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Wednesday November 15, 2006
EXCLUSIVE: Report by EDDIE CHUA from Mongolia
ULAN BATOR: Murdered Mongolian model Altantuya Shaaribuu, whose bone fragments were believed to have been found in Shah Alam had been married twice and had two young children here.
Investigations revealed that the dead model was married to Mongolian celebrities – a popular rap/hip-hop singer and the son of a famous designer – about a decade ago.
A close family friend who declined to be named said Altantuya had a son from her first marriage to Maadai, a popular Mongolian singer from the Khar Sarnai (Black Rose) band which is famous for its American-style pop music.
The boy is about nine years old now, she said.
The family friend said Altantuya married Maadai in 1996 when she was 18. Maadai was then 22.
“They met in a party and she fell for him immediately. By then he was already a popular Mongolian singer. Women were crazy about him,” she said.
“But their relationship only lasted two years. It took a turn for the worse after she bore him a child.”
She said Maadai was very popular and had to travel across Mongolia for concerts while Altantuya stayed home to look after the child.
“She complained that he neglected her and decided to have her own way. In one of their frequent quarrels, when Maadai returned home, he decided to end their marriage.”
The relationship ended with a bitter divorce in June 1998.
“The custody of their son was given to Altantuya. After the divorce, she moved back to her parents’ home with the child,” said the family friend.
But soon after her divorce, Altantuya, who was a socialite by then, married S. Khunikhuu, the son of a famous designer.
“Her second marriage did not last long. They divorced two years later without having any children,” she said.
She said Altantuya had another young child, about three years old now, following a relationship with another man after her failed marriages.
“I don’t know who he is but he is a Mongolian.”
She said both her children are living with her parents in a three-bedroom apartment in a 12-storey block at 34th Street here, an upmarket residential area behind the popular shopping zone in the city.
“Altantuya led a very colourful life with the Mongolian singer. She had celebrity status because she was the wife of the pop idol,” recalled D. Orlomkhorol, the director of Otgontenger University, a private education centre specialising in business and language studies.
She said Altantuya enrolled in her university in November 1996 but left school in January 1997.
“She was absent most of the time. She skipped classes and examinations. She never completed the course because she was pregnant.”
Opoccoo Puntzag, Altantuya’s biology teacher in High School 84 at the Bayazurkh district, said her former student went to Paris in 2000 and enrolled in a modelling school there after her divorce.
“She was there briefly and got a certificate for modelling.”
Opoccoo said she met Altantuya about a year ago when she came to the school to pick her mother up. (Altantuya's mother taught Russian in the same school as Opoccoo . Altantuya had also studied in the same school.)
“She seemed to be happy with her life and she spoke briefly about what she was doing. I also asked if she was modelling but she said she had never done any of that after completing her course,” she said.
S. Ouynaa, a close friend who went to school with her for an English course, said Altantuya was involved in the textile and clothing business and imported the items from China, after returning from Paris.
“I used to hear her say she travelled regularly to Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Taiwan to do business there. She also boasted of having visited some of the best and top nightclubs there.
“She never told me that she had been to Malaysia or knew someone from there before,” she said.
Ouynaa added that Altantuya always wanted to be a successful model .
Altantuya had a mole on the right side of her upper lip and it was removed about five years ago.
“She had the birth mark removed to make her look more attractive,” she said.
She said Altantuya was also very fashion conscious and would always dress to kill even for a normal occasion.
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