British granny finds Kenyan ‘soulmate’ had 46 other girlfriends around the world
Judith Stillwell, a 61-year-old former teacher and divorced parish councillor, met Ovi Elias in 2009 through a UK dating site, where he told her he lived in London.
Daily Mail said Elias claimed he had gone to the UK 20 years earlier as a student, owned a flat in London and was a retired accountant looking to buy property in Dubai.
Elias moved into her home after they met in person and they got married in Brighton in August 2012, as party of what Stillwell believes was an “elaborate scam”.
The woman, who changed her her name to ‘Mrs Elias’ and has two children and a grandchild, said she was intrigued as Elias was “different”.
But as they curved out a life at her bungalow home in Ashington, West Sussex, Stillwell said Elias took frequent trips to attend to “urgent business”.
“While I believed him when he said he was flying to Dubai to do property deals, I have now discovered he was actually flying all over the world meeting other women who funded his lifestyle, just like me,” said the woman who gave Elias £25,000 (Sh4 million) from her savings.
Elias, who had told Stillwell he was 62, reportedly chatted with women across the world as 47-year-old Steve.
The grandmother added that she paid for them to visit relatives in Kenya for blessings after their wedding.
She said she also gave “thousands” for water, electric showers and other repairs after landing in Kenya and finding Elias’ father lived in a poor state.
When they returned to the UK, she further gave her husband £10,000 (Sh1.6 million) for legal fees concerning the property in Dubai.
But Elias ended up travelling for months, after saying he would only be away for weeks, she said, regretting that she did not become suspicious.
“He always came up with reasons – for example there was extra legal red tape,” she said.
Stillwell discovered Elias trickery in February when he left for another trip to Dubai; she found his e-ticket indicating he had taken a trip to Australia, but Elias claimed it was a detour.
Three weeks later, a woman in Australia told her she had found a list of 47 women in Elias’ emails. The women were from locations including the USA, Philipines and Tasmani.
“Apparently he met them all on dating websites and using the story about a property in Dubai, got them to pay his air fares all around the world,” she said.
“Then he stayed for weeks at a time living with each woman, spinning her the same line.”
Stillwell said she asked Elias to leave when he returned and has not seen him since then.
She said police informed her that they can do nothing as her huband did not break the law, but added that she would like her story to serve as a warning to to other women.
“Ovi – or Steve as he was also known – seems to be making a good living out of women like me,” she said.
“He meets them on a website, says he is in love and then after coming out with various sob stories, gets them to pay for his bed, board, and travel.”