Omaima Nelson was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1968. At the age of 18, she immigrated to the United States and settled in California where she worked two jobs, one as a model and the other as a nanny.
In 1991, 23-year-old Omaima met 56-year-old William Nelson at a bar. William was a convicted drug smuggler who had spent four years in prison and had lost his job as a pilot as a result. A few days later, William introduced Omaima to his co-workers and friends — as his wife. The marriage didn’t last long, only three weeks later, Omaima was a widow.