July 11, 2016
Hachette Australia says memoir will be ‘testament to a mother’s love’ after disastrous snatch attempt in Lebanon organised with help of Channel Nine.
Brisbane woman Sally Faulkner, who has been charged with kidnapping her own children in Beirut, has signed an international book deal for a tell-all memoir.
All for My Children, “the heartbreaking true story of how one Australian mother’s life fractured in the instant she kissed her kids goodbye”, will be published in November 2016 by Hachette Australia.
A disastrous recovery operation, which Faulkner collaborated on with Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes, was captured on CCTV and saw her, the TV crew, the recovery agents and Faulkner all thrown into a Lebanese jail.
Faulkner and the 60 Minutes team are all back in Australia but the child recovery crew led by Adam Whittington remain in jail in Lebanon.
“Sally Faulkner doesn’t know when she will see her children again,” Hachette Australia publisher Vanessa Radnidge said.
“For that reason, this is one of the most important books I have ever published.
“It is testament to a mother’s love for her absent children. Sally is telling her story so that when Lahela and Noah are older they will know who she is, how happy they were with both parents in their lives and, most importantly, that their mother tried everything to bring them home.”
Faulkner’s children Lahela, five, and Noah, three, were snatched from a Beirut street by child recovery agents paid by 60 Minutes in April and taken to their mother for a brief reunion before the police intervened and they were returned to their father.
The book will tell the story 60 Minutes will never be able to.
The publisher promises a fairytale-gone-wrong story in which a 21-year-old Emirates flight attendant married to “the charming, sophisticated” Ali al-Amin “was living her dream of having a family. But it was all shattered when they separated and Ali said: ‘The kids aren’t coming back’.
“It was every parent’s nightmare … and it was only going to get worse. When, 12 months later, her husband still refused to return their children, and all efforts through the Australian government and Lebanese justice system were exhausted, Sally Faulkner flew across the world to try and bring them home herself,” the book release said.
“Ali hadn’t allowed her to see or speak to Lahela and Noah since June 2015. It was too long. She needed to hold them close. The results of that mission played out on news broadcasts across Australia, and everyone had an opinion about it. To a devastated Sally, the only thing that ever mattered was being with her children and seeing them truly happy again.”
After Faulkner’s release Amin said she would be allowed to “come and go as she wants” to and from Lebanon to see the children.
In May an internal investigation at Nine said “inexcusable errors” were made in pursuing the story.
Gerald Stone, the founding 60 Minutes producer who led the review, said it was the “gravest misadventure in the program’s history”.
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