A mother-of-nine who ditched her children and partner of 23 years for a new life with a Gambian toyboy has been called ugly names on Facebook where she met him.
Heidi Hepworth, 44, from East Boldon in South Tyneside, left husband Andy, also 44, for 30-year-old Mamadou Jallow from Gambia.
After getting tattoos, booking sunbeds and giving herself a makeover, Heidi flew to Gambia last month – her first ever trip out of the UK.
Heidi has been criticised for her actions on Facebook, with many accusing her of being nasty, delusional and a bad mother.
Broken-hearted Andy Hepworth said Heidi met her Gambian lover, Mamadou Jallow on Facebook. Hepworth who obviously is confused about how to get his wife back – I mean how is he going to look after nine children on his own? – has turned to the British media for help, singing to them like a bird.
“It’s a midlife crisis. She started going to the gym, booking sunbeds, getting tattoos and wearing dresses,” he told The Sun UK.
“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 said Heidi had never stepped out of the UK until she flew to be with Mamadou in West Africa last month.
A neighbour fearing for her three youngest, aged six, nine and 11, alerted their school.
But police found them staying legally with their 29-year-old sister.
“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?” Heidi was reported to have said
Narrating his own side, Andy Hepworth added, “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.”
Ex-delivery driver Andy, who served in the Navy for four years, first noticed a change in Heidi in March.
He said: “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.
But when he asked if there was another man she said “No”.
He added: “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 in between Andy claimed he found messages from Mamadou on the family computer. He added: “It felt like my heart had been ripped out. I loved her.”
Andy slammed Heidi for leaving their youngest kids, saying: “A caring mum wouldn’t go off gallivanting around Africa with her new boyfriend.”
But Heidi seems to have everything planned out already.
“The children haven’t been left to fend for themselves,” she said. “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.
According to the report, the Police maintained that there are no concerns for the children since they were left with an appropriate adult.