John Francis Stanley (Frank) Russell, the second Earl Russell, married Mabel, the daughter of an adventuress who eventually accused him of being gay in a sensational trial. She also said he threw a cat at the ceiling, but he said he was just tossing it playfully in the air. Some people might say only the cat would have known for certain, but they are wrong. Cats don't know much.
While he was still married to her, Russell married Mollie in America. Roiphe explains:
Even though he had committed the fairly straightforward crime of bigamy, he was able to muster a great deal of outrage that anyone should take him to task. So convinced was he of his fundamental rectitude, his position as one lone crusader against a malign, nonsensical world, that the notion that he had done something flagrantly in violation of the law seemed not to occur to himLater, he married Elizabeth von Arnim, who was a rich and sprightly writer who was attracted to strong men (she referred to her first husband in a memoir as 'The Man of Wrath'). Russell was sort of a strong man, though a stronger term might be more descriptive, since one of his childhood playmates later recalled that he tied her to a tree with her own hair. After various shocking stuff, mainly to do with his affairs, including one with Miss Otter, his secretary, von Arnim left him and he sued her for stealing his things. She hadn't, as the trial made plain. He acted very injured and sent her a bible with every reference to faithless wives underlined.
At this point, writes Roiphe, 'he began to focus more productively on his political career'. Wow.
Also, he queued all night to get England's first number plate, A1, he introduced the Highway Code and he abolished speed limits on the roads.
Also, Bertrand Russell was his younger brother. And one of his Harvard friends, George Santayana, became a philosopher, one of whose sayings, 'Only the dead have seen the end of war,' is often falsely attributed to Plato. If one of your sayings gets commonly attributed to Plato, you're doing ok.