9:30am Saturday 19th January 2013
By Pete Hughes
FOUR Years ago, Otto Baxter was on a quest to lose his virginity.
His mother even offered to pay for a prostitute for her son.
But now, the 25-year-old actor, who has Down’s syndrome, has finally found love.
And he even says marriage is on the cards.
In the 2009 BBC documentary Love, Lust and Las Vegas, Mr Baxter, then 21, went to a strip club in America’s sleaze capital to explore the world of sex.
But now he says he has found the right woman in 22-year-old Stephanie Newman, who also has Down’s syndrome.
The lovebirds met at a photographic exhibition on London’s South Bank in April last year.
Mr Baxter, who also has Tourette’s syndrome, said: “It is going really well.
“We like watching TV together, and going to see films and going to the theatre.”
The loving couple already call each other Mr and Mrs Baxter.
“Marriage is definitely on the cards,” added Mr Baxter, “Stephanie has been talking about it for a while.
“She has already started inviting people to the wedding.”
As for moving out of his mum’s house, he said “forget about it”.
Instead, he wants Miss Newman to move into the house he shares in Steventon with his mum Lucy and his adopted brothers James, 31, and Titus, 17, who also have Down’s syndrome, and nine-year-old Raphael.
Miss Baxter, who adopted Mr Baxter when he was a baby, still remembers the moment when the happy couple first laid eyes on each other.
“I saw them sat on a wall, with the Thames in front of them,” she said.
“Otto had his arm around Stephanie and he was just gently stroking her face.
“It was so sweet.”
Circumstances are made difficult by the fact that Miss Newman, who is also an actor, lives in Hounslow with her mother.
But the couple speak on the phone every day, and talk on Skype.
They meet up once every few weeks, as Mr Baxter’s busy schedule allows. Recently he has been tied up shooting his latest film, Brotherhood.
The independent film tells the story of two brothers and the unusual dynamics in their family.
Mr Baxter said he enjoyed making the film because he got to go to lots of parties, which feature in the film.
For part of the five-day shoot in Manchester, Mr Baxter was accompanied by his friend Joe Bennett, co-founder of Steventon’s Truck Festival.
He also appeared in a recent episode of Silent Witness, and is now in rehearsals for the Steventon village pantomime in February.
And as for the question of whether Mr Baxter is still waiting to lose his virginity, he said: “Mind your own business”.
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