This is a sad day for me after reading about Sufiah Yusof. I have always had my fear for prodigies (previous postings here and here), especially Malay prodigies. And now we read about Sufiah. Does it really has to come to this?
The article here at The News of The World is almost impossible to access. But the photos published are damning. Should I publish them here, too? I don’t know. Let’s pray for Adi Putra while reading it.
So here is the article:
Maths prodigy who won an Oxford place at 13 is now a £130-an-hour HOOKER
By Keith Gladdis
SHE was a child maths genius who won a place at Oxford University aged just 13—but now the only sums Sufiah Yusof is interested in are the ones she earns as a HOOKER.
For sad Sufiah the daily equation she has to solve is simply sex equals £130 as she sells her body to punters over the internet.
The gifted girl with the winning smile had the world at her feet ten years ago and should be a rich woman by now—but last week she was busy subtracting her underwear for our undercover reporter in her dingy back street flat.
“Would you like to start your half hour now?” said Sufiah, 23, as she danced on the bed, displaying her body for examination.
Then she listed all the sleazy plus points she would throw in for our man if he took up her offer.
Calling herself Shilpa Lee, the former child prodigy still juggles with figures on a hookers’ website, describing herself as a “very pretty size 8, 32D bust and 5’5″ tall—available for booking every day from 11am to 8pm.”
She says she is a “sexy, smart student” who prefers “older gentlemen”— but a former pal who has witnessed her downfall told us: “It is all desperately heartbreaking.
“With her amazing brain she should be able to make money any way she wants. But instead her life has spiralled completely out of control.”
Life has never quite added up for Sufiah. Her descent into prostitution in Salford, Manchester, is the latest in a long line of tragedies to have engulfed her since the sunny day when she posed with her university mortar board for the world’s press outside prestigious St Hilda’s College.
Our shock revelations today come in the week her domineering dad Farooq was jailed for sexually assaulting two 15-year-old girls as he home-tutored them in maths.
And he was always at the root of all her troubles— even as she passed the further maths A-Level she needed for entry to Oxford at the age of 12. In those days Sufia was a strict Muslim child who prayed five times a day and was subjected to her father’s famous Accelerated Learning Technique.
Her days involved stretching and breathing exercises in freezing rooms to keep her brain attentive.
Sufiah would then study hard and be forced to play tennis with just as much intensity as fanatical Farooq drove her on. The routine was so effective Sufiah was seeded number eight in the country for under 21s.
But three years into Oxford, the 15-year-old sparked a massive police hunt after running away.
At the time her father bizarrely claimed Sufiah had been kidnapped and brainwashed by an organisation seeking the key to her intelligence.
But Sufiah sent an email to her family describing her life under her father as a “living hell”.
One message to her sister read: “I’ve finally had enough of 15 years of physical and emotional abuse. You know what I am talking about.”
Sufiah was missing for two weeks before being found in an internet café in Bournemouth where she had been working as a hotel waitress.
She refused to go back to her parents and instead was taken into the care of social services.
It was then revealed that Farooq had been jailed for three years in 1992 for his part in a £1.5m mortgage swindle. Before that—at the age of 19—he had been sent to borstal for his role in a conspiracy involving £100,000.
Free from the spell of her father, Sufiah returned to Oxford to complete the final year of her Masters in Maths.
But she was now more concerned with enjoying herself—and failed to finish the course after meeting trainee lawyer Jonathan Marshall.
They were married in 2004 when Sufiah was just 19 and Jonathan 24. But the strains with her family were still there.
Despite being invited, Sufiah’s parents and four brothers and sisters failed to turn up to the wedding.
Her dreams of a happy life with Jonathan were shattered when the couple divorced just a year later.
Now, in her sad little flat, she uses her body to pay the rent. Sufiah met our man, posing as a punter, at the entrance to her building wearing a tiny skirt, leather boots and a tight t-shirt. She was carrying three mobile phones.
She laughed and joked as she led him to her small apartment where a bed was already set out in the lounge.
She told him it was £130 an hour and offered him a glass of water before putting some music on to a cheap portable stereo and nervously stripping down to her red lace bra and knickers.
Sufiah then peeled off her underwear and danced on the bed. She told him she did full sex with a condom and oral sex without protection.
After our man had made his excuses, Sufiah kept him talking by telling him how she was studying for a Masters degree in Economics on a part-time two year course in London.
The former prodigy added: “I’ve got exams coming up and I’m thinking ‘Oh my God!'”
Once described by her parents as “naïve and unstreetwise”, she works alone from her flat without any obvious physical security or protection.
She even admitted to our reporter: “It’s always a surprise who you are going to meet.”
Cheerful Sufiah gave no indication of any sadness at the jailing of her father the previous day. On Wednesday Farooq, 50, was sentenced to 18 months at Coventry Crown Court for touching two 15-year-old girls when he was home tutoring them at maths.
The court heard how in May last year Farooq arrived at one of the victim’s home for a maths lesson.
He started whispering in her ear and kissing her hair and cheek. He also touched her breast and told her she was a genius and pretty before putting her hand on his upper thigh.
Farooq’s defence lawyer Tim Hannam said: “He’s been back in prison for over five months and knows there’ll be no more teaching and any hope he had of gaining an income from the teaching method he had developed to a high degree of success is lost to him. His reputation is destroyed.”
Now it’s clear the daughter who fled his strict regime has almost been destroyed too.
Her friend said last night: “Sufiah has suffered so many knocks in her life. I just hope she can drag herself out this life she has got herself into.
“She is a good person and deserves a much better life than this. Her gift really has been a curse.”