherine was thinking of her children when she agreed to make the public statement
Is that your signature move, Dom? He placed his hand on the small of his wife’s back as they smooched, just like he did to Lily two days before- he wore the same outfit on both occasions but threw on a brown jacket for good measure back home
Crying? Dominic’s wife carried a tucked away tissue in hand
Dominic has been married to Irish landscape designer and mother-of-four Catherine since 2010.
On Monday, she confided in a friend that she and Dominic were still ‘very much together’ at the time of his steamy clinch with Lily, and she had said she considered the marriage to be ‘probably over’.
A female friend who came to console Catherine told MailOnline that she has was ‘devastated’ over the pictures because she thought she and Dominic had a ‘good marriage’.
And while Catherine looked visibly upset when she left her home, the loyal lady soon fixed on a smile as she faced reporters.
As yet, there has been no sighting of Lily and she is yet to issue any sort of statement on the matter.
She and Dominic share the same manager, who was also with them on the trip.
Making a point: Catherine held the piece of paper, but hid her ring finger as the couple walked out of their garden gate
Nothing to see here: Catherine had previously told friends she was ‘heartbroken’ over the images of Dominic with Lily
Are you still coming? Dominic looked back at his wife as she trailed behind him looking nervous
You’re not on the film set now! Dominic put on a smouldering display ahead of his meeting with reporters
Family: The couple had displayed their children’s artwork in the window of their porch
Grin and bear it: Catherine took a pause before heading out of her gate and smiling
And the Oscar goes to… The couple went from frowning to smiling as quick as a flash
The actor and the Mamma Mia! star Lily caused quite the stir with their passionate – and very public – display and didn’t seem to mind who saw them as they cuddled up while taking in the sights of the Italian city.
A friend told MailOnline on Monday: ‘Catherine has seen the pictures and she’s devastated. I came over to speak with her as soon as I knew about them.
‘Catherine has been trying to speak with Dominic but he’s not answering his phone. She’s totally shocked because she didn’t know anything was going on. They were very much together, so this is completely out of the blue.
The calm before the storm? Earlier in the day, the actor looked downcast as he returned to the family home for ‘showdown talks’ with Catherine who was said to be devastated upon seeing the pictures of him with Lily
Oh dear: Dominic, 50, looked downcast in his silver Volvo at around 8am that morning, with one of his children sitting in the back of the car
Before and after: Dominic with his wedding ring on (left) and without it in Rome (right)
‘She thought they had a good marriage and now it’s probably over. That’s how she feels right now but the two of them need to speak but at the moment, she’s lost for words.’
A gardener who lives on the grounds of the stunning property said: ‘This is their family home and as you can see it’s a wonderful place. They’ve got great kids and everything that you can imagine.
‘Catherine was devastated when she saw those pics and they also left us feeling quite numb. It’s a total shock to all of us who know them.’
Cosy: The actor and the Mamma Mia! star didn’t seem to mind who saw them as they cuddled up to one another and shared a ride on an electric scooter while taking in the sights, tenderly touching throughout the day
Neighbours in the picturesque postcard village where Catherine lives with Dominic and their children – daughter Dora, 13, son Senan, 12, son Francis, 11, and daughter Christabel, seven, have also been rallying around her.
The actor also has another daughter Martha, 22, with former girlfriend Polly Astor.
One said: ‘To say she’s in shock would be an understatement. She’s heartbroken and has got nothing to publicly say. She needs to be left alone and have some time to herself.’
MailOnline has contacted Dominic and Lily’s representatives for comment.
Dominic made his feelings on infidelity quite clear during an Evening Standard interview, back in 2016, when he asked the reporter why wives make such a fuss over infidelity.
He said: ‘I mean, I think women should be more indulgent of affairs.
‘I really do. It’s daft to kick someone out over a fling. Isn’t it? Everyone should turn a blind eye to men’s behaviour between the ages of 40 and 50. Let it all blow over.’
He told Harper’s Bazaar when promoting The Affair that monogamy is ‘not the necessarily natural way to be’.
He said: ‘It’s one of those subjects that people have very strong opinions about because everybody is open to it and can experience it. It affects kings as much as it does snails. A lot of people have experienced it and a lot of people fear it.
‘I suppose people suspect that the conventions that we have agreed upon in society, that a man and women can stay together for life or a certain amount of time without cheating, that they’re not really staying together based on anything other than how society thinks they should behave.’
Stroking her face: The pair looked very at ease with one another as they sat in the sunshine
Interesting: Dominic, 50, is best known for playing Noah Solloway in Showtime drama, The Affair, which explores the emotional effects of an extramarital relationship between his character and Alison Bailey (Ruth Wilson)
Lily and married actor Dominic surprised onlookers when they were pictured passionately kissing while dining al fresco during a romantic break in Rome on Sunday.
Dominic is best known for playing Noah Solloway in Showtime drama, The Affair, which explores the emotional effects of an extramarital relationship between his character and a younger woman who catches his eye, named Alison Bailey (Ruth Wilson).
On Thursday, it was announced that Lily had split from The Crown star Matt Smith, 37, for good after a failed attempt to rekindle their relationship in lockdown following an on-off five year romance.
Working together? A source told MailOnline that Dominic and Lily spent two nights in a suite at the top Hotel De La Ville with a panoramic view over the whole city and just at two minutes walk from the Spanish steps
Making memories: Dominic stood close to Lily as she took pictures on their day of fun together
Close: At the end of lunch Lily sat next to Dominic and he couldn’t resist kissing her neck and stroking her as he displayed his wedding ring free hand
Love: The actor has been married to Irish landscape designer and aristocrat Catherine, (right) since 2010 – no split has been announced – they are parents to Dora, 13, Senan, 12, Francis, 11, and Christabel, seven (pictured in 2017)
A source told MailOnline that Dominic and Lily spent two nights in a suite at the top Hotel De La Ville with a panoramic view over the whole city and just at two minutes walk from the Spanish steps.
They only left the hotel for a few hours riding an electric scooter around the Spanish Steps and Piazza di Pietra. For lunch they joined their friend and mutual manager Angharad Wood at a downtown restaurant.
At the end of lunch Lily sat next to Dominic and he couldn’t resist kissing her neck and stroking her.
Lily looked incredible wearing a pretty floral summery dress which had a split going up the front and cream Yves Saint Laurent espadrilles.
Done and dusted: On Thursday, it was announced that Lily, 31, has split from Matt Smith, 37, for good after a failed attempt to rekindle their relationship in lockdown following an on-off five year romance (pictured in 2015)
Role: Dominic is best known for playing Noah Solloway in Showtime drama, The Affair, which explores the emotional effects of an extramarital relationship between his character and Alison Bailey (Ruth Wilson)
Working together: Lily and Dominic are set to star in Emily Mortimer’s adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s celebrated novel The Pursuit Of Love for the BBC featuring Emily Beecham & Andrew Scott – filming began in July
Happy anniversary: In July, Glin Castle in Ireland shared a throwback picture of Dominic’s wedding on their Instagram account, ten years on
Dominic kept things simple in a light blue shirt and blue jeans worn with New Balance trainers.
MailOnline has contacted a spokesperson for both Dominic West and Lily James.
The pair are set to star in Emily Mortimer’s adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s celebrated novel The Pursuit Of Love for the BBC featuring Emily Beecham & Andrew Scott and filming began in July.
Safety first: The pair kept their masks on throughout the day in keeping with Italian rules and regulations amid the coronavirus pandemic
Whizzing around: Lily looked incredible wearing a pretty floral summery dress which had a split going up the front and cream Yves Saint Laurent espadrilles as she rode around the streets with the actor
Multi-tasking: She found time to check her phone as she and Dominic took in the sights
Saving the cash? Dominic took control throughout the day as they decided not to order two scooters for their tour
Check that out: The pair were very touchy-feely as Dominic pointed out a few things to his companion
The three part romantic comedy-drama about love and friendship is filming on location in the Bristol and Bath area and at The Bottle Yard Studios.
Set in Europe between the two World Wars, the story follows the adventures and misadventures of the charismatic and fearless Linda Radlett, played by Lily and her best friend and cousin Fanny Logan, played by Beecham.
But the pair go way back and starred in Othello together at Sheffield’s Crucible back in 2011. Lily played Desdemona when she was aged 22 and Dominic played Iago aged 41.
Dominic previously spoke about his marriage and wife Catherine in an interview with Vogue UK in 2015, he was discussing his role as Noah Solloway in steamy Showtime drama, The Affair.
Stage pals: The pair go way back and starred in Othello together at Sheffield’s Crucible back in 2011 (pictured)
Getting along well: The pair have clearly clicked since filming on The Pursuit began in August and no doubt these pictures will help the ratings somewhat
Take a left! Dominic offered directions as Lily took over the steering for a little while
He said: ‘I think, really, what marriage is is two people helping each other to live the best lives they can. And that’s what happened with me and my missus. That’s why it works. She doesn’t get jealous, either. If she were doing the scenes I’m doing in The Affair, I would hate it.’
Praising his wife at the time, he added: ‘Does she watch? She saw it a bit, and I said, ”What d’ya think?” And she said, ”Yeah, it’s all right!” She’s incredibly undemanding in that way and it gives me a freedom I never want to give up, and I hope I do that for her, too.’
In May, Matt and Lily sparked rumours they’d reconciled after spending lockdown together at their joint home, having split last December after five years as a couple.
Well hydrated: Lily was loving life as the table got through a few bottles of white wine over lunch
She can’t keep her hands off it: Lily placed her hand around Dominic’s shoulder
She’s done this before: Lily posed for a few snaps for her manager’s little girl who was out of shot
A source told The Sun that Lily and Matt realised they’d be better off as friends after struggling to make their relationship work.
The source said: ‘They have gone back and forth this year trying to sort things out between them because they both have so much love for each other.
‘But unfortunately it just isn’t working and they have mutually decided to just close this chapter of their lives.
Checking Insta? Lily was glued to her phone while Dominic chatted to the manager they share
Oh! It has been reported that Lily and Matt realised they’d be better off as friends after struggling to make their relationship work and she wanted to date someone out of the spotlight
No hands! Lily appeared very trusting as she held onto her phone and not the handles
Quite romantic: Dominic continued to keep his arms around her as their day in the sun continued
Putting on a show: Lily showed off some serious moves as she had her photo taken
She likes that one: The actress had a big smile on her face as she took a look at the pictures
‘Now Lily just wants to find a normal guy who’s not in the spotlight because she found it quite tough being with another celebrity.’
Lily and Matt first met while filming Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in 2014, but didn’t confirm their romance until February the following year.
The couple parted ways in December 2019 after five years together, with reports claiming their romance had hit the buffers over Matt’s closeness to his The Crown co-star Claire Foy, 37.
In July, Lily was pictured enjoying a night out in London with Captain America star Chris Evans.
The Mamma Mia actress headed back to 39-year-old Chris’s London hotel, The Corinthia, in the same taxi as him, after partying into the early hours at private members’ venue, Mark’s Club in Mayfair just before 1am.
Ouch! Lily was sporting a big bruise on her leg when she was pictured leaving a souvenir shop
Giggling: He was showing her his phone as the pair smiled their way through dinner
Lovely day: The group looked as though they were having the best time
Tasty: Lily licked her lips as she sipped on an espresso as the meal came to a close
Bottoms up! Lily was seen knocking back her glass of wine during lunch
Dominic recently hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons when he said he ‘jumped for joy’ after learning about President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis.
The Wire actor didn’t hold back when asked for his views on Trump’s positive result after the President, 74, had minimised the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic for months.
Appearing on video link from his Wiltshire home, Dominic was branded ‘evil’ and ‘disgusting’ after saying: ‘Well I did slightly leap in the air with joy.
‘I think the phrase is ”what goes around comes around”. I just hope it doesn’t interfere with him being elected out of office that’s all.’
Move up a bit: The pair did well to both fit on the scooter as they traversed across the cobbled streets
Taking it easy: They carefully looked left and right before heading out into the main road
He was far from the only left-wing social media user to take delight in the President’s diagnosis with many advancing theories that his illness would harm his chances in the presidential election on November 3.
Kate questioned if Dominic was suggesting he wished Trump well on a personal level, but perhaps felt this was karmic given that Trump had previously downplayed the virus.
The actor’s words were somewhat tone deaf, given that Kate’s husband Derek, 53, has become the longest patient battling coronavirus in hospital in the UK as he enters his seventh month in hospital.
Dominic said: ‘Well there’s an element of schadenfreude I suppose.
‘I’m not a fan of his, as you can probably tell, and I just hope Biden stays healthy and gets the presidency as quickly as possible. I think Trump is a catastrophe for America and the world.’
Gasping: At one point, Dominic removed his mask for a second as he got some air
Who need to walk? They were very much into their mode of transport on the day