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30 Jan, 2018 10:09

Sobchak lashes out at RT over ‘illegal’ reminder of her unethical behavior

Presidential hopeful Kseniya Sobchak has refused to comment on an incident in which she swore at neighbors’ kids over the telephone, and threatened to complain to the authorities if reporters continue to discuss it.

Sobchak is contesting the 2018 Russian presidential election, but describes herself as a hopeful whose main task is to replace the “none of the above” option on ballot papers, giving those who are discontent with the status quo a way to express their feelings.

In a major interview with RT’s Oksana Boyko Sobchak touched upon the major points of her program, but when the journalist attempted to discuss Sobchak’s own personal qualities, the former ‘It girl’ switched to shouting and threats.

Boyko suggested that a certain part of the Russian public sees Sobchak as quite a snobbish person, because of past public statements and some leaked telephone conversations. In particular, she referred to a 2013 leaked phone conversation between Sobchak and her house manager, in which she complained about noise caused by repairs in the building and about noise restrictions that would allow children to have a short nap during the day.

After the leak initially appeared on the internet, it drew some attention from the press and the public – mostly because of Sobchak’s extremely rude language and manners, along with statements like: “If you plan to have some sort of ‘quiet hours’ for these little bastards, I will be having rave parties at exactly this time,” as quoted in a report by Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

The election hopeful interrupted the interviewer and began shouting that she would not answer the question because the leak had resulted from eavesdropping by Russia’s federal security service, the FSB. Sobchak also noted that she has a right to say anything during her private conversations, or write anything in her private correspondence, adding that it was unethical for reporters to bring up such things in interviews.

She also said that a criminal investigation into the incident was underway and threatened to complain to Russia’s media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, if RT broadcast the question, despite previously saying that she would like to see the interview completely uncut.

Sobchak’s line of defense in the story is not new. Back in 2013, she first claimed that the recording of the conversation had been heavily doctored, and the comment about the “little bastards” was taken out of context. A short time later, she switched to portraying herself as the victim of unnamed pranksters with alleged connections to the Kremlin.

In subsequent comments made live on RT, Oksana Boyko said she did not consider the issue to be Sobchak’s private affairs, and it should not be protected from scrutiny by the press. Instead, it was an insight into how someone who is seeking a top public post communicates and negotiates with her neighbors.

RT will broadcast the full interview with Kseniya Sobchak in the Worlds Apart program on Thursday.