Following her heartbreaking divorce three years ago, Cheryl Fergison thought she’d never find love again. But after meeting Moroccan Yassine Al-Jermoni, 25, in an internet chat room last April, the actress says her life has changed forever.
Ecstatic Cheryl, 46 – who keeps in touch with Yassine through Skype and has been on a series of dates with him in Morocco – told this week’s Closer magazine: “Check out my bling engagement ring! Isn’t it beautiful? Yassine proposed in a very romantic way. On Christmas Day he made a path of tealights and rose petals leading from the hall to the bedroom. He’d written in rose petals on the sheets: ‘Will you marry me?’ He’s my angel. I never thought I’d feel this way again but he’s made me feel like a new woman. I’m so excited, I could run down the red carpet and do a cartwheel.”
She added: “My EastEnders co-stars haven’t really spoken to me about my engagement – they’ve got their own lives to worry about.”
Cheryl, who plays unlucky-in-love Heather Trott in the soap, says she doesn’t care about the 19-year age gap and having to fund her marriage to penniless Yassine – who’s recently said he’s a jewellery seller, not a goatherd as previously reported.
“It’s not about money,” says Cheryl, who’s diabetic and admits she’s clinically obese. “I don’t care if we don’t have a big white wedding. I’d get married in Asda if it meant I could spend the rest of my life with Yassine.”
Cheryl plans to move Yassine – who lives with his elderly parents in Agadir, Morocco – into her house in Sidcup, Kent.
The star – who has a 12-year old son, Alex, by her ex-husband Jamshed Saddiqi – adds: “It’s tough having a long-distance relationship so I can’t wait until we’re both in the same place. I already have a fantastic son so I don’t want any more kids with Yassine. We’re already a happy unit.”
This week’s Closer is on sale now (Tuesday).