A heartbroken Taiwanese man is suing a teenage girl’s mother for breaking a promise she made 11 years ago. The man, a 32-year-old school teacher at the time, had fallen in love with his 8-year-old student. He became so obsessed that he managed to extricate a promise from the child’s mother that he could marry her when she came of age. Believing that the mother would keep her end of the deal, he spent several years supporting the girl’s family financially. And now that she hasn’t, he’s taking the family to court.
Over the years, the man has spent over 900,000 Taiwanese dollars (that’s about US $30,000) on the girl and her family. He completely covered her tuition and living expenses, and took her out on various occasions. He also paid off the mother’s outstanding debts. Some news reports also provided photographs in which the girl and the man appear to be quite close. It looks like he truly considered her to be his future wife (although they looked more like father-and-daughter). But nine years later, when the man checked the 17-year-old’s Facebook profile, he was in for a very rude shock.
The profile indicated that the girl had married someone else in 2011 and also had a child with him. The man was understandably enraged, and ended up taking the mother to court. Unfortunately, the case didn’t go in his favor. The judge ruled that the initial verbal contract between the man and the mother was against public morals. He declared the entire arrangement void from the beginning. The written contract that was presented in court was made in 2012, after the girl’s marriage, so it was rejected as evidence. The authenticity of the contract was also questioned since the mother doesn’t know how to read or write. The man is now trying to file for an appeal.
The whole story is so perverse that I can’t figure out who comes out looking worse – the man or the mother. I mean, what kind of guy falls in love with a child? And what kind of mother promises to marry her daughter to a grown man in exchange for money? Internet users have displayed extreme reactions, some blaming the mother more and others cursing the man. “Don’t you think the mother is terrible?” one commenter wrote. “Speaking as a woman, this guy must be a pervert! But I don’t think the mother’s right either,” wrote another.
Some people took a neutral stand on the issue: “I agree that the contract should be nullified, but they should give him the money back.” Others felt that if the man was good-looking, things might have turned out differently.