Jul 18, 2007

Drugs, mafia allegations cancel Yilmaz's diplomatic privileges

Turkish businessman Yilmaz Bektas, the estranged husband of Filipina actress Ruffa Gutierrez, said persistent rumors about his links to illegal drugs and the so-called Turkish mafia are taking their toll.

Yilmaz told this to ABS-CBN News Europe Bureau chief Danny Buenafe in an exclusive interview.

As a result of news reports about his alleged links to organized crime, Yilmaz said that his diplomatic passport was cancelled. He also said that his messy public separation with Ruffa added to his bad record and also contributed to the cancellation of his diplomatic status.

Yilmaz said that he has no intentions of renewing his diplomatic privileges despite the advantages these gave him as a businessman.

Instead, he said he will focus on ironing out his personal affairs amid his business concerns. He said the past four months have been traumatic for him, and that he is still struggling with his separation from Ruffa and his daughters.

No divorce yet

Despite media reports that he and Ruffa are getting a divorce, Yilmaz said that they have not really discussed the future of their marriage and family.

Yilmaz said that he wants to meet with Ruffa face to face to settle the matter of their separation and the custody of their children, but some people are preventing such a meeting.

According to Yilmaz, these include Ruffa’s mother Annabelle Rama, her doctor and her lawyer.

And while the validity of his and Ruffa’s marriage in the Philippines in 2003 has been called into question, Yilmaz insists that he is still legally married to her.

He also said that the matter of his and Ruffa’s divorce—if they eventually divorce—have not reached courts in Turkey.

Ruffa earlier admitted on national television that she married American Richard Daloia in 1999 as proven by an existing record in the Clark County, Nevada database (easily accessible through the Internet at http://sandgate.co.clark.nv.us/servlet/RecMarriage).

Ruffa said that she sought no formal divorce proceedings through a lawyer for her 1999 marriage because at the time, she was keeping the marriage secret from her parents.

She claimed that she filed a petition for divorce on her own in 2000 but never followed it up until June this year.

During the interim, she married Yilmaz in the Philippines in a lavish ceremony and sired him two daughters.

No to showbiz

One thing that Yilmaz would never tolerate is a full-time showbiz career for Ruffa, which she has been trying to revive following their separation.

In all his statements to the media, Yilmaz has consistently expressed his disdain for show business, and said that he constantly reminded Ruffa when they were still together that the world of showbiz is far from real.

Yilmaz told Buenafe that he doesn’t want his daughters following in their mother’s footsteps.

He also said that in two days he will have a “simple celebration” of his 30th birthday in his beach house in St. Tropez, France, with some friends.
With a report by ABS-CBN News Europe Bureau Chief Danny Buenafe

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