The grandmother who married an Egyptian boy demands his deportation after he “took 25 thousand pounds of her money.”
Iris Jones has stunned the nation by detailing her romance with a man half her age, but says he hasn’t returned the money she lent him – and she wants him kicked out of the country.
It was the unlikely love match that had the nation choking on its morning cup of coffee – the outspoken and funny 80-year-old, and her 34-year-old Egyptian baby boy – and that chat with Phil and Holly about KY Jelly.
But then Iris Jones announced in June that she had kicked Mohamed Ibrahim out of her home after two years of marriage, replacing him with a Bengal cat called Mr Tibbs. Now Iris has revealed that as well as wanting to get Mohamed out of her home, she has asked the Home Office to refuse to renew his visa and deport him – claiming he has refused to return the £25,000 she lent him. Yet despite the whirlwind romance that wreaked havoc on her life, the indomitable Iris, 84, says she has never given up on finding love. Her talk about nights of passion with Mohammed surprised viewers when the pair appeared on ITV’s This Morning in 2020.
More than 40 years after the divorce, she told how she met Mohamed for the first time after five months of chatting online – a 35-year drought gone in the desert heat. Mohamed, who was just 34, had been married for 10 years when they first spoke on Facebook. Within a month, he proposed to Iris – and on her first trip to see him, the doting mother secretly planned to accept him.
Although it did not go as planned due to a mix-up of documents, less than a year later they were married in Cairo and Mohamed arrived in the UK to live. But just months after their second wedding anniversary in June, Iris kicked him out – and now claims he took her on a trip over his failure to return £25,000 in loans. Muhammad denies this allegation. “I feel violated and stupid,” says Iris, speaking from her home in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. “I thought this would never happen to me, but of course it did.
“The bank warned me, the police warned me, my family and friends warned me. But I didn’t listen. I was blinded by love. He doesn’t deserve a UK visa for the way he treated me. I’m worried he might do the same to someone else.” Bank statements seen by our correspondent show that retired legal secretary Iris sent Mohamed transfers totaling more than £25,000 after he came to the UK in 2021.
After finally separating following months of arguments, she has now asked the Home Office to reject his application to extend his marriage visa. Iris adds: “I know that for the Home Office to deport him, I have to divorce him, but that is easier said than done. I am broke, because he has all my money. He has not been granted British citizenship, so he is still an Egyptian citizen.” Home Office rules state: If your visa is based on your relationship, you must notify them in the event of a divorce or separation.But you can still apply to extend your visa or to live permanently in the UK.
Iris believes Muhammad would not meet the criteria. “His marriage visa is ready for renewal on November 14,” she says. “I don’t know what will happen after that. He does not want to return to Egypt, he hates life there. He was using me to escape from Egypt.” For his part, Mohamed denied Iris’ allegations, saying He told our correspondent that her allegations were “false.”
Iris – who has two sons Darren, 56, and Steve, 57 – spoke to Mohammed on Facebook in June 2019 after joining an atheist group. “He showered me with praise,” she says. I thought, “How could I feel this way about someone young enough to be my grandchild?” But then I thought, “Age is just a number.” I thought it was true love. When I first met him I liked him so much I think I told him he could have my bungalow.
Iris traveled to Cairo to meet Mohamed for the first time in November – with a wedding dress in her suitcase. In the end, they married on her third visit in 2020. She kept her plans secret from Steve and Darren, even promising them before she flew out that she wouldn’t get married.
They were shocked when she came back and told them that the man who was almost two decades younger than them was now their stepfather. Darren says he warned his mother from the beginning that she risked jeopardizing her savings by jumping so quickly.
He and Steve only discovered their mother’s payments to Mohamed after she broke up with him. “When their relationship started, my mother would wander around my house like a teenager in love,” says Darren. I told her to leave him alone but she didn’t listen. When I picked her up from Bristol Airport after their wedding I wasn’t very happy. But after he came, I got used to it. “I’ve never seen my mother so happy.”
But Darren’s suspicions that Iris was making unwise financial decisions led to a breakdown between the two. Iris, who now volunteers at a charity shop, claims the payments – made over the course of just over a year – were loans that Mohamed had not repaid. When I told Darren about the payments, he confronted Muhammad in the street.
“I was so angry,” Darren says. My mother is blinded by love. I saw him in town and challenged him about money. As soon as he saw me he raised his finger at me and entered a chip shop. I followed him by saying, “How dare you do this to my mother?” Despite Darren’s doubts, Iris still clings to the hope that Mohammed might one day love her. She says their relationship began to become strained after they began regularly rowing around her will. Iris changed it to allow him to remain in her home for 18 months after her death – with ownership of the property passing to eldest son Steve.
But she claims Mohammed felt he should inherit the £260,000 property. “When he realized he didn’t inherit the house it seemed like the beginning of the end,” she says. “The rows were always around the bungalow. We had one every week.
“At one point, he told me he would give me the names and numbers of women who came to him at Tesco, where he was a security guard, if I gave him my house.” Darren and Iris have now repaired their relationship and are trying to laugh about the whole ordeal.
Darren even joked that his mum should get sponsorship from KY Jelly. Iris also told This Morning how their first date was in a “sleazy and run-down” area of Cairo – fearing respectable hotels would frown upon their age gap. Although her heart is bruised, she says she remains open to future romance – but has now found “new love” with her Bengal cat, Mr Tibbs, a gift from a friend to help her cope. “If it wasn’t for Mr Tibbs, I think I would have collapsed,” says Iris, who lives on a £200-a-week pension and disability benefits. “He was my savior. He doesn’t react like Mohammed.” The Home Office said: “We do not routinely comment on individual cases.” .