A 48-year-old lawyer claims he is in love with his 103-year-old girlfriend, despite sceptics thinking their love isn’t real.
Mart Soeson, from Estonia, has been in a relationship with Elfriede Riit, 103, since 2013 and the couple lived together until she was forced to move into a nursing home in 2022.
Now, Soeson is pleading to stay in Australia to be with his older girlfriend.
Ms Riit, who was also born in Estonia, is the widow of Mr Soeson’s grandfather. She was his second wife and will celebrate her 104th birthday later in February.
Despite the fact that Ms Riit was married to his grandfather, Mr Soeson insists he is in love with her.
The couple insists their 55-year age gap is irrelevant and they should be allowed to continue their “exclusive committed long-term” romance for whatever time Ms Riit has left to live.
“What started out as a wholesome bond I had with my late grandfather’s widow slowly but surely turned into a very meaningful and loving relationship,” Mr Soeson told DailyMail in an exclusive interview.
Man, 48, says he
Mr Soeson is seeking to gain permanent Australian residency on the basis that Ms Riit is his partner but his visa application has been refused.
He was not formally told why that visa application was rejected but believed the Department of Home Affairs was suspicious about the legitimacy of his union with Ms Riit.
“Yes, I know we have the age gap,” Mr Soeson told Daily Mail Australia.
“And I know it’s an issue for some people.
“But generally, age gap is an issue in case of older woman and younger man. It’s never an issue in case of older man and young woman but I’m not able to change that attitude.”
Mr Soeson has now taken his case to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal which he attended on Wednesday, Jan. 31, with Ms Riit and three supporters to have the matter heard.
That hearing did not go ahead at the tribunal’s Sydney office because Ms Riit, who Mr Soeson had carried from a Maxi Cab to a wheelchair, was too distressed to take part in the proceedings.