U.S. Dept. of State / REUTERS/
Vanessa Hessler is the young lady with an angelic face who became a household name in France and Italy and who appeared in a short red dress across billboards for the telecommunications company Telefonica. But after her controversial interview with Italian media, in which she defended her former boyfriend, Mutassim Gadhafi and the Gadhafi family, she lost her most lucrative client.
Vanessa Hessler has failed to distance herself from her comments on the conflict in Libya and therefore her face will be removed from the company's site within 24 hours, said Albert Fetsch of the Spanish company, on Tuesday.
Left Image: Gadhafi's Son and Libyan National Security Adviser Dr. Motassim Qadhafi in 2009. Credit: U.S. Dept. of State Right Image: Vanessa Hessler arrives for the screening of Synecdoche, New York by U.S. director Charlie Kaufman at the 61st Cannes Film Festival May 23, 2008. Credit: REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
In a tell-all interview, Hessler said her relationship with Mutassim, who was killed alongside his father, Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, was passionate and that the Gadhafi family was normal.
It was a passionate story, we were together for four years, said the 23-year-old model in the interview, which appeared in the Nov. 1 issue of Italian weekly Diva e Donna.
I don't want to think about the fact that it is true, said Hessler of Mutassim's death. She further said the Gadhafi family had not been portrayed accurately and she had met normal people among them. We - France and Britain - financed the rebels. The people don't know what they are doing, Hessler added in the interview.
Lesser-Known Facts About the Blonde Girlfriend of Motassim Gadhafi
1. Italian and American Descent - Vanessa Hessler's mother is an Italian and her father is American. She lived in Rome until she was 8 and then moved to Washington, her father's birthplace. Her modeling career, however, took off in Italy when she was 15. She is nicknamed Alice.
2. Ranked in Most Desirable Women List - Hessler was ranked 92 in AskMen.com's Top 99 Most Desirable Women of 2006.
3. Rise to Fame - Hessler has modeled for American, Italian and German brands including Guess, Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani, L'Oréal, Ferrero SpA, Alice, Korff, Fendi, Gattinoni and Gilli
4. Model-Turned-Actress - Hessler appeared in the 2005 film Christmas in Miami, along with Christian De Sica, which popularized her as an actress. She played Greek princess, Irina, in the 2008 film Asterix at the Olympic Games, apart from appearing in numerous other roles in Italian movies. Hessler said in 2008 that she wanted to prove her worth beyond being a pretty face: Everyone sees you as merely another pretty face, and I work really hard every day to show I am more than that.
5. Compared to Cult Sex Symbol Anita Ekberg - Hessler has often been compared favorably to Swedish actress and cult sex symbol Anita Ekberg, who was famous for a colorful private life and a physique that brought her early success. Ekberg was sensational for uninhibited performances and has admitted to have participated in publicity stunts. Famously, she admitted that an incident where her dress burst open in the lobby of London's Berkeley Hotel was pre-arranged with a photographer.
Vanessa Hessler poses during a photocall to promote her film Asterix in the Olympic Games in Madrid February 6, 2008. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
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