Saturday, November 5, 2011
Mutassim's Model Girlfriends
I'm so over Gaddafi: U.S. model who boasted of passionate affair with dictator's son spotted kissing a new man in Rome
By DAISY DUMAS and THOMAS DURANTE
3rd November 2011
The son of a ruthless dictator may be a tough act to follow, but the Italian-American former girlfriend of Mutassim Gaddafi is moving on, less than a month after her ex was killed alongside his dad.
Model Vanessa Heller, who was born in Italy but spent much of her childhood in Washington, DC, was spotted locking lips with a new man today in Rome.
The leggy blonde was photographed having lunch with 27-year-old Italian actor Francesco Montanari, and sharing a passionate kiss with him afterwards.
The sexy snaps were taken just a day after Miss Heller was axed from her lucrative role as the face of a telecommunications giant for speaking about her passionate affair with Muammar Gaddafi's son.
The 23-year-old told Italian magazine Diva e Donna that she had spent four years with Mutassim Gaddafi and that their relationship had been a 'very beautiful love story.'
The 34-year-old died with his father outside the city of Sirte on October 21, bringing to an end Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year regime.
Playboy: Usually pictured in suits and alongside models at high society events, the dictator's son was filmed blood-spattered and smoking a cigarette in captivity following the death of his father
Miss Heller said in the interview: 'I didn't have any contact with him since the uprising broke out, but our relationship was one of passion.'
Ms Hessler, who has appeared in campaigns for Georgio Armani, Calvin Klein and L'Oreal and has acted in several Italian TV shows, went on to say that she feels for the people of Libya.
'We, France and the United Kingdom, financed the rebels but people don't know what they are doing.
'The Gaddafi family is not how they are being depicted, they are normal people,' she told the magazine.
Far from being 'normal,' Mutassim Gaddafi met a violent end at the hands of Libyan rebels.
Officials initially said that Colonel Gaddafi's fifth son was killed in a gun battle during the final push on Sirte on October 20.
Conflicting accounts describe his capture after attempting to escape the city with his father.
Grainy images prove that he was indeed captured alive, but events leading to his death remain unclear. Just hours later, photos emerged of an apparently dead Mutassim, his neck and chest mortally wounded.
Chillingly at odds with the playboy image of the leader's son, his bruised and bloody body was moved to a makeshift morgue in Misrata where it lay for public viewing until an unceremonious dawn burial in an unmarked grave on October 25.
Murderer: The body of Mutassim Gaddafi is seen lying in a makeshift morgue behind that of his father after the couple were killed in Sirte.
The model's largest client, German firm Telefonica, reacted to Miss Hessler's comments immediately, publicly announcing the end of the business relationship via Twitter.
A spokesman for the company tweeted: 'Vanessa Hessler’s relationships are private business. However we cannot accept her comments on the Lybia [sic] conflict.'
Ms Hessler had been a household figure in Germany, France and Italy, where she is publicly known as 'Alice,' after gracing TV and billboard advertisements as the face of the multinational's Alice internet service.
Here's Alice: Ms Hessler is recognised across Germany, France and Italy as 'Alice,' the face of the German Telefonica company
Telefonica's Albert Fetsch said Tuesday that 'Vanessa Hessler has failed to distance herself from her comments on the conflict in Libya' and that the model's face would be removed from the company's site within 24 hours.
Fans on the model's Facebook page seemed undeterred by her support of the dictator's family, heaping praise on her for 'speaking honestly' and 'standing up for her beliefs.'
Many users, however, echo Telefonica's position, weighing in with their criticism of the model's poorly judged comments.
One, Lance VanOvermeiren, said: 'This man and his family murdered hundreds of thousands of people... disgusting...'
Another, R. Gerrit Vanderwest, wrote on her Facebook wall: 'Anyone who thinks the Qaddafi family is normal ignores the well-documented, long, tawdry, and criminal history of a tyrant.'
While Flora Mendoza wrote: 'Gadhafi's family, normal? I can understand you loved his son, but you need a serious reality check, woman!'
Glamorous: Another of Mutassim's ex-girlfriends, Talitha van Zon, was pictured arriving in Malta in August after escaping from Tripoli.
Born to an American father and an Italian mother, Miss Hessler moved to Washington, DC, when she was eight, returning to Italy to pursue a modelling career in 2002.
It is not known how she came to meet the Libyan despot's son, or when the couple were together.
A known womaniser, Mutassim Gaddafi had a string of model girlfriends, including Talitha van Zon, who fled Libya in August after claiming that rebel soldiers had threatened to burn her alive.
Ms van Zon's portrayal of the playboy contrasts starkly to the 'normal people' described by Ms Hessler.
A Dutch Playboy cover girl, Ms van Zon, dated Mutassim Gaddafi for three months in 2004 and had partied with the whiskey-lover the night before a Nato-led air attack on Tripoli in August.
Escaping with her life by leaping from a balcony after being ambushed, the injured model told the Telegraph that on her latest visit to Libya, Mutassim's eyes were 'cold,' and that he looked capable of 'killing someone.'
Mutassim's playboy lifestyle was notorious - Ms van Zon said he had once told her how much his lavish way of life cost.
'I asked him once how much he spent, and he took a minute to add it up in his head. He said ''about $2million''. I said ''you mean a year?'' He said ''no - a month."'
She told the newspaper that Mutassim was power-hungry, idolising leaders such as Adolf Hitler, Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, and recalled how he longed for that kind of success.
Instead, he spent his life in the shadow of his older brother, Saif, who many considered to be Gaddafi's heir.
She is Italian. Born there, spent the majority of her life there - please don't call her American. No one here as ever heard of her! Plus, anyone with an ounce of education in the United States should know of Libyan connections to Pan Am/Lockerbie - not to mention financing bombings in Austrian and Italian airports in the late 80s. She's just plain and simply a gold-digging, barely American, stupid model. I hope it costs her selfish ignorance costs her more gigs. - Susan, Chicago, IL USA, 04/11/2011
Glamorous: Another of Mutassim's ex-girlfriends, Talitha van Zon, was pictured arriving in Malta in August after escaping from Tripoli