Ben Foden hopes Una Healy will one day forgive him for his cheating.

Una Healy and Ben Foden

Una Healy and Ben Foden

The 34-year-old rugby player - who has kids Tadhg, four, and Aoife, seven, with his ex-wife - has admitted that their marriage was "struggling for a number of years" before he was unfaithful.

He told Laura Armstrong's Bizarre on Sunday column for The Sun on Sunday newspaper: "I hope Una will forgive me.

"I made the biggest mistake and the most ­stupid mistake you can make in a relationship.

"We seemed like a perfect match but people never know what happens behind closed doors. I think it's safe to say that Una and I were struggling for a number of years.

"Me doing what I did was the final nail in the coffin. I should have been a bigger man. I should have been able to hold my hands up and talk to Una and say, 'I'm not happy, let's figure something out or get divorced', rather than do what I did.

"That's something I have to live with and a regret I will have for the rest of my life. But at the same time there were a number of reasons why our marriage didn't work."

Ben shocked his own family when he decided to marry American entrepreneur Jackie Belanoff Smith just two days after finalising his divorce.

But Ben has defended the decision, saying their whirlwind romance has been "a fairytale".

He said: "Everybody always says, 'What's the rush?'

"But we were in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, at a wedding, and a few things happened which were signs that getting married was something we should do.

"It just felt like all the stars had aligned and there was absolutely nothing telling us not to do it. It was quite surreal and ­happened so fast.

"For someone to come into my life and have such an effect on me, to change me in such a short space of time, it's crazy.

"But the romance of sweeping each other off our feet and making such a big ­commitment to each other so early on ... it's a fairytale."

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