Saturday, October 9, 2010
Nadja Benaissa is NO ANGEL, Updated
No Angels is Germany's most famous all female pop group. In the past, No Angels has been likened to England's Spice Girls.
The group was a fabrication of Popstars, essentially a reality TV show which set out to produce a five member girl group. In 2000, 4300 women appeared in several international cities in an attempt to impress the judges with their talent. From those auditions, the group was winnowed down to 200 contestants. After more competition, 32 finalists competed in Majorca, Spain. Intense training in singing and dancing proceeded and based on further, discerning scrutiny the final five members were chosen. They included Nadja Benaissa, Lucy Diakovska, Sandy Moiing, Vanessa Petruo and Jessica Wahls.
After a public televoting promotion, the group was named No Angels. Indeed, could those televoters known? The group met with great initial success and as with all of these types of confabulations, personal (Wahl's 2002-03 pregnancy) and professional (Petruo's personal career and departure) events take a toll. No Angels had it greatest artistic successes from 2001-03. Three notable albums, Elle'ments (01), Now ... Us! (02) and Pure (03), defined No Angels. By 2004, the exhausted quartet, stopped production. The girls reformed in 2006, but the glitter was gone. In 2009, a new offering, Welcome to the Dance, met limited commercial success.
As a result of the saga of Nadja Benaissa, No Angels has entered the limelight, again. This light this time is more black than flattering. Nadja has been charged with infecting a former lover with HIV.
In a court proceeding, which may lead to an imprisonment for the dark eyed beauty, Ms. Benaissa has established that in was her belief that there was only a remote chance she pass the virus to another person. She has admitted that she had knowledge of her medical condition and has further conceded that she had unprotected sex with three persons between 2000-2004. And perhaps most condemning, she does not dispute the allegation that she informed none of her lovers about her HIV status.
The HIV infected former paramour testified that Benaissa's management team tried to silence him with a settlement offer. He countered with a demand that the pop artist go public with her disease and in addition that she donate 100,000 euros to an AIDS foundation. Unable to reach a satisfactory settlement with Benaissa and her team, the aggrieved filed charges for assault and for causing bodily harm. The trial, being held in the District Court in Darmstaadt, Germany is in session and moving forward.
Benaissa is the daughter of a Moroccan father and a Serbian mother. She was raised a Muslim. Sadly, she became addicted to crack cocaine in her mid teens. A pregnancy at age 17 led to the birth of her daughter. It was during this time that she was diagnosed with HIV. Musically inclined from a young age, Benaissa was able to compete and to succeed in the recording business. Her career with No Angels and a moderately successful subsequent solo endeavor stand in testimony to her talents.
Now at the age of 28, Nadja Benaissa finds herself in a heap of trouble.
Damage control measures are needed. Sincere, heartfelt apologies are the first order of business. And, to her credit, Bemaissa has made an open apology. It does not appear that she can present any successful excuse for her reprehensible behavior. Soon the Court will reach a verdict, which really is interesting only for the penalty determination. ?Jail, ?Penalties ?Fines ?Community Service... It will remain to be seen whether this pop star can make the best of this situation. If she can successfully become a spokesperson for HIV/AIDS and better yet, be a factor in promoting safer sex practices, good can come of this tragedy. Everybody makes mistakes, it's what a person does after the fact that sometimes can matter the most. Nadja Benaissa....Step Up, Be Responsible and Do Right!
UPDATE: Exerpted from, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/26/nadja-benaissa-found-guil_n_695360.html
Nadja Benaissa was given a two-year suspended prison sentence and 300 hours community service after she was convicted in a Darmstadt administrative court.
Prosecutor Peter Liesenfeld said he thought the sentence was appropriate.
"We have to remember that she was a lot younger than she is now, she had a turbulent life, and the acts were committed a long time ago," he told Associated Press Television News. "I think a suspended sentence is justified."
Benaissa left the courtroom without making any comment but her attorney Oliver Wallasch noted that she had said during the trial that she thought she deserved to be punished for her actions.
"We managed to avoid a jail sentence for my client and with the conditions of the sentence she received, including some community service which she said was justified during the trial, the sentence was satisfactory for the defense and my client," he said.