Wed, Jun 19, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Soccer stars’ trial begins in Paris

SCANDAL:Defendants Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema are facing charges of having solicited a prostitute aged under 18

The Guardian, PARIS

The soccer players are not likely to appear in court, nor will Dehar herself. At 21 and now known simply as Zahia, she is famous as a luxury lingerie designer, staging elaborate catwalk shows during Paris fashion week.

Described routinely in French magazines as a bimbo or the “micro-Bardot of the towerblocks,” Dehar, who arrived in France from Algeria as a child after her parents’ messy divorce, has now been taken under the wing of major fashion designers, including Karl Lagerfeld, who said she was fascinating because she was a reminder of France’s 18th-century courtesans, the mistresses of the rich and powerful, who were “a purely French tradition that the whole world admired and copied.”

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