A mother-of-nine who ditched her children and partner of 23 years for a new life with her African toyboy has been slammed as ‘nasty’ and ‘delusional’.
Heidi Hepworth, 44, from East Boldon in South Tyneside, left husband Andy, also 44, for 30-year-old Mamadou Jallow from Gambia after she started talking to strangers online.
After getting tattoos, booking sunbeds and giving herself a makeover, she 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 a bad mother.
One poster wrote: ‘You really are crazy leaving your family for fantasy island.
‘That’s exactly what it’s like. Nothing is real. But your children are. So sad.’
Another said: ‘Whatever you are going through has made you delusional.
‘It’s like a female mid life crisis, but you’ll end up like all the other women who have done the same, taken for a ride, humiliated, used and dumped. ‘
One poster fumed: ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe what I have just read. What kind of person would abandon all her children?
‘I feel sick for them, poor little things having you do this to them. They will be damaged for life.
‘Well done, hope you are happy with yourself.
Another woman said: ‘I understand it is your life… but leaving your babies?’
One woman said: ‘Your poor husband and kids! Fancy leaving them! You ain’t [sic] nothing special and no doubt he’ll be after a passport! Good luck when it all goes t*** up.’
One man wrote: ‘Leaving her husband, I have no issue with. But leaving nine kids? She deserves to be happy of course, but can’t the kids be considered. Best of luck to her and the kids.
One poster said: ‘You are mental… have you not read all the stories. See sense please lady. For you and your kids sake.’
Devastated Andy 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.
‘He has brainwashed her. It’s one big fantasy for her and she is following it through step by step.’
The couple have six children together and Andy has raised three children Heidi had from a previous marriage as his own.
They were left in the North East while their mother started life with her new partner.
She told the paper her new squeeze was not after her to get a British passport, and insisted he was a nice man.
Heidi said: ‘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?’
Andy and his wife had been together 18 years when they eventually decided to tie the knot five years ago.
Now, the Navy veteran is convinced their marriage is over having noticed a change in Heidi in March after ‘Asian and African men’ started adding her on social media sites.
‘She was wearing more make up and dresses which she’d never done before. It just wasn’t her,’ he told The Sun.
‘She was going out all the time with friends and was always on her phone.
‘A caring mum wouldn’t go off gallivanting around Africa with her new boyfriend.’
Heidi said she saw her future with Mamadou and her children, despite being almost 3,000 miles away from them.