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ABS CBN News
By RICKY LO, The Philippine Star
And finally, after weeks of hemming and hewing, Ruffa Gutierrez (soon-to-be-ex Mrs. Yilmaz Bektas) admitted on Saturday’s Startalk what she has been hinting at and what everybody has been suspecting all along – that she’s a victim of domestic violence.
“Yes,” said Ruffa, her voice quivering as she answered in a phone patch her estranged husband Yilmaz Bektas’ new accusations in his unending series of statements. “I’m a battered wife!”
According to Ruffa, the battery started two years ago when Yilmaz’s personality was altered by the anti-depressant drugs he was taking after he underwent surgery on bullet wounds in his stomach inflicted by a crazed friend.
“The beating was mild in the beginning and got worse in recent months,” confessed Ruffa. “I was a victim of torture.”
The violence became so unbearable, said Ruffa, that she had to escape from their home in Istanbul which she shared with Yilmaz and their daughters Lorin and Venice for almost four years now.
“Yilmaz was a violent man,” confirmed Ruffa who was earlier protective about her husband when asked if it was true that she was a battered wife. “Binubugbog niya ako. He would kick me and cut my hair and lock me up inside the cabinet. He tortured me for 15 hours! Last February, duguan ako when I escaped from home and sought the help of a friend. Everything was witnessed by the yayas of our children. When I came home, I had a black-eye and bruises in my arms and legs.”
In the next breath, according to Ruffa, if something bad happened to her – like if somebody threatened to kill or harm her – she had nobody to blame but Yilmaz.
“That’s why my mom (Annabelle Rama) doesn’t want me and our daughters to go back to Istanbul,” added Ruffa. “My mom knows the whole story.”
Ruffa then answered other issues raised about and against her since the story of her and Yilmaz’s separation was broken by The STAR early last month, such as:
1.) That she married another man in Las Vegas before she and Yilmaz got married on March 25, 2003…
“I must have committed mistakes during my younger days like everybody else but I changed when I married Yilmaz. I became a good wife and a good mother to our children. Yilmaz knows everything about me; my life is an open book. I never hid anything from him.”
2.) She married Yilmaz for money…
“Again and again, I want to say that I married Yilmaz for love and not for money. Look, I wasn’t a woman on top of a camel that Yilmaz found in the desert. I was earning good money. I was working. I have a good, supportive family. I can support our daughters. For four months now, Yilmaz hasn’t been supporting our children.”
3) Yilmaz said he didn’t have to file a divorce since Ruffa had been previously married…
“Well and good. He’s trying to ruin me because he doesn’t want me to be successful. He has been calling me up, every hour on the hour, making as many as 55 calls a day, but I refuse to answer the phone.”
Saying she’d “rather die single than go back to Istanbul,” Ruffa plans to join Gina de Venecia’s crusade against battered women.
“I’m sure that Filipinas in the same situation will sympathize with me,” said Ruffa, at the same time making an appeal. “I’m the victim here, I’m the Filipino in this fight, and I appeal to everybody to believe me and not Yilmaz.”