Exactly one year ago, Ruffa Gutierrez graced the cover of marie claire and was even touted as "Master of the Game" of showbiz. Now, she is still a master—of her own fate.
The former beauty queen shocked the nation when she revealed that she was leaving her Turkish husband Yilmaz Bektas after four years of marriage. She also swore that she would never go back to Istanbul with her two daughters, Lorin and Venice.
Ruffa bravely admitted that she was a victim of domestic abuse and even aligned herself with the women of The Haven, a center for battered women. "I went to the Haven and celebrated my birthday there. I couldn't really give the women there any advice. They're already so brave for having taken the first step by acknowledging that they're battered. Listening to their stories, I feel for them, I can only empathize," she tells marie claire.
The 33-year old TV host-actress recalls that the battering "started off with verbal abuse, then it got worse and worse and reached physical abuse." In the cover story for marie claire, she openly reflects on why she didn't leave her husband until recently.
"There was our love. Our kids, our family. You think he's going to change, but then no, it's not going to happen. You start getting used to it—first it's one slap. Then another. And then he would make up for it, by asking forgiveness. With those puppy-dog eyes, he tried to win me back."
Now that the verbal battle between her and Yilmaz is over, Ruffa concentrates on her career in show business. Her new sci-fi series Kokey has begun airing on ABS-CBN. This month also marks the start of filming for the first of her three-picture deal with Regal Films. She will be starring opposite her mother Annabelle Rama in the movie My Monster Mom. As a commercial model, Ruffa has two new product endorsements.
Read the full story of Ruffa's new journey in the August 2007 issue of marie claire, available in all leading bookstores and magazine stands at P125 per copy.