Caitlan Coleman details alleged abuse by husband Joshua Boyle
Joshua Boyle’s estranged wife says the Canadian man controlled nearly every aspect of her life, including forcing her to visit Afghanistan -- and then to have children after they were captured by a militant group linked to the Taliban.
In an interview with ABC News’ “Nightline” from an undisclosed location, Caitlan Coleman said she wasn’t given a choice to make the trek to Afghanistan in 2012 when she was six months pregnant, adding that Boyle took her passport to force her travels.
“I had no freedom as far as where I would go, who I would talk to, how I would dress, what I would say,” she said in the interview.
Coleman said Boyle wanted to visit Afghanistan because he sympathized with the Taliban and believed his connections -- namely a prior marriage to Omar Khadr’s sister Zeynab -- would grant them exclusive access to the inner workings of the terrorist group and open the doors to possibly writing a book about the organization.
“He believed because of his Khadr connection, he could get in there and sort of get the real story of the Taliban (and) talk to people that maybe wouldn't talk to outside media,” she said.
Instead, the couple ended up being captured and held for five years in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Coleman said Boyle raped her while they were held captive.
“I'm not saying that I physically struggled, but I am saying that I found relations with him pretty abhorrent,” she said. “I didn't have a choice.”
Coleman had three children while in captivity, but one died before the family was released. Boyle had previously said his daughter was murdered at the hands of some guards, which the Taliban denies.
Upon their release, Boyle said he and Coleman decided to have children while in captivity because they had always planned to have a big family and thought they could make the best of the situation, but Coleman now says she did not have a say in the matter.
“That's certainly not something I wanted for my children,” she said.
Boyle, Coleman and their two surviving children returned to Canada on Oct. 13, 2017. Coleman said the abuse and manipulation continued after that.
“He would say: ‘OK, you can write an email to your mom and this is what you're going to say,’” she said.
Two months after returning to Canada, Boyle was arrested on 19 charges including sexual assault, assault and unlawful confinement regarding incidents that allegedly happened in Ottawa in late 2017. Coleman has identified herself as the victim in the alleged incidents.
Boyle’s lawyer called Coleman’s interview inappropriate given she still hasn’t finished a cross-examination in Boyle’s trial, which has been suspended indefinitely while a dispute over evidence plays out in the courts.
With files from The Canadian Press