A married father of two children who left his marriage and children to live with a Ukrainian immigrant has spoken out about the backlash he and his new girlfriend have faced.
Just 10 days after she arrived to live with them, Tony Garnett, 29, made the decision to leave his family behind and rent a home with 22-year-old refugee Sofiia Karkadym.
Sofiia fled the turmoil in her native Ukraine and arrived to Garnett’s family home in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in May. However, the two quickly grew close.
The mother of Garnett’s children, Lorna, demanded that Sofiia go and claimed that the IT professional was making advances toward her husband. However, Garnett made the decision to pack his bags and leave with his new roommate.
The 29-year-old told The Sun that because of their choice, he and his new partner have received a barrage of hostile comments online. Some have even threatened to try to have Sofiia deported.
“[The general populace] has no idea.” I have quite thick skin. Sofiia is receiving abuse, being referred to as a “home wrecker,” and deportation petitions are being discussed.
In addition, Garnett disclosed that he quit his job as a shift worker to care for Sofiia full-time when she went partially blind following an eye procedure. He also claimed that Lorna’s presence forced him to end his long-distance relationship with Lorna.
It’s not like we met and immediately decided to move in together. Garnett, who also owns a security firm, said to Metro: “I was leaving regardless because I’d had enough of Lorna, who took against Sofiia immediately away.
On her way to the UK, Sofiia contracted an eye infection in Germany; as a result, she will need to recover from surgery for six months.
In the meantime, Sofiia is adamant that she is not a “homewrecker” and did not make Garnett leave his wife and children.
The Ukrainian IT professional recently posted on her Instagram profile outlining what she believed to be some relevant information.
She claimed that Garnett made a “conscious and considered” decision to break up with his long-term spouse.
She criticized media coverage of the incident, claiming that it was “obviously overblown and written in such a way as to be as dramatic as possible,” and she once more denied having “stolen” anyone.
I want to start off by stating that I did not steal any family members. A 29-year-old man has the right to fall in love, to be happy, and to pick who he wants to spend his time with, thus it was his conscious and thoughtful decision,’ Sofiia added.
The idea of the “yellow press” is the second topic I want to discuss. Do you genuinely believe that someone could be kidnapped from a loving family in just ten days?
We’re fine, Anthony and I.
Therefore, I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone who has supported me from the start and understood that every action I take is motivated by something good and sincere. You will be dissatisfied in your judgments of the remaining items.
However, Lorna Garnett, who chose to go under a different name despite not being married to the father of her children, told the Sun on Sunday that she thinks Sofiia had her eye on her man from the beginning.
She didn’t care about the destruction left behind, according to Lorna. Within the past two weeks, everything I thought I understood has been proven wrong.
Despite her worries about the plan, Lorna admitted to the newspaper that she believed it was the proper course of action in light of the ‘terrifying’ situation in Ukraine.
I decided it was the appropriate thing to do to provide someone a roof over their head and help them when they were in need, she added.
And this is Sofiia’s way of saying thanks to me for providing her a home.
Tony Garnett told The Sun that he “wanted to do the right thing” and that Sofiia was the first person to contact him on a Facebook page where he offered to home a refugee under the Government’s scheme. The family had taken Sofiia in after she fled Western Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.
On May 4, Sofiia took a flight from Berlin to Manchester after waiting weeks in Berlin for her UK visa to be issued.
Garnett said he and his visitor hit it off right away, and while his girls, ages six and three, also warmed up to her, his girlfriend of ten years did not.
As the days went by, Sofiia would accompany Garnett to the gym, and the two of them would chat in his car as they drove home.
At home, I noticed that we were always looking for opportunities to touch and brush against one another; it was quite flirty, but nothing more developed at that point, he recalled.
Even while it was very benign, it was stirring up conflict. That makes sense to me. Sofiia would be the one to have prepared a meal for me to try when I got in at night.
Because the girls would have to share a room, “Lorna was never that excited about having a refugee in our home.”
After a heated argument between the women that left Sofia in tears and declaring she could no longer live in the same house, things came to a head.
In response, Garnett told his long-term partner, “If she’s going, I’m going,” as he claimed “something inside me clicked.”
The couple then moved in with his parents after packing their belongings, but they have since found a new place to rent in Bradford.
Tony admitted that he feels bad and that Lorna is not to blame for his 10-year relationship ending in just 10 days.
“I am truly sorry for Lorna’s suffering; this was not her fault and there was nothing she could have done to deserve it.”
We didn’t intend to hurt anyone, and this wasn’t something we had planned.