Diane Peebles had always dreamed of a beautiful white wedding to the man of her dreams.
But while on the holiday of a lifetime to Sri Lanka, she didn’t expect to fall in love with her tuk tuk driver.
Diane, from Edinburgh, insists she thought Priyanjana De Zoysa was just being “nice and polite” when he asked for her mobile number and address while she was on holiday.
Her heartbreaking story is told in Channel 5 ‘s Holiday Love Cheats Exposed.
There was a 33 year age gap between the pair but when she returned home to Scotland, things really started to heat up between the pair.
Diane said: “He tried to call but his English wasn’t good so he wrote me a few letters and we were texting each other.
“He mentioned marriage but I was a bit taken a back. I was 54 and I have never been married before.”
But the lure of paradise with a new man soon seduced Diane and seven months later she travelled back to Sri Lanka to see Priyanjana.
This is when things really started to spiral out of control.
Diane and her toyboy lover were at the register office for what she thought was a marriage licence, so when the registrar started to recite wedding vows, she was totally stunned.
She said: “I was shocked at first but he was urging me to go ahead with it and we got married. I didn’t have a ring or anything.”
At first Priyanjana was attentive and romantic towards his new bride and she sent him £20,000 to start building work on a home for the newly weds.
But when Diane sold her home for £100,000, she sent her new husband an additional £31,000.
He used to money to upgrade his tuk tuk to a minibus to support the both of them and she moved to Sri Lanka.
However, things were far from perfect in paradise for Diane, who was two years older than his mum.
She said: “He was spending more and more time at his mum’s house than with me or he would go out with his friends and he wouldn’t come home.”
The couple were also increasingly arguing about money and heartbroken Diane realised her marriage was a sham.
It was then that Diane found Valentine’s cards and gifts from another woman and she realised that Priyanjana was also married to someone else.
She said: “I felt betrayed. I thought he really loved me and that’s why he had married me.
“It was obviously never ging to work because it was to big an age gap. My friends tried to tell me but I wouldn’t listen”
But then things took an even darker turn.
News that Priyanjana’s wife had sold her house began to spread around the local community.
This put them both in danger from criminal gangs, who told the couple their wealth meant they should be paying them protection money.
When they refused – because Diane’s money was gone – one of Priyanjana’s was killed.
And then Diane’s husband was murdered, leaving her alone and trapped in Sri Lanka because she couldn’t afford her flight home.
Both the house Priyanjana had built and the minibus he had bought were in his name so Diane had no right to sell them.
After two years Diane, who had been living with Priyanjana’s family, had finally managed to save enough money to pay for a flight back to Scotland.
She said: “When I told them I was going they didn’t want me to leave because they were losing their cash cow.”
But even though she is now finally home, Diane faces an uncertain future.
She has no savings and she sold her home before starting what she thought would be her new life in paradise.
Diane said: “Even before he died it wasn’t a great life and certainly not the way I imagined it would be when I moved to paradise.
“I gave up everything and I shouldn’t have done that but I really thought I loved him and I thought he loved me but he obviously didn’t.”
- Holiday Love Cheats Exposed is on Channel 5 at 10pm tonight.