A woman who thought she had found love with a Tunisian toyboy ended up penniless after she spent £18,000 of her life savings on him - but claims to have healed her broken heart after finding love with another Tunisian man online.
Michelle Spencer, 51, starting chatting online to a 22-year-old Rami Selmi, after she divorced her husband of 24 years three years ago.
She was swept off her feet by smooth talking Rami, who showered her with compliments and begged her to come to Tunisia to meet him in person. At the end of a two-week holiday, he proposed to her and she was over the moon - despite having only known him for three months.
He didn’t have a job so she used some of her £18,000 life savings to arrange the wedding. 'I was in love so was happy to spend for the wedding,'It all happened very quickly but it was a whirlwind and it felt so right. I didn’t mind spending the money at first. I was completely swept off my feet.
'My daughter, Rachel, 19, warned me I was being taken for a ride but I thought she was being silly. But as soon as she returned to the UK she claims she was bombarded by messages from her new husband asking for money- £100 here and there- which, at the time she was happy to send.
'Rami would ask me for money for things like driving lessons so he could get a job. I didn’t mind sending it over, because he was my husband after all and I was sure he would treat me as soon as he got a job.' But after a trip to Tunisia to visit her husband, she sensed a distance between them when he insisted on sleeping in separate beds.
'It felt as though he didn’t want to touch
me.'I tried to tell myself everything was
okay, but as soon as I was back in the UK he was pestering me for more money and he was pestering me to sort out a visa for him. Over the two years they were married, she spent £18,000 on Rami and was left with no money left to pay the rent and bills - and ended up sending her husband money that was meant to pay her gas bills.
Ms Spencer, who suffers from anxiety and depression, claims incapacity benefit and would use her savings to provide for herself and her daughter Rachel, as well as fund her trips to Tunisia. Over the two-and-a-half years we were married I gave Rami every little penny and I had and I was left with nothing.
'I feel foolish giving him the money now, but I loved him and I thought he loved me. 'But now I feel as though he was using me. He even disappeared to go out drinking with friends on our wedding day.'
Her divorce from Mr Selmi was finalised two weeks ago, and slowly she has been rebuilding her life - with the help of a new 26-year-old partner she met in the same chatrooms. But this time she insists she is wiser and won’t be put off true love.
'I’ve been with Mesbeh for 19 months and it’s going really great- he is so different from Rami. 'He doesn’t ask me for money at all and we talk online for a couple of hours every day.'I know he wants me for who I am.
I try and go and see him as soon as I can, but it’s hard now I have spent all my money on Rami. 'Mesbeh is a trained sports coach so he doesn’t need my money- that’s why I know it’s love. We have discussed marriage but I’m not in a rush to settle down again.
All he will ask me for is a bottle of vodka from duty free when I come and visit him. I would like him to come for a holiday here for six months to see how he likes the UK and then take it from there. 'My advice to anyone chatting to men online is be very careful and watch out for the sweet talkers. 'Never send money, no matter how much they pester you. I know now that even if you love them it’s not the right thing to do.
''I am very happy with Mesbeh and I have definitely learnt from my mistake with Rami, now that I am still paying off my debts. 'I was foolish and I don’t want anyone else to make the same mistake.
- Daily Mail