One of the Ukrainian models detained in Dubai has told how she was “forced” to pose naked in a balcony shoot that has caused an international scandal.
Irina Sotulenko, 23, the first participant to speak about the shocking nude video and pictures, is now languishing in detention in the United Arab Emirates.
Her lawyer and boyfriend have expressed “deep concern” about her and the other women who were expected to be deported back to Ukraine but remain out of contact.
In social media audio and video messages posted to her boyfriend before she was detained, she revealed her fury at wealthy Ukrainian-American organiser of the stunt – Vitaliy Grechin, 41- for allowing the racy images to go online leading to Dubai police detaining most of the group.
The nude model told how she had escaped to the airport to fly home, but was ordered by the authorities to go back to the city and make a statement to police, after which she would be free to leave.
But then she was held – and after one phone call to her parents is again incommunicado despite an apparent agreement with the Ukrainian authorities that she would be released today.
Families of the women still hope they can be freed.
Grechin – seen in a picture playing the piano surrounded by 20 naked women – was detained soon after the balcony picture was taken in an elite complex in Dubai, and posted online, she said.
He has been previously pictured with a string of famous names including Barack Obama – to whom he was a financial donor – Hillary Clinton, George Clooney, and Sylvester Stallone.
“All this because of the morons who came up with the idea to upload this to Instagram,” said Irina.
“It is just… Vitaliy… Grechin… You are just a total d**k…
“He is an adult man, how could he be such an idiot?”
Irina claimed she had been “forced” to go on the balcony, otherwise, they would not be paid for the modelling assignment.
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Later she went to Dubai airport hoping to fly home but posted a message saying she had to return for a police interview.
She said she saw Grechin – the organiser and funder of the trip to Dubai – as he was “escorted away by police”.
Her boyfriend Vitaly, 30, who works in IT, said Irina knew she was going to Dubai for a nude shoot – but not that it would be in a public place leading to claims of indecency and offending public morals.
“They pushed them out onto the balcony,” he said.
“The girls began to be indignant, and asking why they were going there. They said: ‘This is a Muslim country, for this we will all have problems’.
“But they were told – ‘Do not forget who pays for it, please go to the balcony.’ So they went out onto the balcony and photographed them.”
Several hours later Grechin and others organising the bizarre shoot were detained, he said. After the pictures had gone online.
Some of the models immediately flew out of the country.
Those who did not were told they would be allowed to leave, but first had to make a police statement, said the boyfriend.
They received messages saying the police would interrogate and release them but the ones who did go back were taken to prison.
Irina’s lawyer in Kyiv, Oleksiy Nosov, a partner at Miller law firm, said her boyfriend and family have not heard from her since 3 April.
They had been told they should be deported by today (Mon).
But until now there was no news about their release.
The lawyer has asked for a “confidential conversation” with Irina, but had no response from the Dubai authorities.