Radio wedding couple call it quitsSeptember 13 2008By Thabiso Thakali and Candice BaileyA week after the official announcement of the break-up of South Africa's first-ever reality radio couple, a heartbroken Gail Brookstein has poured her heart out about how her fairytale marriage has gone pear-shaped. Defiantly still wearing her wedding ring, Brookstein this week revealed that she now needs counselling to cope with the end of her brief relationship with Derrick Matthee. "It was the most challenging three months of my life. I cried a lot. I'm definitely going to see a counsellor," she said. Matthee and Brookstein made history as SA's first couple to wed in a reality radio show without meeting face-to-face before their wedding in May.The aim of Kaya FM's 2 Strangers and a Wedding was to match two complete strangers to fall in love over the airwaves and get married. Listeners were hooked. Despite warnings from experts that the marriage would be doomed from the start, Matthee and Brookstein nonetheless tied the knot. The couple claimed an instant connection and pledged they were in it for keeps.But three months later their R1,5-million wedding has come crashing down with their split-up and division of their prizes. These included a lavish wedding ceremony, a honeymoon in Mozambique, a rent-free penthouse flat for one year, R100 000 in cash, and a car each. Although they have yet to receive their cars, they have seen their penthouse and were set to meet on Friday to discuss what they would do with it after the divorce. Kaya FM, meanwhile, has revealed its plans for another instalment of 2 Strangers and a Wedding.Matthee last week claimed that their marriage failed after their honeymoon, when they realised there was nothing between them. He maintains they never lived together. But Brookstein denies this, and says that when they returned from their honeymoon they were "in love" and she spent time at his townhouse for two weeks. "I stayed at his place [in Centurion]. We had deep, intimate moments. We slept together. That never changed. We even joked about having twin girls."But things turned sour at the beginning of July. Brookstein claims Matthee was the one who changed and that the relationship failed because he had resistance from his family and friends in Mossel Bay. "Initially we were going to do everything to make it work. But he got resistance from his family and he suddenly backed off. They weren't happy and will never accept our marriage. "I never spoke to them [the Matthee family] or met them. He shut me out. He spent a lot of time on his own." But when the Saturday Star confronted Matthee about their failed marriage last week, he retorted: "I need someone old-school, someone I can grow with, someone who is independent and has reached a particular maturity level."This week, Matthee turned down the Saturday Star's request for an interview." For now I think enough has been said and I don't have any further comment." But Brookstein said: "He's trying to exonerate himself. My story's not going to change. I was the most honest contestant. If you look at it, Derrick has been at the centre of all the controversies. There was the Ashley saga."A week after their wedding, startling claims emerged that Matthee's ex fiancee, Ashley Michaels, was harassing him. Michaels, of Mossel Bay, claimed she was engaged to Matthee until just a few days before his marriage and that Matthee was only marrying Brookstein for the prize money. "He didn't really give me a chance to be a wife for him. My whole life changed and he is just walking away. I don't know what to believe - he is a stranger. I don't hate him. He hurt me, but it is not for me to judge him."Kaya FM's marketing manager, Mark Mdlela, said the station had several "touch base" meetings with Brookstein and Matthee since their return from honeymoon."The guys insisted they were fine. At no point would it benefit us to say they're together or not. The reason we did this [show] is because it's a social experiment. It's not on if you manipulate what's going on. Whatever happened now is purely their choice."Counselling is still available, but it doesn't look like they want to go that option. It's between them to handle that [their prizes], as any couple would in a marriage."
13 settembre 2008
Sud Africa, divorziano gli sposi del radio concorso
Non è stato fortunato il matrimonio contratto durante il concorso associato al reality show radiofonico trasmesso da Kaya FM, popolare stazione commerciale sudafricana. Gail Brookstein e Derrick Matthee si erano sposati dopo che il programma, Two strangers and a wedding (Due estranei e un matrimonio), aveva fatto da sensale. L'obiettivo del reality è far conoscere due persone del tutto estranee tra loro raccontando il loro corteggiamento in onda. Chi si sposa guadagna naturalmente un premio: una luna di miele in Mozambico, una casa, soldi, due macchine. Ora Gail e Derrick, dopo tre mesi e un fallimento (però, anche questo potrebbe essere un ottimo nome per un reality!) dovranno mettersi d'accordo come dividersi il bottino. Lei sostiene che l'esperienza è stata molto poco piacevole e che dovrà prendersi un avvocato, ma immagino che chiunque sia disposto a partecipare a cose del genere debba piuttosto finire sul lettino di uno strizzacervelli. L'idea di Kaya FM, raccontata dal giornale The Star, è lì pronta per essere ripresa da uno dei nostri network. Forza, fatevi sotto.