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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 December, 2004, 17:58 GMT
Princess and ex-marine to divorce
Ms Khalifa and Mr Johnson
Ms Khalifa and Mr Johnson have parted ways in Las Vegas
Bahraini princess Meriam al-Khalifa and former US marine Jason Johnson are to divorce, ending a marriage that scandalised her blue-blooded family.

The pair met in Bahrain in 1999, while Mr Johnson was stationed at a US base.

Facing royal outrage at their bond, the two fled to the US to marry and settle in the desert casino city of Las Vegas.

The story of their marriage, retold in a US television movie, came to an end at a law court in Las Vegas, where Mr Johnson filed for divorce.

"It was what she wanted," Mr Johnson told local newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, saying the fast lifestyle of Las Vegas had put paid to their match.

Smuggled

The pair began their relationship after meeting in a Bahrain shopping mall in 1999, incurring the wrath of Ms Khalifa's family, who are relatives of the desert kingdom's ruler.

Mr Johnson arranged for his lover to be smuggled out of the country, disguised as an American with false military identification documents.

He was swiftly penalised by the military for his actions and discharged from the marines.

After a battle with immigration authorities, Ms Khalifa was eventually granted political asylum in the US and at the age of 19, married her 23-year-old marine lover in Las Vegas.

Mr Johnson said he then worked as car valet, parking the vehicles of the wealthy patrons of Las Vegas hotels.




SEE ALSO:
Eloped princess faces charges
18 Jul 00 |  Americas
Princess elopes with US marine
11 Jul 00 |  Middle East



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