Top model axed over Gaddafi

Berlin — A German company has canceled a major advertising contract with an Italian-American model after she described her passionate relationship with Muammar Gaddafi’s son Moatassim and praised his family. Telecommunications firm Telefonica Germany and its subsidiary Alice will stop working with 23-year-old model Vanessa Hessler and remove her face from its website, spokesman Albert Fetsch said. “Vanessa Hessler has failed to distance herself from her comments on the conflict in Libya,” Fetsch said. Hessler had been the company’s advertising face for years, and giant posters featuring the model were a fixture in many German cities. Hessler told the Italian magazine Diva e Donna that for four years she had been dating Moatassim Gaddafi — who was captured and killed in Libya alongside his father in October. “I didn’t have any contact with him since the uprising broke out, but our relationship was one of passion,” she was quoted as saying by the magazine. “The Gaddafi family is not as they are being depicted, they are normal people.” The model-turned-actress also said that she was crying for Libya, adding that the rebels are “people who don’t know what they’re doing”. Talks between Telefonica and Hessler’s agency did not yield a solution because Hessler stood by her comments, said Fetsch. Her face will be successively removed from all Alice PR material, he added. Telefonica Germany is a subsidiary of Spain’s Telefonica SA. In August, Talitha van Zon, another model and ex-girlfriend of Moatassim Gadhafi, was evacuated from Libya to Malta. She then said that their three-month relationship had ended years ago but that they remained friends. – AP

November 2011
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