THE BIG READ: ‘I am Pablo Escoba's secret son’

accreditation
Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Roberto Escobar only discovered in his 20s that he was the son of one of the world’s most notorious drug lords, Pablo Escobar. (PHOTO: FACEBOOK/PHILLIP WITCOMB)
Roberto Escobar only discovered in his 20s that he was the son of one of the world’s most notorious drug lords, Pablo Escobar. (PHOTO: FACEBOOK/PHILLIP WITCOMB)

He believe that one day a film will be made about his life. Phillip Witcomb can see it now: part espionage caper, part globetrotting crime thriller, part family saga with several twists, mostly tragedy but with a peaceful end for its hero, packed with violence, glamour, drugs, and a small digression into Spanish golf-course design. Basically, solid gold blockbuster magic.

“It would make a fantastic movie, don’t you think?” he asks.

The man at the centre of that story, Phillip – a gregarious, occasionally obtuse and short-tempered but marvellously moustachioed presence on my Zoom screen – goes by two names. The first, Phillip Robert Charles Witcomb, comes from his adoptive father, Pat, who was an MI6 agent working undercover as a businessman. This is his everyday moniker. And it is as Phillip Witcomb that he sells hyperrealist paintings, mainly depicting the area around his home in Majorca, where he now lives with his second wife, Julie, two spaniels, four tortoises and four goldfish.

Support independent journalism
Subscribe to News24 for just R75 per month to read all our investigative and in-depth journalism.
Subscribe
Already a subscriber? Sign in