Whilst waiting to join Ronnie in Rio Charmian is devastated when eldest son Nicky is killed in a car crash and she smuggles a letter to Ronnie to inform him. She keeps strong by taking a university degree as a mature student whilst fighting off the unwanted attentions of married Craig. Meanwhile Ronnie is visited in Rio by Jack Slipper after giving an interview to a tabloid reporter but cannot be extradited as he has impregnated girlfriend Raimunda,giving him a claim to stay in Brazil. Charmian takes the boys to see him to discuss divorce,on the assumption that they will eventually reunite,but Ronnie is distant and unloving and admits that he would sacrifice the family to stay free.Thus Charmian sees that her two surviving sons must come first and she walks out on Ronnie forever. She is reconciled with her parents,but turns down their request that she lives with them and determines to start a new life on her own terms in Australia.
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