A German company has cancelled a major advertising contract with an Italian-American model after she described her passionate relationship with Moammer Gaddafi's son Mutassim and praised his family.
Telecommunications firm Telefonica Germany will stop working with 23-year-old model Vanessa Hessler and remove her face from its website within hours, said spokesman Albert Fetsch.
losing face and fee: German model Vanessa Hessler has been relieved of her duties as the face of a communications firm over her love affair with Gaddafi's son Mutassim. File pic/getty images
"Vanessa Hessler has failed to distance herself from her comments on the conflict in Libya," Fetsch said.
Hessler told the Italian magazine Diva e Donna that for four years she had been dating Mutassim Gaddafi -- who was killed in Libya alongside his father this month. "I didn't have any contact with him since the uprising broke out, but our relationship was one of passion," she was quoted as saying. "The Gaddafi family is not as they are being depicted, they are normal people." She also said that she was crying for Libya, adding that the rebels are "people who don't know what they're doing." Talks between Telefonica and Hessler's agency did not yield a solution because Hessler stood by her comments, said Fetsch. "We and our clients have no comprehension for what she said."