When the 12-year-old was taken from Scotland to Pakistan by her father in 2006, she became front-page news, held up as the symbol of a cultural clash between a white mother and her Muslim ex-husband. As a new play charts the truth behind the headlines, Molly and her mother speak out
This is the story of a painful divorce, one which may be dimly familiar, because for a few weeks in 2006 the unhappy twists of this family’s breakdown were front-page news. For a while, Molly Campbell’s endearing 12-year-old face regularly headed news bulletins, as details emerged of the Scottish schoolgirl’s apparent abduction from her mother’s home on a remote island in the Outer Hebrides and her removal to her father’s house in Pakistan.
The headlines summarised the situation in a crude and oddly racist way. "Girl ’snatched’ from school gates and taken to Pakistan for ‘forced’ marriage." "’Barbaric’ practice among third-world immigrants." "Fears grow for ‘kidnap bride’." "Mother of all battles. If it was a movie it would be a blockbuster."Read more →
They do not live together and do not get on well, but I can’t help feeling that his attitude toward the mother of our granddaughter is embarrassing and unacceptable
Our son and the mother of his eight-year-old daughter are in their late 40s. They do not live together, but take joint care of her. Over the years, my husband and myself have built up a positive relationship with mother and granddaughter. Last weekend, we arranged an afternoon birthday tea for the mother, only to find that, although our son had brought her a birthday card, it had been signed by their daughter alone. His behaviour at the table was incredibly rude. He spent the whole time being loud, taking the mickey and not recognising that the occasion was a celebration of a life that was neither his daughter’s nor his. To whom should I voice my concerns about this?
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A woman’s grown-up daughter has told her that their relationship is over. Mariella Frostrup advises her to send a friendly note offering to help care for her daughter’s children
If you have a dilemma, send a brief email to email@example.com
The dilemma I am 68 and my daughter is 45. Our relationship has broken down. My daughter’s daughter has developed an eating problem and other mental-health issues and this seems to have triggered our problems. My daughter has been under enormous pressure with a demanding job and two other children. We recently fell out as she felt the fact I’d gone on holiday with my husband was rubbing her father’s nose in the fact that we are no longer together. I tried to resolve matters over the telephone, but she told me our relationship is over and that she had issues with me dating back to her adolescence. I have always supported my daughter looking after her children and helping out even though we don’t live nearby. I am incredibly shocked by her attitude to me. I do realise she is suffering and hope time will heal. I have written a short note to her, but haven’t sent it yet. Should I?
Mariella replies It rather depends on what you’ve said in your note, but we’ll return to that later. I’m sorry to hear about your granddaughter. The escalating epidemic of eating disorders among girls and young women in the UK is a problem we are failing to combat. Not that it is a surprise with mainstream media from TV to the top shelf regularly serving up Barbie-doll figures with bloated lips and gravity defying bosoms as the norm.Read more →
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The daughter of a man jailed for murder has fallen pregnant at 13 and posted scans of the baby on FacebookRead more →
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