Brave wife who’s my Woman of the Year
SPEAKING of inspiring characters, my woman of the year vote goes to 27-year-old Daniela Tejada, right, the wife of Matthew Hedges, the British academic given a life sentence in the United Arab Emirates after being falsely accused of spying.
Her decision to go public about her husband’s plight would have been a lonely and brave one. No doubt she was being urged by the Foreign Office to keep quiet and let the behind-the-scenes workings of officialdom try and secure his freedom.
But her action almost certainly hastened his eventual pardon and release by bringing his fate into the court of public opinion and thereby ratcheting up the urgency for the new Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to get him out of there.
I don’t mean to belittle Daniela’s achievement by adding that, under unimaginable emotional pressure, she always appeared beautiful with a composure and articulacy well beyond her years or experience. Surely Netflix is at this moment commissioning a film based on the couple’s story. The privilege of playing Daniela will be much fought over.