Sat, Feb 21, 2009
The Star/Asia News Network
Sufiah's mum blames former hubby for mess

The mother of Sufiah Yusof, the maths genius who became a social escort, has blamed the girl's father Farooq Yusof for the way her life turned out - and hoped other parents can learn from her mistakes.

Muar-born Halimahton Yusof, in her website, said she divorced Farooq because of his behaviour which worsened after Sufiah ran away, Kosmo! reported.

"My biggest mistake was probably that I didn't leave Farooq earlier, but it was an incredibly difficult decision to make when my kids were still young - I was afraid of the consequences for my children," she said.

She said there had been many false reports about Sufiah, including one that the family did not attend Sufiah's wedding.

Sufiah, 24, made headlines when she was accepted into Oxford University at aged 12 in 1997. She did not complete her studies and instead got married and was later divorced. She was found working as a hooker last year.

Halimahton said she did not want to speculate on why Sufiah chose her path in life, as she was an adult who was capable of making her decisions.

She said Sufiah was close to her and her siblings but had a problem with Farooq.

Farooq had a bad temper and mood swings and could change from being a good man to a "fierce dictator", Halimahton wrote.

Farooq often made the atmosphere at home "very tense and oppressive" for the family. Sufiah, who had a lot of pressure as a young girl, bottled up her feelings.

Halimahton said it was a traumatic time as Farooq blamed everyone except himself.

"When Farooq was not present, our family was happy and we were very close. I do not want to speculate as to why Sufiah became an escort, as I don't know what might have happened in the four years since we last saw her," Halimahton wrote.

She hoped that Sufiah would visit the family again "but we cannot force the issue".

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