Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote was at the centre of a bizarre row yesterday as it was revealed he has two wives and a mistress.
The 28-year-old has a £1.5 million mansion in Ponteland near Newcastle, whom he shares with his first wife, Madah and their two children, but was caught marrying a second woman in his home country of Ivory Coast.
The £45,000-a-week star is said to have married Laeticia Doukrou in a traditional ceremony this month, much to the fury and dismay of his wife back in England.
And as if the story couldn't get any stranger, Tiote was also exposed as a love-rat who has a one-year-old child with mistress, Nikki Mpofu.
The 33-year-old Zimbabwean ended their three-year affair after she discovered he had married for a second time. The footballer had promised to marry Mpofu who approved of the fact he could marry several times, reports The Sun.
She reportedly told a friend: "He met my mum and said he's permitted to have several wives. I was comfortable with that. He's used me like a mop. He's just a pig."
The Ivorian's agent, Jean Musampa confirmed to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle: "I can say that he did get married and that it is his second marriage. This is nothing unusual. He is a Muslim."
Under Islamic law, Muslims are permitted to have four wives.
However, polygamy (when a man has more than one wife) was abolished in the Ivory Coast in 1964, but despite this and the threat of six months to three years in prison or a fine, polygamy in west Africa is a very common practice.
A source told The Sun: "He doesn’t see a problem with having two wives.
"It’s perfectly acceptable in his culture. He doesn’t see he has done anything wrong and doesn’t know what the fuss is all about."
After the allegations were revealed in the national media yesterday, Tiote is said to be unfazed and even baffled by the revelations that have come out about him.
He married his second wife whilst on international duty and has no intentions to give up his beliefs.
Tiote, who almost moved to Lokomotiv Moscow over the summer, was praised by Newcastle manager Alan Pardew over the weekend.
Pardew told reporters: "I love him. He’s everything that you want in a Newcastle player.
"He has the quality, and of course you’ll never underestimate the fact that he wants to win.
"That’s something we have to be very careful about on training days!
"I just love that he’s a winner. It can overcome so many obstacles as a footballer."
The midfielder played the full 90 minutes in the Magpies 1-0 defeat at Stoke City last night.