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Sarah Ferguson cancels U.S. trip fearing Turkish extradition

Fergie's Undercover Documentary Fallout

Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson has axed a planned trip to the U.S. amid fears that an extradition treaty between the U.S. government and Turkey could send her to a foreign prison.

The original Fergie is in the middle of a legal pickle that's put the kibosh on a planned trip to the U.S.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, is facing a couple decades behind bars over a 2008 undercover ITV documentary that exposed "appalling" conditions in government-run Turkish orphanages.

Covered by a cloak and wig, Fergie spoke with children at an orphanage in Ankara, where kids with mental illnesses suffered horrific abuse.

After the debut of the documentary, titled Duchess and Daughters: Their Secret Mission, Turkish authorities accused the former British Duchess of taking part in a politically motivated campaign against their country.

Now they've upped the ante.

Last week, a Turkish court accused the cash-strapped humanitarian of "going against the law in acquiring footage and violating privacy" of five children featured in the film. Fergie faces a maximum term of 22-and-a-half years in prison if convicted.

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Reportedly fearful of extradition, she canceled a trip to the States this month because of the case, her rep told CNN Tuesday. The one-time Weight Watchers spokesmodel ditched her intercontinental plans after becoming "shaken" and "quite scared" over the legal drama. The U.S. and Turkey have an extradition treaty and insiders say Ferguson is avoiding America because she fears being sent to Turkey to face trial.

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James Henderson, Fergie's longtime spokesperson, says the duchess was advised she could travel to the U.S., but her priority right now is to stay in Britain and focus on pleading her case. Ferguson is consulting rights lawyers as well as attorneys in Turkey as she decides how to proceed.

"The Duchess of York has fully cooperated with both the Turkish and British authorities at all times on this issue," Henderson added.

A trial date has not yet been set.

Photo credits: Lia Toby/WENN.com
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