It's been almost a week after Ruffa Gutierrez and her mom Annabelle Rama came out on separate television interviews—Ruffa in The Buzz and Annabelle in Showbiz Central—and gave their statements about the end of the four-year marriage of Ruffa with her Turkish husband Yilmaz Bektas.
Last Wednesday, May 16, several media people flocked at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and at the condo unit of Ruffa in Makati, when they received an unverified report that Yilmaz is arriving in Manila that night to try to persuade Ruffa to come home with him and their children back in Istanbul, Turkey.
But the media waited to no avail. Yilmaz didn't show up.
GMA-7's Saturday showbiz talk show, Startalk, was able to get in touch with Yilmaz again. The Turkish businessman emailed Startalk his official statement last May 12, in reaction to Ruffa's claim that the reason of their separation is "cultural differences," as stated in a joint statement released by Ruffa's camp on May 8.
Yilmaz told Startalk that he is not coming to the Philippines anytime soon.
Startalk had an hour-long telephone conversation with the Turkish husband of Ruffa. However, Yilmaz requested the Startalk staff not to air the whole conversation, only the summary of what he wanted to say.
Yilmaz clarified that he was not referring to Ruffa's mother, Annabelle, when he mentioned a "materialist relative" that somehow caused their separation in his statement a week ago.
Yilmaz also made reference to Ruffa's decision to reaffirm her Christian faith through a dedication ceremony held yesterday, May 18, at One McKinley Place.
Here is Yilmaz's statement released in Startalk this afternoon, May 19:
"First of all, I want to apologize to Daddy Eddie [Gutierrez, Ruffa's father] and Mother Annabelle who have been very good to me. But I hope that they will try to understand my side also. Nobody has been calling me from her family. I had to learn all of these through the newspapers.
"The situation right now of Ruffa changing her religion is not really a big issue for me. She has freedom to decide. She could be Christian or Catholic woman, wherever she feels comfortable. From my heart, I just wish that she would be a good Christian or Catholic woman.
"Right now, it looks like she's getting sympathy from the people. But I know in her heart that she never wished for things to turn out like this. I don't think that this is the right time to talk to the press. I think the best time is when everything has calmed down. I don't want it to turn into a soap opera. But if she's [Ruffa] comfortable to share things with them at this moment, I would understand.
"I am not a perfect person, but who is perfect? And Ruffa is not a bad woman, she's not a bad wife, she's not a bad mom. The only bad thing is that not everyone surrounding her are good people. I'm not talking about her family, I'm referring to other people.
"I never want to leave my two little angels. When my kids grow up, if I'm still going to be with them, I'm going to teach them first to fear God, how to pray, and then the importance of having good friends or good people around.
"Some of the people surrounding Ruffa are just jealous because she is beautiful, she has a nice life, she is so famous. I never intend to stop her from mingling or socializing or going out. I'm just trying to protect her from some people.
"We had seven good years together. People close to us once said, we fit a good example to them. They were telling us how happy we looked and in love we were. And then suddenly, it turned into this.
"If this has to end, I want a good end. But if we still want to keep this marriage, we better start working on it now before too much damage is made. I obviously prefer to save our marriage.
"Right now, it looks like she doesn't want to see me running behind her. But only until she tells me she doesn't want me or doesn't love me anymore that I'm going to move on with my life. Then, I'll pray to God to give her happiness she deserves.
"Everyone from my family wants Ruffa back. They all love her so much. Hopefully, when I go to the Philippines everything would be better, like I could speak to her mom and her father. She is my wife, I can't blame her for anything. If I'm going to blame her, then I'd be blaming myself, too. Why would I blame her family? That's my family, too.
"You may be a Filipino, Jewish, or Muslim but still in a family, in a marriage. Two things remain constant—these are love and respect.
"I believe that all our actions have consequences. If, indeed, I had violent tendencies, wouldn't I be smart enough to understand that I will surely suffer the consequences of my actions?
"This story is already coming out in the Turkish papers and they're all blaming me. But still I'm keeping silent about the issue. Time will tell who's right and who's wrong. I hate it that my name is coming out in the papers, that Ruffa's and my daughters' names are out in the papers. I have access to the press people here, too. But I never asked them to write about my wife or my children.
"I don't intend for other people to look at me as the poor guy. I just hope to get respect back from the Filipino people. Again, I will stop fighting for my family and my children until my wife tells me she doesn't need me or love me anymore.
"But why do people keep jumping to conclusions? I will say now that Mother Annabelle is not the materialistic relative that I was referring to. That relative knows who he or she is. I will tell the public who it is when I come to Manila to fetch my family. I will tell you all who it is, before we—Ruffa, the children, and I—leave together. That is my hope, to get my family back together and leave Manila as one family.
Meanwhile, Ruffa's mom, Annabelle, has expressed her intention to speak to her son-in-law. In a taped interview with Startalk, she said firmly: "Pumunta siya dito, mag-sorry siya sa akin in person, sa amin ni Eddie. At mag-usap kami bago namin pabalikin si Ruffa sa Istanbul."
But Annabelle stressed that she doesn't want Ruffa to reconcile with Yilmaz.
Ruffa's mother and talent manager is expected to give her reaction about Yilmaz's latest statement tomorrow, May 20, in Showbiz Central.