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French reality TV star held on suspicion of stabbing boyfriend

Nabilla Benattia with Thomas Vergara on television last year
Nabilla Benattia with Thomas Vergara on television last year AFP/Eric Feferberg

A French reality TV star has being investigated for the attempted murder of her boyfriend after he was found with several knife-wounds in his chest in a hotel near Paris. Nabilla Benattia first said the couple were assaulted and then that he stabbed himself.


Benattia, 22, who is of Algerian and Italian origin and is known professionally as Nabilla, is best-known for her catchphrase “Hello? I mean hello?”, first uttered to express her astonishment that fellow female contestants had not brought shampoo when they appeared in the show Angels of Reality TV.

Despite being widely mocked, the phrase was taken up by advertisers prompting her to register it as a trademark and launching her on a career that has since her modelling for Jean-Paul Gaultier and fronting her own show.

After police had held her for 36 hours for questioning, a judge ordered her to be detained in custody for the “attempted voluntary homicide” of Thomas Vergara, whom she met on a reality TV show.

Emergency service workers were called to a hotel where the couple were staying in Boulogne-Billancourt in the early hours of Friday and found Vergara with several stab-wounds to the chest.

His situation was considered serious but not life-threatening.

Benattia initially said they had been assaulted by three people and that Vergara was injured when he tried to stop her but later told investigators that he had taken cocaine and accidentally stabbed himself during a violent dispute with her.

Another investigation has been opened into a separate incident in August in which Vergara was wounded in the back.

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