Russian Singer Awarded $3,200 in ‘Vampire’ Libel

MOSCOW, November 2 (RIA Novosti) – Russian popular singer and songwriter Elena Vaenga has won 100,000 rubles ($3,200) libel damages after a Russian newspaper called her a “vampire.”

A Moscow court ruled on Friday that Vaenga, whose original name is Elena Khrulyova, had been defamed by Sobesyednik Media in an article titled “Is Vaenga a vampire?!”

“The court has partially satisfied the claim of Khrulyova’s lawsuit against Sobesednik Media and ordered the newspaper to pay her 100,000 rubles in damages,” a court spokesman said.

The singer had demanded 7 million rubles ($200,000) as compensation for moral damage.

In another defamatory article, Sobesednik claimed Vaenga, 35, was a witch. “Vaenga has extrasensory and healer skills. She was taught them by her husband’s relatives, who are Gypsies,” the newspaper said.

Sobesednik cited Vaenga’s song “Confession of witch” where she says: “Blood is not water. I’m am 300 years old, but I’m still young,” as evidence its comments were justified.

Last month, Vaenga was also awarded 160,000 rubles ($5,000) after another Russian newspaper, Tolko Zvyozdy, claimed she was pregnant.

Another Moscow court ordered the Burda publishing company in late August to pay Vaenga 250,000 rubles ($8,000) in damages over a claim in the Otdokhny magazine that the singer “was pregnant and happy.”

Vaenga, who had sought some 3 million rubles ($95,000) in damages, said she had given no agreement to publish information about her private life. She also dismissed other reports that she had given birth to a son.


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