Jeremy Forrest case: Mother denies exploiting abducted daughter
The mother of a schoolgirl who was taken to France by her teacher has denied she is exploiting her daughter by writing a book about the case.
Jeremy Forrest, from Petts Wood, London was jailed for five-and-a-half years in 2013 for abducting and having sex with the girl when she was 15.
The pair spent seven days in France before they were spotted in Bordeaux and the girl was returned home.
Her mother said she wanted to put the record straight about what happened.
She has written a book, The Runaway Schoolgirl, about the events since the pair crossed the Channel to France in September 2012.
'Son lost job'
"I had no intention of speaking to the press," she said.
"Then over time with all this stuff being published about my family that was untrue, I could see the despair on my children's faces and the effect it was having on them so I just had enough.
"For their sake… I had to put the record straight and stop this."
She said everyone thought the family's nightmare was over when her daughter came home to East Sussex but it was just beginning.
"We were literally invaded with calls for interviews and people turning up at our house, notes being put through our door," she said.
"My youngest daughter was being bullied at school and my eldest son having to lose his job because he couldn't cope with the attention he was getting.
"So I know people will assume it was all done and dusted and everything but it was never that and even today we're still going through it."
Lewes Crown Court heard the maths teacher groomed the girl at his Eastbourne school.
He was convicted of child abduction and admitted sex offence charges.
The trial heard the pupil had just turned 15 when Forrest started a sexual relationship with her and they had sex in his car, in hotels and at his marital home.
Fearing they were about to be exposed, Forrest booked them on a cross-Channel ferry from Dover to Calais.
The mother said she was not prepared to talk about how the girl is at the moment.
'Cold and calculating'
"Through my investigations into child grooming... children who are groomed do take many years to actually come to terms with what's happened to them and, until that point starts, the healing process can't happen," she said.
"The people who are doing this grooming are so cold and calculating in the way they do it. It's really difficult for parents to pick up on.
"When it came about I had no idea."
She said Forrest rang her and and told her there were rumours the pair were having a relationship.
"And then with that he completely broke down - he was sobbing, he was blaming her, saying she was going to ruin his life, she's going to ruin his career - his marriage is on the rocks," she said.
"I found myself in a situation where I was counselling him - going, 'You don't have to worry. I'm so sorry my child has put you through this'."