Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi keeps a fleet of personal nurses sometimes referred to as his “harem.” As his country comes under attack from dissenting protesters and allied forces including the United States, Gaddafi has lost a few of his closest allies, namely the medical ones, with Oksana Balinskaya, the Libyan leader’s caretaker for three years (since she was 21-years-old), leaving in early February for the Ukraine. This week, Balinskaya told a brief version of her tale to Newsweek, who published the account as “My Years As Gaddafi’s Nurse.” In it, she admits that while her and her fellow nurses — “only attractive Ukranian women” — were hired “most probably for our looks” and nicknamed the dictator “Papik,” for “little father,” they were never sexual with Gaddafi. “The truth is that Papik was much more discreet than his friend, the womanizer Silvio Berlusconi,” she claims.
Still, the odds details she provides, somewhat sexual and icky in nature, include that Gaddafi picked her from “a line of candidates” just by shaking her hand and looking her in the eye, which makes her sound like cattle. She compares him to “a rock star from the 1980s” because of his outfit changes, and because he threw money out of his car window.
Balinskaya says she ran because she was four months pregnant, not because she was working for an abusive dictator with a huge running list of human rights violations and insane personal wealth, all while his people suffer in poverty and plot an uprising.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 11, 2011