Home | News | Regional | Topless calendar pictures of Lebanese Olympic skier Jackie Chamoun spark calls for ministerial inquiry in Beirut after they are leaked online

Topless calendar pictures of Lebanese Olympic skier Jackie Chamoun spark calls for ministerial inquiry in Beirut after they are leaked online

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Risque: Topless pictures of Lebanese Olympic skier Jackie Chamoun have sparked calls for a ministerial inquiry after they were leaked online Risque: Topless pictures of Lebanese Olympic skier Jackie Chamoun have sparked calls for a ministerial inquiry after they were leaked online  
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Topless pictures of a Lebanese Olympic skier competing at the Sochi Winter Olympics have prompted calls for a ministerial inquiry in Beirut after they were leaked online.

The photos of Jackie Chamoun taken for a calendar show her holding strategically-placed ski equipment to protect her modesty as she poses in Lebanon's Faraya mountains.

But video of the photoshoot and stills from the film, which leave rather less to the imagination, emerged online this week and were featured on Lebanese television, sparking a flood of complaints after

Chamoun took to Facebook on Tuesday to publicly apologise for the video and stills, which she said showed the preparation for the photoshoot, rather than the final product.

She wrote: 'The video and photos that you are now seeing are part of the making of the preparation. It wasn't supposed to go public.

'I want to apologise to all of you, I know that Lebanon is a conservative country and this is not the image that reflects our culture,' she added.

Offensive: The photographs were taken for a calendar, but video footage of the shoot subsequently emerged on line which left little to the imagination

Offensive: The photographs were taken for a calendar, but video footage of the shoot subsequently emerged on line which left little to the imagination

The photographs show skier Jackie Chamoun holding strategically-placed ski equipment to protect her modesty as she poses in Lebanon's Faraya mountains The photographs show skier Jackie Chamoun holding strategically-placed ski equipment to protect her modesty as she poses in Lebanon's Faraya mountains

The photographs show skier Jackie Chamoun holding strategically-placed ski equipment to protect her modesty as she poses in Lebanon's Faraya mountains

'All I can ask to each of you who saw this is to stop spreading it, it will really help me focus on what is really important now: my training and race.'

But the apology has not placated everyone, with Lebanon's Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Karami calling on Tuesday for an investigation into the photos to ensure 'the protection of Lebanon's reputation.'

The Lebanese Olympic Committee was met yesterday afternoon to discuss the issue, and the head of the country's Olympic delegation said Chamoun had been barred from speaking to the media.

Lebanon is considered among the most liberal countries in the Arab world, with women generally free to wear the skimpiest of attire, and alcohol widely available.

The 22-year-old Chamoun is competing in her second Winter Olympics representing Lebanon at alpine skiing

The 22-year-old Chamoun is competing in her second Winter Olympics representing Lebanon at alpine skiing

Chamoun took to Facebook on Tuesday to publicly apologise for the video and stills, which she said showed the preparation for the photoshoot, rather than the final product.

Chamoun took to Facebook on Tuesday to publicly apologise for the video and stills, which she said showed the preparation for the photoshoot, rather than the final product.

Banned: The head of Lebanon's Olympic delegation said Chamoun had been barred from speaking to the media.

Banned: The head of Lebanon's Olympic delegation said Chamoun had been barred from speaking to the media.

But the society remains culturally conservative by western standards and Chamoun's photos touched off a small firestorm.

'Stop all your trash,' Issam Merhi wrote on Chamoun's Facebook page, addressing her supporters.
'What she has done is wrong, or else you would have all done it.'

The 22-year-old Chamoun is competing in her second Winter Olympics representing Lebanon in alpine skiing.

And despite the criticism levelled against her, plenty of fans offered their support online.

'Don't worry about nay sayers Jackie!' wrote Nicolas Rubeiz on her Facebook page.

'Cherish your independence and keep making us proud. You are causing no shame whatsoever to Lebanon.'

And others ridiculed the idea of a ministerial investigation to protect Lebanon's reputation at a time when the country is being rocked by a string of car bombings and other violence.

'Weekly car bombs, not a big deal. #JackieChamoun in a slightly revealing photoshoot: scandal. #LebaneseProblem,' wrote Twitter user KareemVots.

 

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