||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (July 2013)|
25 February 1992 |
Zahia Dehar was born in Ghriss, Algeria, on 25 February 1992. When she moved to Champigny-sur-Marne, France with her mother and younger brother at the age of 10, she spoke no French. Her father, Hacène Dehar, still lives in Algeria. He has refused any form of contact with his daughter ever since the prostitution allegations appeared.
In 2008, when she was 17, Dehar was allegedly paid for sex by Sebastian Ariza Medina, and by Franck Ribéry and Karim Benzema, the latter two of whom were players on the French national football team. The age of consent in France is 15, but prostitution is legal only if the worker is over the age of 18. The investigation began in 2010, just before the French team participated in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The then-current French national team manager Raymond Domenech cited Benzema's struggle for form with his new club Real Madrid rather than his alleged involvement in the sex scandal as his reason for excluding the striker from the squad.
Dehar achieved celebrity status as a result of the scandal. If convicted, the players would have faced up to three years in prison and a €45,000 fine each, while Dehar faced no criminal charges, as prostituting oneself is not a crime under French law. In November 2011, prosecutors asked for the cases against Ribéry and Benzema be dropped, saying that the players were not aware that Dehar was a minor.
- Peter Allen Published at 15:46 GMT, 20 January 2014. ""Underage prostitute who allegedly slept with two of France's highest paid footballers 'no longer considers herself a victim'"".
- "French prosecutors accept that Ribery did not know prostitute was a minor". France 24. 19 November 2011.
- Rebecca Benhamou. "France’s Courtesan Couture: Zahia Dehar - Newsweek and The Daily Beast". Thedailybeast.com. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- Salmon, Ludivine (5 August 2010). "Zahia: la vraie histoire d'une gamine de banlieue". VSD No 1719.
- Angelique Chrisafis in Paris (13 February 2013). "France international under suspicion of soliciting underage prostitute | Football | guardian.co.uk". Guardian. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- "Top French footballer linked to under-age prostitution probe | Football - News | NDTVSports.com". Sports.ndtv.com. Agence France-Presse. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- Petrequin, Samuel (11 May 2010). "Benzema left out of France's World Cup squad". Associated Press.