Television personality and former presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak says she’s filing a defamation lawsuit against the German-language edition of Business Insider, claiming that the news outlet misrepresented her comments about Black people.
“The German publication ran the headline: ‘Ksenia Sobchak Called Black People Stupid and Lazy’ and accused me of racism. This is a barefaced lie. I never used those words and, more importantly, I do not share these views,” Sobchak wrote in a Facebook post, attaching a screenshot of the Business Insider article and a photograph of a defaced Winston Churchill monument (spray-painted “[Churchill] was a racist”).
Business Insider’s article appeared a day earlier, on June 24, titled (in German) “Volkswagen’s Next Scandal After Its Racist Ad: Audi’s Russia Ambassador Calls Blacks ‘Stupid and Lazy.’” The text cites several of Sobchak’s recent comments about the Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S., including one Instagram post where the TV celebrity wrote: “Those who realized you need to work your fucking ass off [to be successful] long ago became your Naomi Campbells, your Obamas, and your [Oprah] Winfreys. The rest will always find excuses for their own laziness and stupidity.”
On June 24, the Volkswagen-owned car company Audi announced that it has severed advertising ties with Sobchak after eight years, saying that it “rejects any forms of racism and discrimination.”
People aren’t divided into Whites and Blacks, Caucasus natives and Asians. But people are divided into smart people and dumb people. And they’re divided into those who have their own opinion and those who follow the crowd. I don’t support any protest in any country when it’s tied to violence. My main values are life, freedom, and private property. And yes, my views are right[-wing] liberal views. I’m against [racial] quotas and a total abolition of the police. I’m against theft and vandalism. Apparently, in our rapidly left-veering world, these views have already become illegal. But I’ve never feared stigmatization at home and I’m not afraid of it abroad.
On Instagram, Ksenia Sobchak has also expressed concerns about looting in the United States, worrying particularly about mobs raiding a Louis Vuitton store in Los Angeles. On Instagram, she uploaded and later deleted video footage of a black square accompanied by the Russian song “They Killed a Black Man,” mocking Western social media’s #BlackoutTuesday “day of reflection” on June 2. It was later revealed that Sobchak posted the video as part of a dare while participating on the YouTube game show “Comment Out.”