Rachael Bakam, an Abuja-based actress and TV personality, has distanced herself from the embattled ex-footballer, John Fashanu, in a press statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES.
Her denial comes on the heels of Mr. Fashanu’s alleged multi-million-naira land fraud scandal, a development that saw him spend two days in an Abuja Prison.
A Deputy Inspector General of Police, Hyacinth Dagala, had confirmed that Mr. Fashanu was arrested on July 17 in connection with an allegation of criminal conspiracy and allegedly obtaining N9,550,000 under false pretences.
“He was granted administrative bail on July 18 but because of his inability to produce the requisite surety on that day, he remained in detention until July 19 when he was released,” Mr. Dagala said.
Rachael was previously married to media personality, Israel Edjeren; but they parted ways in 2014 with the former issuing a press release announcing a change of name.
In this latest statement, Rachael who is popularly known as ‘Rachel the Piper’ categorically stated that she was never married to Fashanu.
Rachael said: “We are great friends and fight for some humanitarian causes together.”
Outlining the status of their ‘friendship’ further, the mother-of-one also said: “The media love to refer to John and I as husband and wife but we are not married. We keep quiet and let that perception slide but the truth is, we are great friends and fight for some causes together. He is amazing in business and a very loyal friend. Professional to the core. Misunderstood by many but an amazing man.
I have been a very close friend with him for over two years now and I can attest to his goodness and loyalty. He goes the extra mile for his friends.
“He has gotten his feet caught unfairly many times because of his goodness. I am blessed to have a great friend like John who has grown to become like a brother, confidante, friend and amazing in business. We also fight many causes together.
I am a humanitarian. When I propose to John to come on board to support causes like empowerment of IDPS and Anti-human trafficking, he comes in and gives his all. He is loyal to the core through thick and thin. I have enjoyed the best friendship and work relationship with John so far.”
Rachel’s statement however does not tally with a 2016 interview, which she granted Saturday Punch wherein she confirmed that she was, “In love with John.”
She was quoted as having said, “The wedding bell is not ringing soon but what we have is serious. We have to take it step by step. I am going through my divorce and he is doing same as well. But it is difficult to hide what we share.
It is so difficult to even be apart for a minute. This is what I have been looking for all along. We are so similar. I know what he has been through and I know the whole story with his ex.
He is a very caring man whose paramount interest is my happiness. This is different from what I have been used to. He gives me money, he supports me and he encourages my work.
He tries to hype me all the time and I know he loves me deeply. This is different from what I used to have before.”
Surprisingly, many, including former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, believed they were married.
On January 23, Mr. Fani-Kayode and his ex-beauty queen wife, Precious, played host to Mr. Fashanu and Ms. Rachael in his Abuja home and shared a photo on Instagram with a caption:
“It was an honor to receive Mr. and Mrs. John Fashanu in our home earlier today. We had a great time. What a beautiful and warm couple they are. We had a great time.”
Not denying the Mr. & Mrs. mention, it was an elated Rachael who responded to FFK’s post and wrote in the comment section, “We had a great time. Thanks for the warm reception.”
Not a few will be taken back by this sudden denial at this critical time especially since they were both known to step out together at soirees in Abuja, where they are based, dressed in similar outfits.
Rachael is the anchor of popular TV programme Trends & Rachel on NTA, AIT and DSTV.
Not a stranger to controversies, Mr. Fashanu was previously married to glamorous socialite, Abigail Onyekwelu. She is the mother of former beauty queen, Adaeze Yobo.
Mr. Fashanu met her in 2009. They married two years later but the relationship hit the rocks in 2015. His estranged wife hit the ex-soccer star with a £3 million divorce suit.