Salutary warning?

THE young daughter of a Californian woman embroiled in an internet love scandal wants her "mommy" to come home. Karen Anderson, 30, left her two-year-old toddler Amanda in the US a month ago to move to Perth and live with her schoolboy lover James Barry, 16. They met on the web. Friends and family of Ms Anderson said the romance was bizarre and she should put her young daughter first and return to the US. Laura Hinkle, a close friend of Ms Anderson's for a decade, was disgusted that her friend had pursued the WA teen and left her daughter. Ms Hinkle, who has two young sons, said she loved Ms Anderson dearly but could not condone her actions. "I would like to plead with Karen to just come home - be with your daughter,'' Ms Hinkle, 30, said. "No person could ever love you the way your child does. Amanda knows that her mommy is gone and she misses Karen desperately and wants her to come home. "I love Karen to death . . . she has a great heart, but there has got to be something wrong with her to do this.'' Ms Hinkle, whose emails begging Ms Anderson to return to her child have gone answered, said she is also concerned about James's welfare. She said her friend was stripping him of his "teenage innocence''. "This whole `love' thing with James will pass and, for his parents' sake, she needs to be the adult and let this go, before his youth is completely gone,'' she said. "She has been around the block way too many times and he hasn't even made it halfway yet. "I don't care how `in love' he thinks he is, he's only 16. She is taking this boy's youth away from him. "If some 30-year-old woman wanted to be with my little boy, I would be out for blood. I really feel for his mother.'' Friends of Ms Anderson, who worked as a dancer before she became pregnant and who was seven years younger than James's mother Sue, confirmed that her relationship with James was not her first internet love affair. She had a relationship with a man in Las Vegas who she had met on the web, but later dumped. Ms Anderson, who last week told The Sunday Times she was planning to marry James, is still legally married to Colin Anderson, the father of Amanda. The couple married when she was 21, but separated about two years ago. Mr Anderson has been caring for their daughter since Ms Anderson left for Australia four weeks ago. A family member said Mr Anderson, 37, did not want to comment on the affair because he did not want to anger his estranged wife or lose his beloved daughter. On his MySpace website, Mr Anderson said his daughter was his "pride and joy''. Ms Anderson plans to leave Australia at the end of October if she cannot get a working visa. In the meantime, she would miss her daughter's third birthday in two weeks' time. Ms Anderson has applied for a working visa so she can stay with her young lover and work as a hairdresser in WA. If it is not granted, she would have to leave the country before her holiday visa expires on October 30. One of Ms Anderson's relatives, who did not want to be named, said the family was worried about her plans to bring Amanda to Australia permanently. "This really is a no-win situation for all parties, except Karen. It is selfish and not the actions of a mature mother,'' he said. "We don't want to see Amanda move all the way across the world, based on a relationship that is five months old and is probably going to implode. "I see young James as a typical teenager - horny and wanting to know what it's like to play grown-up. "It's a lot different when you're taking care of a child that isn't yours, knowing that the person you are with has had numerous relationships and you've had just the one and that's all you're ever going to have. "I would compare Karen to a drug. James is experimenting and, hopefully, he won't like what happens after the high wears off.'' He said the internet had taken control of Ms Anderson's life over the past year. "She would be playing stupid games all through the night and then sleep all day. Where does a child fit into this?,'' he said. "We just hope that this has a good resolution.'' And what do I find on the Australian news web page featuring this sad story?
Yes, you're seeing that correctly. An advertisement for on-line dating. Eughhh.

No comments: