'He loved women', says Dame Zara Bates in this interview from the documentaryThe Harold Holt Mystery (Ten Network, 1985).
Bates recalls Holt as a man who could easily make woman fall in love with him. Throughout their marriage she had to turn a blind eye to his many affairs. On the day he disappeared, Holt was at the beach with Marjorie Gillespie, with whom he was rumoured to be having an affair.
Zara had three sons to her first husband, Colonel James Fell, two of which were twins. Their marriage broke down soon after the birth of the twins. After they divorced, she married Harold Holt in 1946. He legally adopted her children from the first marriage, giving them his surname. Tom Frame's biography The Life and Death of Harold Holt (2005) reveals that Holt was the twins' biological father.