A woman has left her husband heartbroken after she left him and their nine children for a toyboy from Gambia she met on Facebook.
Mr Hepworth, 44, told The Sun that his wife Heidi, 44, wants a divorce to be with 30-year-old Mamadou Jallow, from Banjul.
His wife fled the country to be with Mr Jallow in West Africa last month. She had three children from a previous relationship, and the couple have six more together.
Mr Hepworth. from Tyne and Wear, said he noticed she had friends from Africa and Asia on Facebook, and that she blocked him on the social media website.
The devastated man, who has been married 23 years, called her decision a “midlife crisis”.
He told the newspaper: “The person she has become is horrible. She was a loving, caring mum. Now it’s like an alien has possessed her body.
“He has brainwashed her. It’s one big fantasy for her and she is following it through step by step.” Mrs Hepworth said their “marriage came to a natural end” and that she saw her future with the younger man and her children.
“The children haven’t been left to fend for themselves. I’m missing them and video chat every day,” she told the newspaper.
Police found the couple’s youngest children, aged six, nine and 11, staying legally with their 29-year-old sister.