A UK teen has revealed how she found her Mexican husband online – but claims trolls and even friends say he's "using" her for a visa.
Holly Hernández, an NHS admin assistant from Leicester, tied the knot earlier this year with Diego, 20, who is currently living in the UK on a fiancé visa.
Diego, who is originally from Mexico, first met his future wife in 2018 after he liked one of her videos online and sparked her interest.
Sparks soon began to fly between the pair and they found themselves inseparable – becoming “exclusive” in February 2019, despite having only talked virtually at the time.
But it's not been an easy relationship, with Holly, then just 16, having to convince her parents that the couple's love was the real deal.
Her parents – Jason Dutton, 51, and Marie Thompson, 43, had their concerns.
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A few months after the couple made things official, Holly and her dad flew over to Mexico together so she could meet her partner and his parents, Natalia Lopez and Jose Hernandez, for the first time.
“I was so nervous when I went to meet Diego for the first time," Holly, who has 105,000 followers on TikTok alongside her husband (@hollyanddiego), told NeedToKnow.online.
“I actually ended up catching a stomach bug and getting hospital treatment in Mexico on the first day.
“After I was feeling better, Diego came to my Airbnb with his dad to make sure I wasn’t a 69-year-old man.
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“He picked me up, gave me a huge hug and then handed me a little gift bag with some chocolates.
“Diego then took me to the fun fair on our first date, it was amazing.”
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Holly's mother, Marie Thompson, 43, did originally have worries over her teenage daughter talking to a stranger online .
"As a mother of course I had concerns that my daughter was talking to a stranger online," she told NeedToKnow.online.
"However I 100% trusted Holly’s judgement and after Face Timing Diego and his family for the first time, all of my worries and concern flew out of the window.
"When Holly flew to Mexico to meet Diego I wasn’t worried at all, as I really do trust Holly and she was absolutely safe with her dad."
Holly said: "If my mum had said no to me and Diego, to something that has turned into my absolute future and my whole entire life, she would have potentially lost me as a daughter.
"So she would rather support me in whatever I choose to do and be there by my side in case it goes wrong, than say no and lose me."
When I first told my friends at school, they were absolutely not on board.
However, not everyone in Holly's life was supportive of her new relationship.
Her friends, as well as cruel trolls online, lashed out at the teenager.
Holly said: "When I first told my friends at school, they were absolutely not on board.
"They made fun of me, they were telling me lots of bad things were going to happen to me, they were not supportive in the slightest and kind of took it as a joke.
"They saw it as something that wasn’t going to last, as something that I am absolutely weird for pursuing."
But the couple's love has stood the test of time.
After meeting in Mexico, Diego flew to the UK for the first time in December 2019 and popped the question on Christmas morning.
Although Holly's mum was "a little surprised" at the engagement, she was "very excited" for the pair.
Holly said: "A lot of people expected my parents be mad about the engagement but they were actually really on board with it.
"Diego asked for my mum's permission on Christmas Day and of course she said yes, she even filmed it.
People are very racist online, especially about Diego, they say that he is illegal and they make comments about him just being with me for the visa.
"My dad was absolutely fine with it also, him and Diego already had a great relationship.
"It was funny when I got engaged because even people I used to be friends with at school were messaging me.
"They were all congratulating us and wanting to be our friends again.
"In my eyes you forgive but you don’t forget, and you keep people at arms length who have been like that."
As the newly-engaged teenage couple decided to move forward with their relationship, they looked at moving in with each other but issues soon began to arise.
Diego was meant to visit for six months in April 2020 but the pandemic threw a wrench in their plans.
He finally made it to the UK in July 2020 and stayed with Holly and her mum at their home in Leicester.
Marie said: "I didn’t have any strict rules for the pair when Diego stayed with us apart from the basic house rules such as picking up after yourself!
"I did allow them to sleep in the same bed together as at that point they were old enough to make their own decisions and I trusted that they would be safe."
After realising they loved living together, the couple took the next step and applied for a fiancé visa so Diego could live in the UK.
Holly said: “Because we knew we were going to be getting married, we decided to apply for a fiancé visa so Diego could stay with me.
“We applied for the visa in September 2021 as I was finally earning the required amount of money with my job in the NHS.
“We had an excruciating wait to see if it got accepted or not, but in January 2022, it finally got accepted.
“People are very racist online, especially about Diego, they say that he is illegal and they make comments about him just being with me for the visa.
“They are very hurtful and at the beginning I found the hate comments very difficult to deal with."
According to Gov.UK, if someone with a fiancé visa gets married within the first six months of being in the UK, they’re eligible to extend their residency by two and a half years.
In June 2022, the pair decided to tie the knot in a "magical" ceremony and they are very happy together.
Despite some negative comments from cruel trolls, they have also became a huge hit online – with 134,000 followers in total across Instagram and TikTok.
Holly added: “It wasn't a big wedding, it wasn't expensive, it was literally just a half-hour ceremony in the registry office and then a party in our local estate club.
“It was the most perfect day, everyone was happy and Diego was even crying when I walked down the aisle.
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"I spent the rest of the night dancing away in my crocs."
Diego has since been able to apply for a spouse visa, which will allow him the right to work in the UK for the foreseeable future.
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