A colored (mixed blood) beauty queen who was engaged to the son of South African President F.W. de Klerk has accused de Klerk of breaking up the relationship, which she said was like "walking on thorns."
Erica Adams, 25, said in an interview today that her 30-month relationship with Willem de Klerk cracked under the constant strain of family disapproval. The de Klerks tried repeatedly to talk Willem, also 25, out of the relationship and made their life intolerable, she said."I hate to say it, but he was a weakling and my friends started to tease me for going out with a wimp," Adams told Britain's Mail Sunday. "We were in love and we did not part as enemies. But he could never take decisions like a man," she said.
The love affair between the reformist president's youngest son and the colored, or mixed race, beauty queen, who met as students in 1989, caused a furor in racially divided South Africa.
President de Klerk and his wife Marike were reported to have sent Willem abroad to reconsider his feelings.
Adams said she was summoned by the president and told that it was not in anyone's interest for them to stay together.
She said she broke off the engagement with Willem, a public relations executive, earlier this month after he admitted he could not continue without his parents' blessing.
"The truth is that the strain the de Klerks put on me and Willem to end it became very painful," said Adams. "It was more like walking on thorns than floating on clouds."