Even for a man in the throes of newly wedded bliss, she seemed almost too good to be true. Beautiful and accomplished, Hanna Jaff had a ‘wall of university degree certificates’, headed her own ‘globally recognised’ charitable foundation and was ‘practically royalty’, descended from an ancient line of Kurdish kings.
So when love-struck aristocrat Henry ‘Harry’ Roper-Curzon, distant cousin to Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice and heir to Pylewell Park in Hampshire, flew into his new bride’s ‘hometown’ of Mexico City last summer, he was in high spirits.
Yet within minutes of arriving, he was left scratching his head. ‘A well-dressed Mexican lady and boy appeared out of nowhere, thanking Hanna for teaching them how to read English,’ he today recalls in an exclusive interview.
When love-struck aristocrat Henry ‘Harry’ Roper-Curzon, distant cousin to Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice and heir to Pylewell Park in Hampshire, flew into his new bride’s ‘hometown’ of Mexico City last summer, he was in high spirits. (Henry Roper Curzon with Hanna Jaff)Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Harry claims that Hanna, also 34, ‘duped’ him with claims about her ‘royal heritage and fabulous wealth’. (Henry Roper Curzon proposes to Hanna Jaff in Switzerland)
‘I remember saying to Hanna, “It’s a bit random that in a city with millions and millions of people these people happen to be here at the exact time we got out of the car.” And she said to me, “Well, Harry, I have a lot of fans.” ’
Today, a woman once described by the media as ‘the Mother Teresa of Mexico’ has one less fan – namely her soon-to-be ex-husband.
As The Mail on Sunday revealed last week, the 18-month whirlwind marriage of the 34-year-old aristocrat and the reality TV star has broken down amid bitter recriminations.
Harry claims that Hanna, also 34, ‘duped’ him with claims about her ‘royal heritage and fabulous wealth’ which, perhaps he naively believed might even help save his stricken family home from a crippling debt. The trust which runs the family estate is millions of pounds in the red.
Hanna has hit back, accusing her husband of being ‘abusive’ towards her during a row when their marriage imploded. Both sides vehemently deny the other’s claims.
Harry says he was ‘completely taken in’ by the ambitious Mexican-American – a consummate networker with undoubted talent for self-promotion – and was only rescued when his suspicious mother ‘turned Poirot’ to investigate her daughter-in-law and raised concerns with her son.
‘The incident in Mexico City was so weird,’ he says. ‘I said to Hanna, “You surely didn’t pay them just to turn up?” I would tease her about the fact she was constantly self-promoting.
‘My mother was the one who started spotting a lot of things that didn’t add up.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
‘She started digging and was shocked. Then my brother and sister started digging and then a family friend who lives in Mexico helped a lot. They were all genuinely concerned.’
Harry says his family found discrepancies in her story of fabulous wealth. ‘My family staged an intervention and told me everything they had found out. I couldn’t ignore it,’ he says.
While her Wikipedia page has been ‘frozen’ amid claims that it has been embellished, Hanna denies any deceit and insists she can prove every claim, many of which are detailed on her own expansive, eponymous website.
There, she is described as a ‘passionate philanthropist’ whose Jaff Foundation for Education has donated thousands of books to children in refugee camps and orphanages around the globe.
It also provides details of her charitable clothing brand We Are One, which, it says, raises money to promote world peace by selling T-shirts and mugs emblazoned with her ‘inspirational’ sayings such as ‘The best day of your life is made by you’.
Her CV boasts a brilliant list of accomplishments that number several degrees (including a masters), 77 speaking engagements, 185 individually listed acts of charity, 19 awards including being named ‘Person of the Year in Mexico’, a star billing in the Netflix reality show Made In Mexico and a series of minor political roles.
And while Hanna claims to be a Unesco ‘Kindness Ambassador’, the prestigious organisation this week disputed that. A spokesman referred this newspaper to its official list of ambassadors – which does not include Hanna’s name – saying: ‘We don’t know why this person is listed as an ambassador [on her website]. Unesco only recognises as ambassadors its Goodwill Ambassadors and the representatives of its member states which are listed in this page.’
Photographs show her with world leaders, philanthropists and celebrities, including Victoria Beckham, and much is made of her noble heritage from the 900-year-old Jaff tribe of Kurdistan.
Little wonder then that Harry – whose eccentric sculptor father David Roper-Curzon, Lord Teynham, was forced by debts to move out of Pylewell Park so it could be used as venue for weddings – was enthusiastic when a mutual friend, the socialite Martha Sitwell, arranged a blind date for Harry and Hanna at a pop-up art show at a private house in Belgravia in the summer of 2019.
Reassured by Hanna’s social credentials – ‘she was a member of Annabel’s and knew everyone’ – the romance moved at lightning speed.
‘Everyone in the beginning was taken in, saying she’s so amazing and impressive, telling me to go for it,’ says Harry.
‘She gave me this big spiel that she was from Kurdish nobility, that her dad was the leader of the Jaff tribe which has five million members.
‘I knew it wasn’t normal royalty because it’s a tribe but I’m interested in other cultures and I thought it was intriguing.’