Playboy in Dubai jail for naked model pic now has Covid but apologises for stunt

A US playboy detained for a notorious picture of naked women on a balcony in Dubai has apologized.

The 41-year-old Vitaliy Grechin remains behind bars in the Muslim emirate, where he has also tested positive for Covid-19.

He apologized for the ‘Butt Squad’ photo of a number of mostly Ukrainian women undressing on a balcony in Dubai.

The women were all released from a “prison hell” and deported in disgrace with a five-year return ban.

In his first interview from a coronavirus detention center in Dubai, Grechin apologized for the “mistake” regarding the so-called “Butt Squad” photo, but denied any intent to cause a crime.

Nor did he insist on promoting sexual services or doing pornography.

In any other country such a picture would be “normal” and he considered it “art”.

He announced that he is now faced with hundreds of thousands of pounds in bills in Dubai to secure the release of a dozen women in the picture and his own – he hopes – imminent freedom.

When asked if he had apologized for a crime in the Muslim city, he said, “Of course I do. And we all do. The girls have all apologized in interviews (since their release). It’s also very uncomfortable for me. “

He told EAST2WEST: “When people make a mistake and apologize for it, it has to be understood that way. Obviously there was no intention of offending anyone. Obviously they weren’t climbing a mosque naked.”

American Playboy said it was “a spontaneous decision” to take the picture against the backdrop of Dubai’s skyscrapers and that he “did not instruct” the girls to pose naked.

He added, “If you are an 18, 19, 20 year old girl and you see a beautiful view …”

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“It happened within a minute. One girl said, “I’ll take a picture” and then it was “Me too”, “Me too,” me too “.”

Grechin said it was “a passionate decision to take a photo that doesn’t show your private parts”.

He said, “It’s not porn. Anywhere else in the world it would be considered normal. In magazines, it would be considered art … it was a unique setting.”

The real estate tycoon claimed he paid for around 20 women, all friends, to travel to Dubai on a paid, fun trip to avoid the lockdown. The total cost was around $ 10,000.

He said, “I choose to surround myself with the people I feel comfortable with. Everyone I know personally.

“It’s the equivalent of going out to a club or to dinner. There was no escorting, selling, buying, none of that.”

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Returning to rumors about the women, he insisted, “They are not models, escorts or anything else” and they are a “closed group of friends”.

While he had also flown in the photographer Alexander Ten from Moscow, Grechin denied having ordered or choreographed the nude balcony picture.

“We went to my friend’s swimming pool and at the end of the day the girls had to change,” he said.

“There was nowhere else than in his apartment. We went to move. The girls went into the apartment and went to the balcony to take a picture with a view.

“The neighbor made a video of it and it went viral. There seems to be a conclusion that the girls are models and prostitutes, but they are neither of those things. “

Grechin was born in Soviet Ukraine and grew up in the United States, where he became President Barack Obama’s donor. He returned to live and work in Kiev, where he has a wife and a son.

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During the nude shoot, he said: “I probably should never have allowed something like this. The girls had the attitude that they were behind closed doors on private property.

“Even if they went out on the balcony for 15 seconds, it was still something closed. There was no intention of creating or distributing such a thing.

“It was spontaneous. Of course I regret it. I lost a month of my life. “

It was said that the women “spent ten days in prison with no food or decent water, no toiletries, no sheets and a metal bunk to sleep in.”

Grechin added, “I feel responsible for this. And you can’t imagine the legal fees I’ll have to pay. They are a good six digits. I want to cry. “

When the photographer and several women noticed that the police were interfering, they rushed to the airport and flew to Russia.

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He said Dubai authorities had detained those still suspected of being involved in prostitution and pornography. But those allegations have now been dropped against all of them, he said.

“There was one case where every name was listed. However, this went no further as there was no evidence.”

Grechin had been instructed by the authorities to “accept my sin” but said he did not.

He said, “Did I take the picture? Was I in the picture? Was i on the balcony? Did I get her to go outside? Did i post the video? No.”

He expected to be let home because there was no evidence of pornography or prostitution, he said.

Grechin had been moved from prison to a prison hospital for Covid-19 sufferers but was now detained in a coronavirus facility because he was not symptomatic.

“They searched our phones, apartments, they did drug tests, we were cleaned,” he said.

“I have a newspaper that says that Dubai has nothing against me since April 15th. I should go home on the 22nd. But then I caught Covid in prison.

“I have a paper from the prosecutor that says we have no evidence that you did anything wrong. But I am still in custody and cannot leave the room I am in. “

The photographer hopes to leave as soon as he has a negative Covid test.

He admitted that there was another picture in the apartment of his Russian friend Alexei Kontsov that showed Grechin surrounded by 20 naked women while he was playing the piano.

But this picture was behind closed doors and not in the view of others, he said.

Grechin accused Dubai of being a “sanctimonious society” about sex.

He said, “Dubai probably has the highest number of sex workers in the Middle East. Every single person I know does a lot of drugs and every sheikh brings along 50 or 60 girls from all over the world every week. I try to stay away from all of this. “

With the love of traveling with friends, Grechin has already traveled to Mexico, the Carpathian Mountains and elsewhere with a large group of women, he said.

So he decided to live and relax, even if it was unconventional and he knew all women and some lived with him in Kiev, he said.

They had “no terms, conditions, or obligations” to accept its size. Before expressing his view, he insisted that women in Eastern Europe were “more liberal” and “more feminine” than in America.

“Girls are much more open, liberal, and expressive – there are no ‘Me Too’ movements,” he claimed.

Next to Obama, Grechin was pictured with Hillary Clinton, George Clooney and Sylvester Stallone.

The group with him in Dubai included 21-year-old Vogue model Evgenia Taran, who said, “I have drawn many conclusions, realized my mistakes and, to a certain extent, I am grateful for what happened.”

Another trained lawyer, Yana Graboshchuk, 27, complained that they were treated like “animals” in prison. Grechin said the judicial and prison systems in Dubai were “barbaric”.

His friend Kontsov (33) returned to Russia last week, as did the participant Anastasia Fursova (25).

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