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Vanessa Hessler
Vanessa Hessler, who has long been the face of the telecoms firm told a magazine that not only was the Qaddafi family normal, but that the rebels who ousted the dictator were financed by foreigners and that the Libyan people had prospered under him.

"It was a passionate story; we were together for four years," the 23-year-old model told the Italian magazine Diva e Donna, speaking of her relationship with Mutassim, who was killed on October 20.

"At the moment everything disgusts me apart from Libya. I don't like to think that it is true. It is all very sad."

She said the Qaddafi family were "normal people."

Foreign powers had interfered in the country, she said. "We - France and Great Britain - financed the rebels. The people don't know what they are doing," she said.

The Libyan people were not particularly poor nor fanatic, she said. "You must not believe everything you hear."

Alice owner, the Italian firm Telefonica, said it expected her to distance herself from the comments. Spokesman Albert Fetsch said they were private comments which in no way reflected the opinions of the company. "Everything is being considered," he said of her future as poster girl for the Alice firm.