France's media is rushing to his defence, after rumours and questions about whether national icon, headbutter and family man Zinedine Zidane is having an affair with French pop star Nadiya have hit the newsstands. This from The Times Online:
Nâdiya, who is of Algerian origin, as is Zidane, angrily denied the tale, which had been circulating in Paris and on the internet for weeks. “This has to stop. I am a mother and I want people to respect my integrity . . . All those people can go and jump in the lake,” she told Fogiel. She had met the footballer only once, at a charity event, she said.
The chat show, on the M6 channel, enabled other media to bypass the usual French taboo over private life. They have resorted to an old ploy — devoting space to decrying the rumour while adding fuel.
“Fogiel — hands off Zidane,” screamed the front page of France Soir, which was relaunched this year as a British-style tabloid. Denouncing Fogiel’s “nasty tackle”, the newspaper said that the host had “asked a question which has frightened the media world for several months and which no one dared ask”.
The tale was then given a boost by Voici, a celebrity weekly. Its cover said that it was impossible that Nâdiya could be involved with “our national icon, whose discretion and legendary modesty matches his role as exemplary father and family man”. But Voici published without explanation photographs showing a disguised Zidane and Nâdiya entering the same Paris apartment building minutes apart last month. Nâdiya lives in the building, in the prosperous 17th arrondissement of Paris, according to Switzerland’s La Tribune de Genève.
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