An emotionally devastated British husband from East Boldon in South Tyneside has narrated how his wife of 23 years dumped him and their nine children to be with her Gambian lover she met on the internet.
Andy Hepworth, 44, told the SUN how his wife Heidi Hepworth, 44, left him for a younger man from Gambia, Mamadou Jallow (30) after she started chatting with strangers online.
According to Mr. Hepworth, who feels his wife has been brainwashed, says she’s now pushing for a divorce, saying her future is with Mamadou.
He said she gave herself new treats, including getting new tattoos, giving herself a makeover, then flew to Gambia last month, her first ever trip out of the UK – abandoning her nine children and starting a new life with Mamadou.
Mr. Hepworth told the newspaper, “It’s a midlife crisis. She started going to the gym, booking sunbeds, getting tattoos and wearing dresses. The person she has become is horrible. She was a loving, caring mum. Now it’s like an alien has possessed her body.
“He has brainwashed her. It’s one big fantasy for her and she is following it through step by step.”
Andy and Heidi met in the 1990s and spent 23 years together as hisband and wife. The couple has six children together and Andy has raised three children Heidi had from a previous marriage as his own. He said:“She had three children from a previous relationship but I brought them up as mine. We then had six kids of our own. Five years ago I moved out but I realised I wanted to go home and she took me straight back. We decided to take the next step and got married.”
Andy, an ex-delivery driver, who served in the Navy for four years, first noticed a change in Heidi in March.
He added, “She was wearing more makeup and dresses which she’d never done before. It just wasn’t her. She was going out all the time with friends and was always on her phone.
“She has strange friends on Facebook, men from Africa and Asia,” Andy says she blocked him being a Facebook friend.
When Andy reportedly confronted her with the question if there was another man in her life, Heidi replied “no”.
“I didn’t think she was messing around with a bloke here, but I did wonder what she was up to. Heidi moved out twice in a fortnight after rows. When she was home inbetween Andy claims he found messages from Mamadou on the family computer.
“It felt like my heart had been ripped out. I loved her. We were always a rock solid. But I think it’s over. She’s said and done too much. A caring mum wouldn’t go off gallivanting around Africa with her new boyfriend.”
In her response to the SUN, Heidi said her marriage to Andy is over and that she’s happy with Mamadou, who lives in Banjul, Gambia.“Andy went off but I still took him back. The marriage came to a natural end. Now I’m very happy. You couldn’t meet a nicer man.”
“I’ve met a young gentleman but it’s not an affair. The marriage had problems. We drifted apart. Can a woman not have a new relationship?”
On her abandoned children, Heidi said: “The children haven’t been left to fend for themselves. I’m missing them and video chat every day. It’s hard but they understand. I don’t know if I will move here permanently but I see my future with Mamadou, and my children.