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Alice model sacked for Qaddafi praise

The Local · 31 Oct 2011, 16:36

Published: 31 Oct 2011 15:53 GMT+01:00
Updated: 31 Oct 2011 16:36 GMT+01:00

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“Starting immediately, she will no longer be an advertising figure for us,” said a spokesman for the Spanish company Telefonica, which recently bought Alice via its O2 subsidiary.

Vanessa Hessler, a 23-year-old an Italian model, shot to fame as Alice’s poster girl on television, the internet and in print.

She was previously in a relationship with 33-year-old Mutassim Qaddafi for several years. The son of Libya's dictator was killed in fighting with rebel forces earlier this month. He was a senior figure in his father’s regime, meeting with key foreign officials and serving as National Security Advisor.

In an interview with the Italian magazine Diva e Donna Hessler said the Qaddafi family were “normal people” and expressed her displeasure at the regime’s fall.

She also said Libya wasn’t poor and people there weren’t fanatics. She cautioned people to “not believe everything you read.”

“We – France and Great Britain – financed the rebels. The people don’t know what they are doing,” she said in the interview.

On Monday the Alice spokesman said: “She has not clearly distanced herself from the statements” and said her image would be immediately removed from Alice’s website and shops.

Mario Gori, a manager at Hessler's modelling agency, said her comments had been made while she was still in a state of shock after the death of her former lover.

Story continues below…

"Hessler met Qaddafi's son privately. She never had anything to do with his father," said Gori, adding the model's comments had not affected her work for Telefonica or the company's image.

Although the Alice brand is in the process of being replaced by O2 in the coming months, the company had recently praised Hessler and said her image would continue to grace the telecom's offerings.

The Local/DAPD/DPA/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:11 October 31, 2011 by munichiscool
Where the hell is the "freedom of expression"?????
16:19 October 31, 2011 by Warlock1
This, by far, is the dummest reason to end someones contract. EVERYBODY is entiteled to their opinion and is free to express it
16:27 October 31, 2011 by finanzdoktor
Cannot blame the company too much, as her comments probably would have reflected negatively on them. But, they could have just come out and said they disagreed with her, without sacking her. Now, it looks like they fired her for speaking her mind, which may reflect worse on them.
18:11 October 31, 2011 by MrBowlocks
I've never had to spend 2 years trying to get out of a contract with Gaddafi, nor has he ever set in Inkasso dogs on me to collect a debt that has been fully and demonstrably paid. I'd say it's a case of the pot calling the kettle black, and that she's well shot of them! Also, freedom of expression in Germany is a myth and always was. They pay lip service to freedom of speech and hide behind 'beleidigung' and 'verleumdung'!
18:27 October 31, 2011 by storymann
I doubt that the Qaddafi remarks were the real reason.
22:13 October 31, 2011 by catjones
I said worse things about vodaphony and they wouldn't cancel my contract. Just shows, the pretty girls always get the breaks.
23:57 October 31, 2011 by Dizz
hubba hubba!

(pssst. its not like the company didn't know who she was dating, it wasn't a secret and it was while she was already working for them.)
00:16 November 1, 2011 by Grebo
Models should be seen and not heard.
01:58 November 1, 2011 by Dizz
@ Grebo. Its not like she came out to make an official statement, she said this in the context of being interviewed for a magazine. Which means only she and the reporter actually know what she really said and in what context .
03:35 November 1, 2011 by Wobinidan
I don't really think that she said anything outrageous - the west did finance the rebels - Libya is the richest country in Africa. Considering that her ex-boyfriend of 4 years was murdered in custody, it's not really surprising that she's a little upset.

Then again, if you're a figurehead for a big company, maybe you should know when to keep your mouth shut. Free speech doesn't extend to your job, otherwise I'd be swearing at my boss every day.
06:51 November 1, 2011 by Gonzo
This isn't about freedom of expression - clearly she has the right to say what she did - but the company that was employing her has the right not to use her. Just because I am free to do something doesn't mean I am free from any consequences of doing it.
08:42 November 1, 2011 by ChrisRea
@ MrBowlocks #4

If you want to blame a country for not allowing freedom of expression you should blame Spain, as the company firing her is Spanish. However, one case is hardly typical for a country. It seems your name really reflects the value of your opinions.
08:54 November 1, 2011 by wood artist
Although I can't speak for Germany, in the US most contracts for people like this include a general clause that says they can't do or say things that might reflect adversely upon the company. While this is somewhat different, think of O J Simpson, or Michael Vick, or maybe Tiger Woods. In each case something that happened in their private lives made their company image questionable.

She's entitled to her opinion, but if it places the company in a questionable light then they probably have the right to dismiss her.

09:56 November 1, 2011 by shahislam
Everybody is born naked! As long as humans' super animal instincts are not really inhuman like those of human killers or dangerous sex criminals---it's not a big deal.

Only thing may help the US-now and the ensuing new world's healthy politics is: to make sure through new laws-passed right now in the US and then, in the New UN, so that no business leader {such as small and big weapon factory, Stock market, Oil-field owner etc. who have something to gain from economic and political unrest; (e.g. just think about this fact: how does billions of $$$$$$$$ US money went into personal pockets of Donald Trump or Bill gates Warren Buffet or countless too tall CEOs as bonus packages or Emirs of Middle East or shorter Chinese, Indian, Saudi businessmen etc.?

How great it would be to see now an simple international law is being passed, against any too rich Guy to inflict pains and miseries to hard working Middle Class Guys.

That new law shall apply to everyone, regardless it be a businessman or a king anywhere in the world, US$ One million only annually can be kept from net income for each member individually of a wealthy family earning more than US$ 1 million or US$ 1 billion, rest will be taken by an honest UN power for the benefit of equal wealth distribution among global public and the accounting will be so transparently visible in the yet to be built: UN's Website in a "No National or International secret" -style; that any member of the global public will have unrestricted access for own awareness of what's going on with the Earth's resources) can participate in the Now-homeland and next year's International politics of the electronically manageable smaller: One world with endless possibilities of developments.

A properly active human mind is smarter than the dumb space with big stars we can see in the night sky, because star can't see or understand a human mind.

It is the smallness of human minds that unhealthily gets worried about things when 50 billion world population will have no food on earth, world is becoming too hot or cold etc..

We get solar energy for free from an unknown source of the Cosmic Creator and it is kept or radiated only as much as is necessary; and nothing else comes or goes out of this planet: the Earth and there will never ever be any shortage of forever recycling minerals, atomic particles, energies: fossil or other fuel types or bio fats for human consumption etc..

However, when it comes to the politics and money issue of the every-day's modern humanitarian happy life, we -the wise ones selflessly just need to start the redistribution and balancing process as soon as possible.
08:52 November 2, 2011 by Edmond Schindler

"Models should be seen and not heard."

Best line of all the comments, love it! lol

My experience has shown me that what we take for granted in the US regarding our "rights" on so many subjects are hardly a yard stick to measure "justice" handed our summarily by employers in Europe. Different views, different structure. I've been living and working in Europe for the last decade. I've seen and head and experienced blatant open prejudice on nearly every important issue that we would bring down the legal hammer on IF it were to happen in the US. Again, it's NOT the US, nor are the people like minded. I have come to see just how unique the privileges we are afforded as Citizens of the United States. But I have also come to accept that those privileges stop at the border.

12:12 November 2, 2011 by ron1amr
From this news article there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with what Vanessar Hessler said. Naturally when you have relation with a person and that person gets killed, who would not be upset at the circumstances that surround the happenings in this instant. But now Vanessa has a lot of publicity and maybe someone else may offer her opportunities for work.
16:46 November 2, 2011 by amaticc
How many European politicians should be sacked for kissing with Qaddafi, not with his son? But it is important that saving that bringing right to use Google and Facebook in some countries means loosing millions of lives.
08:32 November 3, 2011 by JDee
I'm confused, if I have an Alice contract does that mean that I can expect a drone attack on my house for being a sponsor of a supporter of an extremist fascist company, or is that allowed now? This post 9/11 morality gets very confusing at times
13:02 November 4, 2011 by Krim
Ghaddafi and his clan were known for most people to be bad guys. They have killing, torturing people since decades.

Sarkozy, Berlusconi and many others welcomed the clan in Paris, Rome etc..

Wgy Vanessa has to be treated differently.
13:16 November 4, 2011 by dbert4
It doesn't matter what she said, she is still so HOT!
21:47 November 4, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
Well, models aren't known to have very intelligent political opinions! Maybe she should stick to what she's good at.
22:29 November 4, 2011 by DrGideonPolya
Vanessa Hessler has a point. Gaddafi was a dictator but Libya under Gaddafi had peace, prosperity, health, , education and, for example, the lowest infant mortality in Africa (18 deaths per 1,000 live births as compared to 8 in the US).

The French -UK-US (FUKUS) NATO Coalition has destroyed Libya from the air - its army, navy, airforce, towns and cities- with the help of CIA-backed Libyans on the ground. It has been an 8 month Turkey shoot like Nazi Germany in Poland in WW2. According to the NATO-installed rebels a few weeks ago, 30,000 Libyans have been killed and 50,000 wounded - and that was before Sirte (population 100,000) and Tawergha (population 30,000) were reduced to Dresden-style rubble and completely ethnically cleansed. There have been 1 million sub-Saharan refugees from Libya so far (Google "NATO's war feeds ugly violence"). NATO are the new Nazis.

There are today 2 types of Germans: (1) those decent Germans like Vanessa Hessler who are opposed to mass murder of Arab men, women and children and (2) those who support the Zionist-beholden US Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide (12 million Muslim war-related deaths since 1990). Decent Germans will boycott all companies, countries, people and politicians complicit in the ongoing, anti-Arab anti-Semitic, racist Zionist-promoted Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide.
11:19 November 5, 2011 by Englishted

What a lot of rot.
00:24 November 6, 2011 by KewGardensNYC
Now that I know Ms. Hessler's view on the Gadaffi family, I just have to wonder what she opines on string theory, neurological serotonin uptake receptor manipulation via psychotropics and all the other topics models are trained to issue public statements about. I get my news from the real sources and few people are as intelligent, well read and knowledgeable as models, actors and for their part, janitors and street sweepers. Why bother with a surgeon for a heart transplant? Take me to a train conductor or Italian gelato vender.

But with the Brits, French and Italians politicians sucking up to Gadaffi in those wonderful photo-opts, it is easy to loose sight of what the Gadaffi pere and family actually did. And if gang raping children to death in front of their parents isn't enough of a character reference for a particular style of government policy, then a reality challenged Italian model's view of the world must be forgiven for its selective ignoring of the facts. After all, when the soldiers of the Western democracies gang rape children in front of their parents, it is viewed as bad for business and something to be totally ignored, totally concealed, or if no other method is possible; then dealt with some gesture of justice.

As for Hessler being fired from her job--that's another issue.
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