July 21, 2008

Ruffa Gutierrez

Sharmaine Ruffa Rama Gutierrez-Bektaş, who is more popularly known simply as Ruffa Gutierrez (born June 24, 1974 in Beverly Hills, California), is a Filipina actress, model and former beauty queen. She was Binibining Pilipinas-World 1993 and the Miss World 1993 Second Princess. She is the daughter of 1960s Matinee Idol and Elvis impersonator Eddie Gutierrez and former actress Anabelle Rama and the older sister of identical twin actors Richard and Raymond Gutierrez. To date, she has made over 50 films in her native country.

In 2002, prior to her marriage with Yilmaz Bektas, Ruffa Gutierrez was a GMA-7 talent. She had three regular shows on GMA Network. She also hosted Philippines' Next Top Model, Cycle 1 on RPN-9. She was also invited as guest co-host of The Buzz when the original host Kris Aquino filed a maternity leave. When the latter decided to permanently leave The Buzz, ABS-CBN offered her a one-year exclusive talent contract with the network. She was assigned to be the permanent replacement of Kris Aquino at The Buzz and is expected to do a TV series with the network. She was being tapped by network as a cast for a TV series titled Kokey.

Gutierrez recently hosted the Philippine version of the reality series America's Next Top Model, which is Philippines' Next Top Model. Starting March 11, 2007, Gutierrez became Kris Aquino's temporary replacement in The Buzz. She was supposed to stay as a substitute host, but Kris Aquino announced her intentions of leaving the said show.

On January 17, 2008, Ruffa Gutierrez donated P 500,000 to charity (RRRampa for a Cause - bazaar and fashion show last September 16). Ruffa, with her brothers Richard and Raymond raised P 1.7 million. They gave the amounts to Unicef and the Philippine Red Cross; to Make-A-Wish Foundation - P200,000; World Vision - P700,000; UNICEF, P500,000 and Asilo de Milagrosa, Cebu - P100,000).

As of May 25, 2008 it was announced in the Buzz (A showbiz oriented talkshow she is co-hosting) that Ruffa Gutierrez will play the role of Daniella(The Antagonist) in the upcoming ABS-CBN teleserye " Yo soy, Betty La Fea" headed by Bea Alonzo as the starring role.

In 1994, she was involved in the 20th Metro Manila Film Festival scandal. Through her friend and former Miss Universe 1994 contestant from Mauritius Viveka Babajee's deliberate interference, she received the Best Actress award, which was supposedly meant for fellow actress and good friend Aiko Melendez. The mistake has since been corrected by then Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and the Metro Manila Film Festival committee, and the award was rightfully given to Melendez a few days later. She and her parents are currently under investigation for tax evasion in the Philippines. She was alleged to be one of the "Brunei-beauties" during the early 1990s. She also has a sex video currently circulating the internet, allegedly during one of her trips to Brunei as a Bruneiyuki.

In 2003, she married Turkish businessman Yilmaz Bektaş in a lavish ceremony in Manila. She has two daughters named Lorin (born 2003) and Venice (born 2004) with him and resided with them in Istanbul, Turkey for a few years, though she frequently came back home to the Philippines to do commercials, television guestings and vacations.

Allegedly, her husband had bought for her a cable TV channel (FTV) for her to work on. However, the management of the said cable channel have recently confirmed that she only used to work there. She was also scheduled to make a new Filipino movie with her best friends in Philippine show business, although this failed to push through.

On May 8, 2007, Gutierrez and Bektaş announced their mutual decision to end their four-year marriage. On June 9 and 10, 2007, Gutierrez claimed on GMA-7's Startalk and ABS-CBN's The Buzz that she was physically tortured and abused by Bektas while in Turkey. She says it's the reason why she's divorcing him. Gutierrez revealed that she had been electrocuted in a bath tub filled with water, continuously beaten for 15 hours and locked inside a cabinet. Bektas admitted to slapping her once after learning that she was still married to her previous husband, but denies torturing her. Bektas accused Gutierrez of marital infidelity and claimed she was dating another man which she denied. Gutierrez, who converted to Islam upon her marriage to Ylmaz, has since come back home to her native Philippines and became a born-again Christian instead of reverting back to her original Roman Catholic faith.

Prior to their separation, Bektas reportedly sought the assistance of his lawyer and was able to determine that, according to marriage records from Clark County, Nevada, she was allegedly married in 1999 in Las Vegas, Nevada to a certain Richard Daloia, an issue that was first reported in 2000 but which Gutierrez has neither denied nor confirmed.

On June 10, 2007, Gutierrez admitted on ABS-CBN's The Buzz, that she married Richard Daloia and belied Bektaş' claim that she had not filed a divorce petition to nullify her first marriage. She clarified that she alone filed the petition in 2000 but did not follow up the status of the petition. Clark County’s civil, family and probate records on their website, however, shows Ruffa filed the divorce petition only on June 1, 2007. No other record of a previous petition appeared.

Gutierrez sought the help of the Philippine National Police for escort protection following reported threats to her and her daughters' life. She reportedly receives threatening messages from Bektas. The PNP granted the request for one month.

On August 19, 2007, Ruffa confirmed that she reconciled with husband Yilmaz Bektas. Yilmaz Bektas set a condition “I plan to speak with them but the correct and perfect time. I’m not scared … of course, I am nervous and also shy. It’s not only Ruffa and my two kids I want back, I want all the family back, like Gutierrez family and Bektas family, have to be together.” Ruffa, on the other hand tersely summarized her stance on the reconciliation - “Sino bang babae o nanay na ayaw maging intact o mabuo ang pamilya? Ang pagkakamali namin ni Yilmaz, we shared everything with the public. Sana, may mga bagay na hindi namin nasabi … para kami na lang ang magharap at mag-ayos.

On August 21, in Saksi of GMA NEWS.TV, Bektas emotionally had it - "My cousin is here bringing her ring. Ruffa's ring for the proposal. I want to propose to her again in to get married with me. I'm really looking for the correct time. I first want to get the blessing from her family," however, Annabelle Rama publicly announced that she does'nt want to meet Bektas.

Ruffa and Yilmaz have currently moved on with their lives, with his last visit telling Ruffa, "There is nothing to go back to.

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