Andy Hepworth has been left behind in Hetton-le-Hole, Tyne and Wear, after wife Heidi ran off to be with her Gambian lover.
The 44-year-old says she has been brainwashed and that her behaviour completely changed after she started talking to strangers on Facebook in March. And with nearly three thousand miles between them, Andy says Mamadou Jallow, 30, is just after her passport.
But Heidi, also 44, hit back and claimed their marriage had problems and was already over – and insists her African boyfriend is a nice man. Andy, who was in the navy for four years, told The Sun: ‘The person she has become is horrible. She was a loving, caring mum. Now it’s like an alien has possessed her body. ‘It’s one big fantasy for her and she is following it through step by step.’
Andy says Heidi started getting tattoos, booking sunbeds and going out all the time after chatting to Asian and African men online. She abandoned the family last month as she left the UK for the first time in her life. Andy, who says it is a mid-life crisis, was furious at her decision to leave her children behind – but she says she does miss them.
She said: ‘The children haven’t been left to fend for themselves. 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.’ The couple met in the 1990s and were together for 23 years. She had three children from a previous relationship. They married five years ago but now ex-delivery driver Andy says it is over and he wants a divorce.