Franck Ribery appears shaken by call girl claim

Apr 22, 2010
Rachel Helyer-Donaldson

As photos of teen prostitute emerge in Paris, French star claims he had no idea Zahia Dehar was under 18

Franck Ribery, one of three footballers in the French national squad at the centre of an underage prostitution scandal, appeared shaken by a turbulent 24 hours in his personal life when he was sent off in disgrace during last night's Champions League match between Bayern Munich and Lyon.
In the course of the game, which his team won 1-0, the Bayern winger committed a vicious tackle on Lisandro López, stamping down on the Lyon player’s ankle with his spikes (above).
Ribery, who is generally considered France's best footballer, now faces a ban of at least one game. But that could be the least of his worries after photos emerged yesterday of the teenage call girl, Zahira Dehar (pictured, inset) he is alleged to have slept with when she was still 17.
The French newspaper Le Monde said of Dehar: "She is blonde, 18-years-old – today – and she has shaken the world of French football".

According to the paper, Dehar has been a prostitute since March 2008 and, by charging clients between €1,000 and €2,000 for sex, is capable of earning around €20,000 a month. She was one of 18 women found when police raided the Cafe Zaman in the 8th arrondissement last week.

Interviewed by police, Dehar reportedly told them she had spent months with Ribery and even celebrated her 18th birthday with the 27-year-old footballer. She has not been charged.
Dehar is also reported to have told police she had had sex with two other French national team players - Sidney Govou and Karim Benzema – and the scandal threatens to jeopardise France’s World Cup campaign in South Africa.
According to Le Monde, Ribery, a Muslim convert, admitted to investigators that he had been seeing Dehar but insisted he was unaware she was only 17 when they first met. He reportedly confirmed to police that he had flown Dehar to Munich in the spring of 2008 and put her up in a hotel. But he denied giving her €2,000.
Paying for sex with anyone under the age of 18 is illegal in France. If charged and found guilty Ribery, who has been linked to a £40 million move to Chelsea, faces three years in jail and a €45,000 fine. However, French law requires proof that the client was aware that the prostitute was a minor and, according to Le Monde, this would be difficult to establish.

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