Model fired for Gaddafi sympathies

Vanessa Hessler (AFP Photo / OLIVER LANG)
Considering the Gaddafi family to be “normal people” can cost you a job, as a German-based model discovered after an interview about her relationship with Muammar Gaddafi's son Mutassim.

­US-born Italian model Vanessa Hessler, 23, dated Mutassim Gaddafi for four years. The interview with Hessler was released after her former lover was captured and killed alongside his father Muammar in October.

“I didn't have any contact with him since the uprising broke out, but our relationship was one of passion. The Gaddafi family is not as they are being depicted. They are normal people,” Hessler was quoted in Italian magazine Diva e Donna.

“We, France and the United Kingdom, financed the rebels, but people don't know what they are doing,” she added.

These comments cost Hessler her long-term contract with Telefónica Germany. They chose to terminate their partnership with the blonde model for “failing to distance herself from her comments on the conflict in Libya.”

This is despite Hessler being a household figure in Germany, with giant Telefónica posters featuring the model prominent in many German cities.

During an attempt to hold talks with the company, Hessler chose to stand by her comments.

The company vowed to remove her face from all their PR-material within 24 hours.