French reality star being probed for attempted murder

French reality star being probed for attempted murder

8th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

A French reality TV star who gained fame and mockery over her trademark "hello? I mean hello" expression has been placed under investigation for attempted murder after her boyfriend was stabbed, prosecutors said Saturday.

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Prosecutors said Nabilla Benattia, detained on Friday, was being probed for "attempted voluntary homicide" after her boyfriend was found stabbed in the chest at a hotel in Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris.

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Another investigation was also opened over a separate alleged armed assault in August in which her boyfriend, Thomas Vergara, was wounded in the back.

Benattia was to be presented to a judge later Saturday and prosecutors planned to ask that she be held in custody.

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A group of young people waited outside the court in Nanterre to get a glimpse of the reality TV star.

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Benattia, who denies any wrongdoing, rose to fame last year when she uttered "hello? I mean hello" in horror after learning that fellow female contestants had not brought shampoo with them on a show.

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Firemen were called to a hotel in Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris in the early hours of Friday after the 22-year-old, who has now become a television commentator known by her first name Nabilla, apparently had a fight with Vergara, whom she met on reality TV.

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Vergara had several knife wounds in the chest and his situation was considered serious though not life-threatening.

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According to her initial statement, the couple was assaulted by three people and Vergara was injured when he tried to stop them, another police source said.

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However, under subsequent questioning, Nabilla told investigators Vergara had taken cocaine and accidentally stabbed himself during a violent dispute with her.

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Nabilla's famous expression spawned countless parodies, including one video where she calls a visibly irate Hitler, and inspired several ad campaigns, prompting the curvaceous brunette to have it registered as a trademark.

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She had been taking part in the fifth instalment of "The Angels of Reality TV" - a show that groups together candidates and stars of other, previous reality TV shows - when she uttered those words.

"Hello? I mean hello? You're a girl and you don't have shampoo, hello? Hello! Do you receive me? You're a girl and you don't have shampoo.

It's as if I tell you, you're a girl and you don't have hair," she said in shock in an episode broadcast in March 2013.

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Of Algerian and Italian origin and carrying French and Swiss nationality, she started appearing in reality shows in 2011.

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She went on to front her own reality show called "Hello Nabilla" about her and her family, much like her idol Kim Kardashian.

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She has also modelled for Jean-Paul Gaultier, published a book and appeared in the French Vanity Fair.

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Benattia is known for losing her temper as well.

In May 2013, for instance, she spat in the face of a train conductor, who filed a complaint against her.

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© 2014 AFP

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