Let’s take a walk on the murky side. Close your eyes for a second and imagine the greatest ever underage prostitution scandal hit American professional sports today. Imagine, if you will, LeBron James and Tim Tebow being linked with an underage ‘escort’ in a scandal as explosive as any Michael Bay ‘movie’. That doomsday scenario, LeBron and Tebow being caught, cough, with their pants down, is basically playing itself out in France as we speak, with two of the greatest stars of French soccer filling in for King James and the Jets backup Quarterback. Franck Ribéry
and Karim Benzema
are both French national team heroes, and both play for gigantic clubs, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid respectively. France is tearing itself apart from the inside with what to do with this situation.
Prostitution is basically legal in France, so the fact Ribéry and Benzema solicited one isn’t a big deal (apart of course from the moral issues), however the fact that when they did so, the girl in question was under 18, is a massive issue. The name on everyone's lips is Zahia Dehar
, now 20. Dehar has told police that Benzema was first, and that the nefarious deed took place in 2008, when she was only 16 (and Benzema was 20). Interestingly Dehar still speaks relatively highly of Benzema, who’s lawyers maintain he is "innocent" and would explain himself in court.
Dehar speaks considerably less glowingly about Ribéry. The French winger has delivered the stunningly narcissistic explanation that he flew Dehar to Munich as a birthday gift to himself
. Whilst most of us are happy with a nice cake and a card, Ribéry, married with children, chose to basically buy another human being for the night. Whatever makes your frog’s legs tasty, I suppose. Dehar has since comments that: "It was hard to get him to pay me, but he did all the same."
Whatever about being basically mocked by a 20 year old prostitute turned fashion designer (more on the latter shortly), Ribéry has opened himself up to further ridicule with his slimy and incredulous defence. Unbelievably the tricky little winger seems genuinely surprised he is going to court. He has called the trial "surprising and unfair"
and has gone so far as to complain openly that the whole affair has hurt his family deeply.
Earth to Franck, the moment you dropped your pants and (reluctantly) handed over thousands of euros to sleep with a woman who was decidedly not
your wife, that’s where your family started getting hurt.
As for Zahia Dehar, the girl at the middle of this French furore, France seems to be viewing her through some sort of odd rose tinted glasses as the trial approaches. Fashion designers have taken to her, writers are pouring praise over her, and even the French movie business is talking about committing her ‘story’ to the big screen.
Wait one hot French second here, what on earth is the attraction, other than sleazy, murky and greasy scandal? The designer Karl Lagerfeld has, tongue firmly in cheek one would presume, said that Dehar is so interesting because she is a throwback to France's 18th-century courtesans, paid mistresses of the rich, "a purely French tradition that the whole world admired and copied".
Or, she has really, really big fake boobs
She might be the nicest, most intelligent woman in the World, but why all this sycophantic praise?
The woman is famous because she took money off two soccer stars to have sexual intercourse with them. Without that, she is just another fame chasing, Z-list ‘celebrity’. There are literally billions of women Worldwide who ‘deserve’ fame more than her, and billions more who provide a more meaningful input to the societies they live in.
However, the French, like the rest of us, love a good, dirty, filthy, scandalous story, and
bottom feeding scavenger fish
people like Zahia will always be in demand.
The whole story is playing out something like the tag line for the brilliant 2000 movie ‘Traffic’, ‘No One Gets Away Clean’.
Who knows how long Zahia‘s ill-gotten 15 minutes of fame will last, and who knows how much trouble Ribéry and Benzema will find themselves in. All we do know is, is this was America, and this was James and Tebow, as hypothesized above, the Internet would quite literally break.Follow Cormac on Twitter