A Russian celebrity and former candidate for president, Ksenia Sobchak, is to sue the magazine Business Insider for libel after the German-language edition ran an article accusing her of racism.
“I’m suing Business Insider for libel. [An article in] the German edition was titled ‘Ksenia Sobchak called black people stupid and lazy,’ and accused me of racism. This is an outright lie,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “I never said such words. Moreover, I don’t hold these views. I’ll be demanding a public apology. People are NOT divided into white and black, Caucasians and Asians. But people are divided into smart and stupid.”
The article highlights a selection of recent comments by Sobchak, including a controversial Instagram post in which she accused unsuccessful people of always finding someone else to blame for their failure.
“Those who long ago realized that you need to work your ass off to be successful have become the likes of Naomi Campbell, [Barack] Obama, and [Oprah] Winfrey. The rest will always find an excuse for themselves and their laziness and stupidity,” she wrote. She denies that the post is racist.
Sobchak’s contentious social media posts have also got her into hot water with one of her partners: German car manufacturer Audi. Unrelated to the Business Insider article, Audi revealed it was canceling its advertising contract with her. The TV personality has long been the Russian face of the company and has featured in its advertisements for almost a decade. According to Audi, the brand “strictly rejects all forms of racism and discrimination.”