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MY SECRET SEXLESS MARRIAGE; FOOTBALLERS' WIVES SENSATION.

Byline: FIONA CUMMINS Ms Showbiz

FOOTBALLERS' Wives hottest new signing Laila Rouass has revealed that in real life she had a 12-year sexless marriage.

Laila, 28, who plays bisexual Amber Gates in the new series that kicks off tonight, married close family friend Abdeslam Rouas when she was just 16.

The pair divorced last year, without consummating the marriage.

In tonight's episode of the ITV1 drama, Laila's raunchy character strips to her underwear and demands to make up a three-in-a-bed with husband Conrad and maneater Tanya Tucker

But her relationship with hospital worker Abdeslam, 31, was in name only.

Former Hollyoaks star Laila, talking for the first time about her secret marriage, said: "I got married when I was about 16 or 17, I can't remember. That's how much it meant to me.

"The guy was a close family friend. It was something I did when I was very young. I never slept with him." Model Laila moved to India shortly after the wedding, working for the BBC and hosting an Indian version of Blind Date. The couple lived apart.

Laila now has a new boyfriend while Abdeslam, who lives in Stepney, East London, has also found love again and has a seven-month-old daughter.

He admitted: "There are some things you keep quiet when you are trying to build a career but I knew it would come out eventually.

"We're still on good terms and I'm very proud of her. She has done very well."

Laila and Abdeslam were both students when they married at Tower Hamlets register office in East London.

VICTORIA Beckham only made the subs' bench in a poll of 2,000 soccer fans to find a real Footballers' Wives dream team. Top of the list was Magdalena Graaf, wife of Celtic and Sweden goalkeeper Magnus Hedman.

CAPTION(S):

STRIKING: Laila as Amber with screen husband Conrad; HUSBAND: Abdeslam
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 11, 2004
Words:312
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