Bin Laden's Son Is Hospitalized After He Hears His Father's Voice

Omar Bin Laden is treated for schizophrenia, wife asks for divorce.

ByABC News
July 9, 2010, 4:23 PM

July 9, 2010 — -- Omar Bin Laden, the fourth-born son of Osama Bin Laden, has been hospitalized and treated for schizophrenia after hearing his father's voice in his head.

"It's true that he was put on medication but released himself early," said a spokesman for Zeina Al Sabah, Omar's wife. The spokesman confirmed that Omar had bipolar disorder and was on anti-depressants.

Months before, Zeina bin Laden had said her husband's whole family was "psychologically broken," and that she had found it "very, very difficult" adapting to life in the first family of terrorism.

The two have split over his condition.

"I just can't cope with this anymore. I love Omar with all my heart, but I've asked him for a divorce," she told London's Daily Mail.

"Our wedding vows said 'In sickness and in health,' but if this goes on any longer I could end up dead," she said.

Zeina blamed Osama bin Laden for leaving his family with a host of psychological issues, accumulated over years of living a jihadi lifestyle in the mountain caves of Afghanistan. His role as the head of al Qaeda and the chief architect of global terrorism, she says, has psychologically ruined the family.

"There's no one else responsible for this. Omar loves and hates Osama at the same time," she said.

Omar, 29, has denounced his father's terrorist tactics and ideology. But he still maintains an emotional bond; in an interview with ABC News in February he would not distance himself entirely, saying he does not want his father, one of the most hunted men on earth, to fall under physical harm. Although Osama Bin Laden raised his family on austere rules and little emotion -- Omar says they would be severely beaten and punished for smiling too wide -- he stopped short of calling his father "cruel."

"He was very strict with us so that we could live in this kind of place, because he knew deep in his heart he would be in this kind of situation. So he trained us to be powerful," Omar Bin Laden told ABC News.

Omar Bin Laden met his wife, 25 years his senior, while on a horseback riding trek in Egypt. The two married shortly after, and had been trying to conceive a child through a surrogate and fertility treatments. Omar has a young son from a previous union in Saudi Arabia; Zaina had told ABC News she was intent on extending the family.