Singer In Germany’s Top Girl Band Facing Jail As She Admits Having Sex With Men Without Telling Them She Had HIV
Allan Hall, Daily Mail (London), August 17, 2010
A singer in a girl band is facing the threat of a long jail term for having unprotected sex with several men without telling them she was HIV positive.
Nadja Benaissa appeared in court yesterday charged with grievous bodily harm for allegedly infecting one of her lovers with the virus.
The 28-year-old has also been charged with attempted aggravated assault for allegedly having unprotected sex with two other men who did not contract HIV.
Sorry with all my heart: Nadja Benaissa, singer of German girl band ‘No Angels’, sits in a courtroom in Darmstadt, Germany, today
‘I am sorry with all my heart’: Nadja Benaissa, singer of German girl band ‘No Angels’, sits in a courtroom in Darmstadt, Germany, today
Benaissa, who is a member of Germany’s most successful girl band, No Angels, and has performed in the Eurovision Song Contest, denies infecting anyone deliberately.
But she told the District Court of Darmstadt she was ‘careless during those days’ and admitted she did not tell her sexual partners about her condition, adding tearfully: ‘I am sorry with all my heart.’
A 34-year-old former lover, who is now HIV positive, claimed the singer’s management tried to buy his silence after he became infected.
Brief encounters: Benaissa had a small smile on her face throughout much of the proceedings this morning
The man said he slept with Benaissa five to seven times over a three-month period in 2004.
He maintained a platonic relationship with her after the affair ended, and said it was the star’s aunt who told him in 2007 that her niece was HIV positive.
He told the court: ‘My quality of life has shrunk enormously. I cannot travel to many countries.
‘I have been told by my doctor my condition can become full-blown Aids at any time.’
He added that Benaissa’s management had offered him a deal to remain silent, but claimed he told them he wanted her to go public about her condition and pay 100,000 euros to an Aids research charity.
If she had done this, he insisted, he would not have gone to the police.
Benaissa’s lawyer read a statement from her, saying: ‘It was said to me that the probability of me passing on the virus was practically zero.
‘Therefore I also concealed the fact that I was infected to my acquaintances.
‘I did not want my daughter to be branded by this. I told the band members because I trusted them. I never made it public because I thought that would mean the end of the band.’
In her statement, Benaissa told the court she became addicted to crack cocaine at 14 and that during her pregnancy at 16, she found out that she was HIV positive.
The court heard she had sexual encounters with the three men between 2000 and 2004.
If found guilty, she could be jailed for up to ten years.
No Angels were discovered in 2000 during the TV talent show Popstars.
They are Germany’s most successful girl band and sold five million albums from 2000 to 2003.
They reformed in 2007 and competed in the 2008 Eurovision Song contest but only came in 23rd.