The form King of Malaysia, Sultan Muhammad V, divorced his beauty queen Russian wife less than seven months after getting married, his lawyer confirmed this week.
The Sultan’s lawyer, Singapore-based Koh Tien Hua, said in a statement that his client had “irrevocably divorced Ms. Rihana Oxana Gorbatenko on 22 June 2019 by three talaqs in accordance with Syariah [Sharia] laws.” A “Triple talaq” is an Islamic practice that allows Muslim men to end their marriages by repeating “talaq” (”you are divorced”) in Arabic three times.
Koh added that the Islamic court in the northeastern Malaysian state of Kelantan, where Muhammad is still the sultan, had recently authorized the legal separation and issued a certificate.
Yet in a bizarre twist, Gorbatenko has denied any knowledge of the divorce, telling local media that she had “never heard of any divorce statements made directly to me.”
“I have not been given any admonition of divorce,” she said. “I was in Russia with my child. We were not in Singapore in June for any divorce proceedings. This is an act of provocation; we have never been divorced.”
She has also continued to upload photos of herself and the Sultan on social media, including pictures of the son she gave birth to in May. In her latest post, she thanked the Malaysian people for sending her messages of support.
“I am very proud of the blood of Malaysia flowing in my child and I will do anything for him to grow up as you love all. In my life, I had to face various kinds of crimes, deceit and malicious misfortune,” she wrote, accompanied by a picture of her two-month-old son Leo. “But you assure me that there is still good in this world. If I had the chance, I would like to embrace you all with joy.”
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Saya sedang menulis dan saya tidak dapat menahan air mata dari mengalir…dan saya rasa tidak perlu untuk menahannya, kerana ia adalah tangisan kegembiraan dan kesyukuran! Saya masih tidak percaya yang saya menerima bergitu banyak mesej yang baik daripada anda semua. Daripada seluruh pelusuk dunia! Dan sudah tentu saya mahu beritahu kepada semua rakyat Malaysia: anda semua berjiwa besar, kerana menerima dan menyokong saya – seorang wanita dari negara asing dan membesar dengan budaya berbeza. Saya sangat bangga darah Malaysia mengalir dalam anak saya dan saya akan lakukan apa sahaja untuk dia membesar selayaknya dengan kasih anda semua. Dalam hidup saya, saya terpaksa menghadapi pelbagai jenis kejahatan, tipu daya dan hasad dengki. Tetapi anda meyakinkan saya bahawa masih ada kebaikan di dunia ini. Kalaulah saya berpeluang, saya mahu memeluk anda semua dengan kegembiraan . Sokongan dan dorongan anda semua amat berharga bagi saya. Mesej masuk tidak henti-henti, saya akan terus berkongsi kisah hidup saya dengan ikhlas dan jujur. Semoga Allah memberkati anda semua, kawan-kawanku! P.S. Hari ini genap 2 bulan umur Leon. Terus membesar dan bahagia si cilik duniaku.❤️
The Sultan strongly denies that he is the father of the child, with his lawyer telling the Straits Times that there was “no objective evidence as yet as to the biological father of the child.”
Reports of the couple’s divorce come less than seven months after the Sultan abruptly abdicated from the throne to marry the 25-year-old beauty queen, also known as Oksana Andreyevna Voevodina, or just Oksana. Crowned “Miss Moscow” in 2015, she reportedly met the Sultan during his trip to Europe in 2017 as she was modeling luxury watches. The pair married soon after his abdication as she converted to Islam.
Muhammad V was the 15th king of Malaysia since 1957 when the country gained independence from the British Empire, yet was also the first to abdicate. If he had remained king, the 49-year-old monarch would have served only three more years because of the country’s unique system “rotational monarchy” system in which the throne is passed between nine sultans. The monarch wields little to no political power but is of great ceremonial importance with the king’s role symbolizing the Islamic head of the Muslim majority country.