A man, 70, marries 15-year-old in Saudi Arabia. Move over Courtney Stodden and Doug Hutchison, there's a new May-December romance in town. Actually, this new couple isn't in town, or even in the United States. The newlyweds live in the Middle East, and the bride's parents sold her to the groom for the U.S. equivalent of $20,000, but that's not where this strange story ends. According to a Jan. 8, 2013 report by CNN, the elderly groom claims he was "ripped off."
The teen bride reportedly returned back to her family after a fight with her older husband. However, the man claims the family took her back. His complaint to a local official brought the case to light. Human rights officials are investigating, but there is no minimum age requirement for marriage in Saudi Arabia. In 2009, a judge refused to annul a marriage between a man in his upper 40s and an eight-year-old girl, according to Global Post.
A member of the government-funded Saudi National Association for Human Rights has spoken out about the marriage and criticized what appears to be a possible case of human trafficking. Dr. Suhaila Zein al-Abedin said, "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."
Who should be held responsible when a man, 70, marries a 15-year-old girl? Should her family have permitted the marriage at all, never mind the fact that they benefited to the tune of $20,000?