On Tuesday, May 8, Ricky Lo broke the news that Ruffa Gutierrez and her Turkish husband Yilmaz Bektas have separated. In a "joint statement" released by Ruffa's camp on the same day, the couple reportedly cited "cultural differences" as the reason why their four-year marriage fell apart.
Ruffa also reiterated that there was no third party involved. "There's no other woman," she said in her interview with Ricky.
She also said that she and Yilmaz tried "very hard to iron things out but we failed."
"We love each other so much, and we parted amicably. We will remain loving each other. Still and all, nobody can erase the fact that Yilmaz is the father of my daughters [Lorîn and Venice]," the former beauty queen added.
The couple—who were married on March 25, 2003 at NBC Tent, Taguig—have started discussing the legalities involved in their annulment, this is again according to their "joint statement."
Yilmaz seems to oppose the statements of his wife. Yesterday—May 12—he released his official statement to Startalk, GMA-7's showbiz talk show, through email.
Here is the full transcript of Yilmaz's statement:
"To the public opinion of Philippines, I had made one of the two most important decisions in human life on the date of March 25, 2003 and I married Ruffa Gutierrez. And I owe to my wife's father [Eddie Gutierrez] who has been supporting this excellent start.
"In my own life, I followed the lead of this respectful man who has all the characteristics and ethics of behaving decently.
"On the date of May 8, 2007, I was obliged to give the second most important decision in human life—divorce. Unfortunately, the cause of this decision was once again my wife's close relations and one materialist relative of her who take advantage over my wife and who have poor conscience and honor.
"Having an affair with another person is definitely not included among the reasons. I have always been faithful during the relation I had with my wife. When I was 22 years old, I met her, loved her with all my heart for seven years. I had departed many of my principles for her and we got married. Leaving my beloved ones after having two great children due to such ridiculous reasons cannot be discussed.
"Apart from the love of God I have in my heart, there is not any love I feel but the love and affection I have for Ruffa and our children. However, only my honor and pride are above my affection for my family, my love and everything I know.
"I prefer living a chivalrous but difficult short life, instead of living a famed by dishonored life full of earthly goods of the pompous world. As I respect visions of everybody, I request the respect of others.
"The divorce decision is an ultimatum to my wife. This is not a result but a decision and I wished this could be considered as an ultimatum and existing problems could be settled in cooperation with the family members.
"However, her family and close relations made the situation even worse instead of being constructive. Ruffa is unable to show enough attention to her family due to her own professional career and profession and she extended her stay in the Philippines without my consent are the only causes of our decision for getting divorce. Subsequently, a series of mutual negative, psychological and physical violence and suppression events experienced brought the bursting up of this happy family.
"Ruffa consciously and willingly laid the ground for the beginning of this decline with the support of her family and without feeling the need of soul-searching. However, my innocent daughters aged 2 and 3 are under a heavy burden due to meaningless decisions taken in eagerness for fame without soul-searching and in my opinion this is not fair.
"I would like to remind that those children are not eager for fame or money. The most important wish of a child is seeing parents together who have brought him or her into this world without asking the child.
"On her announcement, Ruffa mentioned the cultural differences and put forward it as an excuse. This is strange. Moreover, the fact that she has noticed the cultural difference after seven years is even stranger. Love and truth do not have one religion, language and culture.
"I share all my views with Turkish and Philippine media and public because I want to explain the seemingly fabulous worlds of fame are actually very dark and their price is nothing but destruction and sadness, first of all to my own children and then the Turkish and Philippine community.
"Finally, when it comes to getting divorce with Ruffa, arrangements to be made once we give our final positive or negative decision as two civilized individuals shall be carried out by our attorneys.
"I assure you that I will do my best so that I can protect this home for the sake of my children. I call for praise of individuals respecting the family concept so that I can protect this home.
"Regardless of all negative aspects of life, I will never forget your hospitality towards me and your smiles I had experience for seven years. Philippines shall always live in my heart as my second fatherland.
"Yours faithfully, Yilmaz Bektas"
A few minutes after Startalk read Yilmaz's letter, PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) Managing Editor Karen A. Pagsolingan received this text message from Ruffa: "To my friends n fans—I thank all who are fervently praying for me as I go through this most difficult time in my life. With God's grace, I will see this thru."
Later today, May 13, Ruffa is expected to tackle this issue on The Buzz, the showbiz talk show of ABS-CBN that she temporarily co-hosts. Meanwhile, Ruffa's mother, Annabelle Rama, is scheduled to air her side in Showbiz Central, the showbiz talk show of GMA-7 where Ruffa's brother, Raymond Gutierrez, is a co-host.