Tuesday, November 27, 2007
MySpace Teen Who Fled to Middle East Breaks Up With Arab Beau on 'Dr. Phil'
GILFORD, Mich. — A Michigan teenager who flew to the Middle East last year to be with a man she met on MySpace.com has broken up with him on the "Dr. Phil" show.
"This is really hard for me to tell you, but I'm not going to be with you anymore," 18-year-old Katherine Lester said as her Palestinian boyfriend, Abdullah Jinzawi, watched on a monitor from the West Bank town of Jericho where he lives.
Lester told Jinzawi he was possessive and swore at her. Under questioning by host Phil McGraw, Jinzawi denied being verbally abusive but said he called her names.
Her father, Terry Lester, told Jinzawi he tried to be nice so he wouldn't lose his daughter. "But I'm so glad you're not in front of my face right now because they'd have to take me to jail. You're never going to touch her again."
Lester developed an online romance in 2005 with Jinzawi. For months, she kept the relationship secret before disappearing in June 2006 from her mother's home in Gilford, 80 miles north of Detroit in Tuscola County.
Lester, then 16, was en route to a Tel Aviv, Israel, airport a few days later to marry Jinzawi, then 20, when she was intercepted in Amman, Jordan, by U.S. authorities. They seized her passport and put her on a flight to the United States.
Following her return, the Tuscola County prosecutor's office filed a runaway juvenile petition against her in family court. But prosecutors withdrew it under a deal with Lester and her parents.
After Lester broke up with him via satellite during Monday's show, Jinzawi took out his ear piece, removed his microphone and left the room. He returned a few minutes later, wanting to know why she was ending the relationship and accusing her family of brainwashing her.