When Cannes Was the Playground of Moatessem Gadhafi

Sex slavery at the Cannes Film Festival is something we would have guessed would be restricted to the Grand Palais and other Croisette event screens. In the form of a documentary, short, tawdry “marché” title or marquee feature narrative sub-plot.

But sadly, this is something that some of the event’s richest attendees have helped abet in real life. From a Hollywood Reporter piece about the infamous illegal-solicitation activities of Elie Nahas on behalf of Muammar Gadhafi‘s late son Moatessem and other super-rich Middle Eastern attendees [bolding is ours]:

The women ran the gamut, from full-time escorts to models to beauty queens, and they serviced men in hotels, on yachts and in the palatial villas in the hills above Cannes, police said. Philippe Camps, a lawyer for a Paris-based anti-prostitution organization that was a civil plaintiff in the trial, tells THR that some of the women were brought to Cannes under false pretenses and coerced into prostitution.

Nahas was arrested at the Carlton Hotel in August of 2007, several months after that year’s Cannes Film Festival. He spoke with THR freelance contributor Dana Kennedy from Beirut and despite a subsequent conviction, still professes his innocence.

If you’re not familiar with this side of the annual French Riviera event, Kennedy’s article is both a harrowing and fascinating read. Dare we say, worthy of a feature film? There’s also a pretty bizarre side-note offered up by Nahas involving a 2004 Moatessem birthday party and Carmen Electra. Read the full article here.

[Photo: Giancarlo Liguori/Shutterstock.com]