Row grows after Beyonce performs for Gaddafi Jr
Singer is understood to have been paid $2m to perform for Libyan leader’s son
Beyonce Knowles and her husband Jay-Z are not short of money, but it seems the offer of $2m for one hour's work was just too good to pass up - even if it meant performing at a private New Year's Eve party for the controversial Hannibal Gaddafi, 33-year-old son of the Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi.
Seven days after the event, the criticism is only increasing as more people ask how Beyonce could do it. Not only did she risk her friendship with President Barack Obama, when many Americans are still furious about the Gaddafi family's role in the freeing of the alleged Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, but Hannibal - real name Moutassim - has a reputation for allegedly abusing women.
The New Year's Eve party, held at the Nikki Beach nightclub on the Caribbean party island of St Barts, took place only a week after London police were called to Hannibal Gaddafi's suite at Claridge's after hotel staff heard a scream. Three of Gaddafi's security guards were arrested for obstructing police, while his 29-year-old wife, Aline Skaf, was taken to hospital with a broken nose.
Previous episodes in Hannibal Gaddafi's jet-setting life include an incident in Geneva in July 2008 when he was arrested for allegedly mistreating servants at his hotel, and an arrest in Paris in 2005 when he was fined £350 and received a four-month suspended prison sentence for allegedly assaulting a woman.
Marc Lamont Hill, a Columbia University media professor, told CNN yesterday: "Beyoncé's handlers usually make really good decisions about where she's going to perform... So it seems to me that someone was asleep at the wheel, or the money was so overwhelming that they said, 'Screw the public image, we're going to take the cash'."
While many Americans holidaying on St Barts were reportedly shocked to hear about the Gaddafi party, two party girls who didn't bat an eyelid were Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr and Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan. They both joined Jay-Z in the audience for the private gig. Footage taken on a mobile telephone, and posted on YouTube, shows Beyonce strutting her stuff in a minimal black PVC number.
In the meantime, the singing star is due back in the Caribbean on February 18 for a more public performance - a one-night concert in Port of Spain, capital of Trinidad and Tobago, immediately after the islands' annual carnival. ·