Heidi Hepworth, 44, ditched her husband of 23 years for a new life with Salieu Jallow - 12 years her junior - and now plans to marry him and convert to Islam
A 44-year-old mum-of-nine says she has no regrets about leaving her husband and kids for a Gambian toyboy lover.
Heidi Hepworth hooked up with Salieu Jallow - 12 years her junior - after he contacted her from his home in west Africa on Facebook.
She ditched her husband of 23 years, Andy, to fly to Gambia to meet Salieu.
Heidi has six children with Andy aged between six and 23, as well as three others from a previous relationship aged 24 to 29.
Today Heidi said she had been "unhappy for a long time" and makes no apologies for following her heart.
She also says she plans to marry Salieu, 32, when her divorce comes through and might even convert to Islam for it.
Husband Andy previously accused of her going through a "mid-life crisis" and said a "caring mum wouldn't go off gallivanting around Africa".
But Heidi has now hit back, saying her love for Salieu is genuine.
He added her on Facebook out of the blue at a time when she was unhappy in her marriage.
The pair began chatting and an online romance blossomed.
Heidi eventually agreed to fly out to Gambia to meet Salieu in October for a one-month visit.
She told The Sun : "It was really hard for me to leave my kids, but they couldn’t come with me so I had no choice.
"If people think I went over to the Gambia and didn’t give them a second thought, they are so wrong.
“But having said that, I make no apologies for following my heart. I’ve been unhappy for a long time and I think I have found someone to spend the rest of my life with."