A former personal assistant to Hollywood star Rob Lowe is facing up to two years in jail after being arrested on cybercrime charges filed by an ex-boyfriend in the United Arab Emirates.
Melissa McBurnie faces being banned from leaving the country for three months until her case is heard by a court after falling victim to the strict laws on what can be said on social media and emails.
The 57-year-old mother of one sent a derogatory email to the man who she claims had stalked and harassed her after the end of their friendship.
Melissa, who has had her passport taken away, said she is terrified that she will be jailed in Abu Dhabi where she has been living since November.
Melissa McBurnie cannot leave UAE for three months until her case is heard and could face up to two years in jail if she is convicted
Her accuser filed a police report after receiving an email from her warning him to stay away from her and to stop bombarding her with sexually explicit messages and videos of himself.
Despite being able to prove she was the victim of a two-year campaign of harassment and intimidation Melissa, from Brentwood, California, was arrested for violating the UAE's strict cybercrime laws.
She said:' What I have been through has left me absolutely shaken. I have felt under constant threat the past years causing me unspeakable stress, and now I am facing criminal charges.
'I just hope the authorities can see what has been happening. I am the innocent part in all of this and they need to provide protection.'
Melissa, who has also worked as a personal assistant for country star John Denver, comedian Joan Rivers and record executive Neil Bogart, was arrested at Khalidiya Police station on February 24th.
Her accuser – who she has asked not to be named – reportedly filed a police report accusing her of demeaning him in an email she had sent pleading with him to stop his harassment.
Melissa, 57, has fallen victim to the UAE's strict laws on what can be said online after her ex-boyfriend, who she says stalked her, filed a police report
Melissa said she was kept for two hours and quizzed by police who dangled handcuffs in her face in an attempt to intimated her.
She was granted bail after handing over $1300.
She said:' I just want to go home to my family and leave here. It has turned into a nightmare, but it just feels like no one is listening.'
Melissa had begun a relationship with the Egyptian man after quitting her pressurized role as a PA to Hollywood celebrities to travel the world.
She also wanted to travel to help