Vanessa Hessler, an Italian-American supermodel and former girlfriend of Mutassim Gadhafi, lost her modeling job on Monday after publically defending the Gadhafi family in an interview with an Italian magazine.
German telecommunications company Telefonica Germany fired Hessler as the face of a subsidiary branch of the company, citing her connection with the Gadhafi family.
The 23-year-old model told Italian magazine Diva e Donna that she had at one point dated Muatassim Gaddafi for four years before he was captured and killed in Libya in October along with his father, Moammar Gadhafi, calling the family normal.
I didn't have any contact with him since the uprising broke out, but our relationship was one of passion, Hessler told the magazine. The Gaddafi family is not as they are being depicted, they are normal people.
Hessler also said that the Western world mistakenly backed the rebels who drove Moammar Gadhafi from power in the war-torn Libya.
We, France and the United Kingdom, financed the rebels but people don't know what they are doing, she said.
Following her comments to Diva e Donna, Hessler's employer telecommunications firm Telefonia Germany fired the supermodel. According to a spokesman, Hessler would be removed as the face of Internet service Alice and all preceding ads would be removed, as well.
Vanessa Hessler has failed to distance herself from her comments on the conflict in Libya, spokesman Albert Fetsch said Monday. Fetsch also said her face would be removed from the Web site and all PR material for Alice, which is also referred to as O2 Deutschland under Telefonica Germany, immediately.
In addition to the statement, the O2 Deutschland Facebook page commented on the removal of Hessler from its ad campaign.
FYI: With immediate effect we stop the cooperation with Vanessa Hessler as our advertising character for Alice products, the statement, originally written in German, read.
A spokesperson for Hessler's modeling agency told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera her remarks were made in a moment of shock at the loss of a loved one.
Vanessa Hessler was born to Italian-American parents and has a portfolio which includes the likes of Calvin Klein, Giogio Armani and L'Oreal, to name a few. Corriere della Sera said the supermodel is currently married to an Italian actor named Francesco Montanari.