Sally Faulkner’s estranged Lebanese husband had pressured her to abort their first child, years before she botched an abduction with a 60 Minutes television crew.
The Brisbane mother said she left Ali Elamine in Dubai and returned to Australia when she fell pregnant with Lahela, now five-years-old.
Elamine then began pressuring her to have an abortion, before he surprised her with a marriage proposal, Faulkner claimed to ABC’s Australian Story.
Her friend, Gordana Raljevik, remembered: ‘He was calling me, [sending] emails and messages to her family, to herself – just asking her not to have this child.
‘Ali didn’t want to have a bar of it.’
When Faulkner was about six months’ pregnant, she saw Elamine for the first time since their breakup.
‘After one of my scans, I came home,’ she said.
‘I looked down, and there were all these rose petals, literally from the front door to the kitchen. I hadn’t seen Ali since I’d said goodbye to him in Dubai. And her got down on one knee and pulled out a ring and said: “Will you marry me?”
‘I nearly fell over … I was sort of starting to stumble on my words and he went: “Well, yes or no?” And I said: “Oh, yes, yes, yes, OK, I guess so” … and that was it.’
The pair were married at Brisbane’s registry office ten days after Lahela was born.
About three-months later, Elamine said he wanted to move back to Beirut.
‘And I just thought: “My home is wherever he is, and wherever Lahela is.” So I packed up with him and [went] over there to support him.’
The move was hard on Faulkner, who did not speak Arabic. After having their second child, Noah, who is now three-years-old, the pair split and lived in the separate countries.
In April, the Brisbane mother attempted to snatch her children back from Elamine in Lebanon who refused to return them after they went over for a two-week visit.
Faulkner, the Nine Network 60 Minutes crew and child recovery agents were all jailed.
She said every part of her ‘wanted to fall apart’ when she realised her estranged husband had no intention of returning their two children to Australia.
‘When he answered the Skype call, I could just see his face and I said to him, “what’s wrong?” And he looked at me and he said, “plans have changed”.
‘I said, “what do you mean?” I didn’t quite believe it and he said, “plans have changed, Sal. The kids aren’t coming home.”‘