Is this the man who inspired Christian Grey? No, says Niall Leonard — husband to Fifty Shades of Grey erotic novelist E.L. James — in an interview with CNN. Niall said, "I'm really happy not to be Christian Grey, because that guy's a mess." But he noted that his wife of 20-plus years does have a little Ana Steele in her (or rather, the other way around), saying, "I see my wife in the emails that they exchange. That's very much my wife's amazing ability to flirt via email." Also a writer (his debut crime novel Crusher goes on sale in Europe and Asia this week), Niall explained that he was more of a proofreader for E.L. than an editor. He added that he tried giving her writing input, but their "approaches are completely different." And while he appreciates her writing and storytelling, he's honest about the erotic book series appealing to a specific sex: "It works for women. Men — not always."
E.L. and Niall have two teenage sons together, who Niall admits get teased for their mom's steamy best-seller, but "deep down" are very proud of her. Niall also squashed any rumors that they have an "adventurous lifestyle" à la Ana and Christian, noting that they are just a regular family. Watch the video interview with CNN below.