Zahia Dehar (born February 25, 1992 in Ghriss, Algeria) is a former prostitute and French lingerie designer best known for her role in an underage prostitution scandal
Zahia was born in Ghriss, Algeria in 1992. She moved to Champigny-sur-Marne in France with her mother and younger brother at the age of 10, despite not speaking French. Zahia has professed to be a Muslim
In 2008, when she was 16, Zahia Dehar was allegedly paid for sex by Franck Ribéry and Karim Benzema, both players on the French national football team. The age of consent in France is 15, but prostitution is only allowed over the age of 18. The investigation began in 2010, just before the French team participated in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which resulted in significant immediate celebrity for Zahia. The trial of both players has not yet occurred, but if convicted, they face up to 3 years in prison and a €45,000 fine each, while Zahia faces no criminal charges.
Zahia's involvement in this scandal and other acts, such as posting indiscreet photos on Twitter, have earned her the nickname la scandaleuse (literally, "the scandalous") in the French press.
In 2010, while at the height of national attention, Zahia was hired as a fashion model, and appeared on the cover of the Spanish version of V magazine in 2011.
Zahia has claimed to have had dreams to be a fashion designer since childhood. Capitalizing on her celebrity and working with German designer Karl Lagerfeld, she created a lingerie line and self-named perfume. The lingerie line premiered at the January 2012 Paris Fashion Week fashion show. Her line caters to high-end customers, with garments on sale for over €500 each.