Egyptian love rat

Big Bang Theory

Senior Rat Expert
Smitten M*** fell for an Egyptian half her age but is now counting the heartbreaking £40,000 cost after her desert love turned to dust.

M*** ignored family warnings after being swept off her feet by the tour rep who wooed her with free camel rides.

She was 50 and £15-a-day guide Amr Elasar was just 22 when they met at a Red Sea resort in 2008.

A romance began the following year when M*** returned to Sharm El Sheikh, where she and her ex-husband co-own a villa.

She and Amr wed at the British Embassy in Cairo in 2009 but things turned sour back in the UK – despite M*** blowing £30,000 on treats for her new husband.

M*** says he turned “moody and money-grabbing” and went on cougar dating sites.

They eventually divorced in 2014. Now M***, a 61-year-old gran, must pay him £40,000 in a court-ordered divorce settlement.

Pet sitter M***, who has daughters aged 34 and 32 and a 21-year-old son, tells the Sunday Mirror: “I feel sick. I’m a kind and compassionate person and it horrifies me to realise my husband was only after my cash.

“Behind his charisma is a cold and calculating character. He never loved me – he loved what I could bring him.

“He mentioned how lucky I was to live in the UK. I brought him here, now I’m paying the price.”

M*** thought Amr was 28 when they met and admits being embarrassed after ignoring pleas not to make him husband No3.

Revealing how her heart ruled her head, she says: “It might sound crazy but those first dates were the best days of my life.

“He wooed me like a pro and I was flattered. I’d never met anybody who made me laugh like that and was so romantic.

“It was like a film. He took me to Cairo, he gave me camel rides and one night he stuck candles in the sand and arranged a musician to serenade us.

“I was embarrassed to be with a younger man, but he told me our souls were the same age."

“Initially Amr paid for everything but soon he told me he wanted a phone and then an iPad, which I bought. And I often wired him cash.

“I was happy to oblige him with the odd gift, but back in the UK he wanted more and more and I stupidly went with it. I was insecure being with a young, handsome man and was trying to recapture the good times.

“I even remortgaged my house to buy him stuff.”

M*** says warnings from family and friends only made her “more determined to do what I wanted”.

She did insist on a pre-nup but never got it signed by a witness – so it was void.

M*** realised things were unravelling after they returned to the UK in 2010, with Amr initially staying on a six-month visa.

Her daughters moved out of the family home in Bexleyheath, South East London, in protest. M*** says: “Amr changed almost instantly, becoming moody and more demanding.

“He kept telling me I promised to take care of him."

“I spent thousands on a car and driving lessons for him so he could have a good life here.

“After a while I suspected him of messaging women on social media. He promised he wasn’t but when he returned to Egypt the following February we briefly split.”

M*** claims that one woman in her 60s contacted her claiming to be owed £6,000 by Amr.

She dismissed the woman as a bitter ex – but now regrets being so hasty. M*** says Amr returned to the UK in September 2011 and they rekindled their relationship.

But within months, M*** says she found he had messaged lovelorn women claiming to be an accountant.

“I felt utterly betrayed,” she says. “I confronted him and he swore he would have counselling. I insisted he moved out – but we remained a couple.”

She finally dumped him after he persuaded her to buy him a £4,000 second-hand Mercedes in March 2014, promising to pay her back £200 a month.

M*** adds: “We had this blazing row in front of the salesman and eventually I agreed to buy it, but I felt a fool.

“He only paid £400 over two months. Then the bailiffs came round and I found he had taken out two £3,000 loans.

“I insisted he sold the Mercedes to pay off the debts and he was furious.

“I finally realised Amr had only wanted what I could give him. I was utterly humiliated.

“Everyone was thinking ‘I told you so’. My trust in people was completely destroyed.”

The divorce was finalised in summer 2014, around the time Amr was granted leave to remain in the UK.

They did meet up occasionally and M*** learned Amr had jobs at fast-food chains and other girlfriends.

Then, last year, came the financial bombshell – a £100,000 divorce claim. By the time it reached court last month the claim was down to £50,000, which M*** rejected.

But eight days later she was ordered to pay £40,000 in a judgment at Medway County Court, Kent. It was concluded M*** would likely be able to meet her own needs in the future, whereas Amr would need to “establish himself” in the UK.

M***, who hopes to appeal, says: “I am staggered, it’s an outrage. I cannot see how this man is entitled to a penny.”

The judge made an exemption on her home being sold to cover costs but recommended proceeds from selling her villa could be used. The holiday home is up for sale but M*** has to split proceeds with her second husband – then take out a loan to pay off Amr.

Her daughters have set up a crowdunding page to help. M*** admits: “I got myself into this mess by being too kind and compassionate. I was gullible.”