This week we move to a frostier clime, to a vast far away empire renown for its extraordinarily high production of ravenous Shebugs: Russia. My book, SHEBUG Origin: Russia took root in my imagination as a result of a journey from Moscow to St Petersburg nearly two decades ago.
Many oligarchs reside in London. Hence, it is not uncommon for their names to make the headlines. But unlike planning permission gripes for digging out three floors under their homes in Kensington & Chelsea, being poisoned by sushi, or popping their clogs for no apparent reason, this week’s Shebug is neither oligarch nor spy.
Her name is Anastasia Volochkova. Her profession? Ballerina. Over time, she became a soloist in her native St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre before leaping onto the highest branches of the Bolshoi in Moscow. But the prima ballerina’s career careened to an end when the Bolshoi fired her for being ‘too fat and too tall’. This decision catapulted Anastasia into the international limelight. Volochkova was able to get re-instated and was awarded a substantial amount in damages. But resilient, and with publicity on her side, Anastasia kissed her employer goodbye and embarked on a solo career.
The Bolshoi has featured in the press a lot of late. First, when its artistic director was hit in the face with acid; and now with it’s ex-prima ballerina claiming that the 236-year-old institution was - and remains, a ‘giant brothel for oligarchs’.
But why wait ten years to blow the whistle on the alleged Bolshoi Bordello?
The striking blonde supplements her dancing career with television appearances. At one point, she modelled for Chopard. Volochkova is regularly featured in gossip magazines detailing her many affairs with oligarchs and questionable political activity. She is also renown for posting nudes photographs of herself on her website. Could it be that the dancer's days are numbered?
Doubtful. The thirty-seven-year-old earned an MBA in Economics in 2010. Volochkova will be digging-for-dollars for many years to come. And like she says, her new goal in life is to “f*** the s*** out of the entire world. In a good way.”