The British mother jailed in Dubai for branding her ex-husband’s new wife a ‘horse’ has revealed the ‘turmoil’ she went through while she was held in the country.
Laleh Shahravesh was separated from her 14-year-old daughter, Paris, at immigration control and arrested as they headed to the funeral of ex-husband Pedro dos Santos.
Today they gave their first joint interview since her release on Friday as they appeared on Good Morning Britain.
A tearful Ms Shahravesh – who appeared wearing a necklace with her and her daughter’s name – said of her detention: ‘I was literally in isolation, I didn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I was in turmoil, I didn’t understand what was going on. Why is this happening to me? I was trying to find reasons.’
While her mother was detained in a UAE hotel, Paris wrote to Dubai’s leader begging for her release.
Ms Shahravesh (pictured on today’s Good Morning Britain alongside her daughter, Paris) has spoken of her ‘turmoil’ at the ‘isolation’ she felt while she as detained in Dubai
The mother (pictured on GMB this morning) says that she and her daughter are determined to return to the country in order to pay their respects to Pedro
Ms Shahravesh said that it was ‘the best feeling ever’ being able to hold her child’s hand again after she settled the case with a £625 fine, but added: ‘It’s also mixed with a lot of other emotions that I am trying to work through.”
This morning she recalled her terror at being torn away from Paris at Passport Control as they headed to pay their respects.
‘We were at Passport Control and the lady looked at my passport and she went and got another gentleman, I thought maybe it’s to do with a visa,’ she said. ‘Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine what would follow.
‘By the time we went to Immigration Police, I was very upset and scared. I was very mindful that Paris was with me as well. It was late…I was crying, I was distressed.
Pictured: Ms Shahravesh greets her daughter at Heathrow Airport after she settled her case for £625 in Dubai
The mother and daughter are pictured during a tearful reunion at the airport following the detention in the UAE
‘They wanted me to go to a police station to make my statement but they weren’t allowed to take Paris with them. They wanted me to call someone to take Paris away. I was like, “No…I’m not going to be separated from my daughter.”‘
The country’s strict cyber crime laws saw her held for writing on Facebook in Farsi: ‘I hope you go under the ground you idiot. Damn you. You left me for this horse.’
Today she said that the post was partly spurred by ‘severe depression’ following a ‘terribly acrimonious divorce’.
‘I was left with no money, suffering from severe depression, I had to represent myself in court,’ she said. ‘I was in a very, very bad place in my life. That post was on my Facebook, it was directed at Pedro, I was hurt and upset.’
Ms Shahravesh caleld Samah al Hammadi (left, with Pedro) a ‘horse’ and was held in Dubai as a result (right, Ms Shahravesh outside court following a hearing at which she broke down)
But the 55-year-old denied that she had been harassing her ex and says that she and her daughter are still determined to pay their respects.
‘I was not harassing Pedro, right up until the moment that he passed away,’ she said. ‘That is so far from the truth. In fact, he appeared on our doorstep last year, he came into the flat, he spent hours with us, he took Paris out for supper. That was our last memory of him and it was a good one.
‘We went there to pay our respects to him, we went there for Paris and I just feel that we didn’t have a chance to make that peace with him that we needed and especially for Paris. They haven’t stopped me… I can go back, I can go back whenever I want to and we will because we need to pay our respects to Pedro.’
Paris said that although she as aware that her parents were going through a bitter divorce battle, she had no idea her mother’s post would cause such uproar.
‘I was aware of was that both my parents were going through a very un-amicable divorce but never did I think that some sort of social mishap had occurred,’ she said. ‘I didn’t think anything of it when we were pulled to one side at the airport.’
Ms Shahravesh fought back tears as she said: ‘I was extremely proud of Paris, I still am. She was amazing throughout all of this, the strength that she has shown, the resilience… for me the most painful decision I have had to make was to send her home… that was after the twelve hours in the police station the night before.’