In an updated CNN report Jan. 8 about a man, 70, marrying a 15-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia, some details surrounding the scandalous union have emerged. Human rights workers and prominent citizens are outraged by the news. According to the groom who never gave his name to CNN, he disputes the woman's age.
"She is not 15 as everybody claims," he said. "She's 25 years old and she's mature enough to make her own decisions... I was fooled by the girl's family."
It was reported earlier that the alleged 15-year-old was sold by her parents to the groom for $20,000. Her father is believed to Yemeni and her mother Saudi. So far the investigation claims the 70-year-old man and 15-year-old girl got into a fight that resulted in the girl running back home to her parents.
In the updated report, there doesn't appear to be a minimum age set for marriage. Dr. Suhaila Zein al-Abedin of the Saudi National Association for Human Rights is looking into the situation and believes this involved a sale transaction rather than a marriage.
"When you consider the very large difference in age, it looks more like this was not a marriage, but like the girl was sold," al-Abedin said. "The girl's parents need to be held responsible for this."