Meet The Brother And Sister Who Have Been Illegally Living As A Couple For The Past 20 Years

Life & Culture Editor
12.09.15 6 Comments


Tom and Lena have been together for a long time. They’re in a relationship, they live together, and they even have a child. The only thing that’s unconventional about their relationship, they tell Vice, is that they’re related. And while that hasn’t kept them from being together, it’s kept them from speaking out. Not just because people would think it’s weird, but because they’d be arrested and put behind bars.

In an interview with Jennifer Tillman, Tom and Lena discussed their lives, how they came to be together, and what it’s like to be from Austria, where being involved with a family member—regardless of consent—is a criminal offense punishable with up to one year in jail (depending on the nature of the relationship). And what’s most interesting is that unlike Chris and Cathy and Jaime and Cersei (whose fictional relationships are all based on drama and intrigue), Tom and Lena claim they came together naturally, and not, as some people might think, from a twisted and broken childhood.

From Vice:

Tom and Lena grew up in a small Austrian village. They lived in a huge, white fairytale house with a dog on the front lawn. Their mother was a housewife and their father a civil servant. The kids were well-behaved, went to school, and did their best not to attract negative attention. In their family there were no quarrels, and smiles were obligatory. Otherwise, what would the neighbors think? At some point Tom realized that he wasn’t perfect. Lena felt the same way. “I started getting real feelings for her when we both entered puberty,” said Tom. “She was blossoming. Sometimes I would watch her getting dressed in her room and always felt ashamed of myself afterwards.”

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