One of the lessons of the downturn has been that repression is a recession-proof industry. Galas and fashion shows don't throw themselves, you know? Let's meet Lola Karimova, social circuit sensation and daughter of the brutal Uzbek dictaor Islam Karmiov.
Lola was in fine form Sunday, presenting an award in Paris to actress Ornella Muti. The award: a one-week trip to Uzbekistan, the country her father has ineptly ruled for 29 years. Page Six reports the "glamorous" socialite and potential heir to the Uzbek presidency was spotted at Italian playboy Massimo Gargia's annual Best Awards—along with Ivana Trump, who was continuing her love tour of Italy, this time on the arm of Roman actor Paolo Pasqualini. Last year, Page Six also singled out Karimova as "most glamorous of the honorees" when she was honored herself at 2008's Best Awards for her charity work.
Glamorous! But it's far from the only noteworthy thing the jet-setting Karamov clan has been up to in the past few years. Here are some highlights:
Italian actress Monica Bellucci looked stunning last night at a gala for Uzbek socialite and potential future dictator Lola Karimova's charity "Uzbekistan 2020". Probably because the Uzbekistan government paid her almost $300,000 to be there! A starving Uzbek orphan was overheard saying, "I haven't eaten a full meal in a week."
Everyone's favorite offspring of an Eastern European strongman, Lola Karimova, was seen at all the hottest fashion shows this season in Paris, according to Fashion Week Daily:
Allow us to introduce Lola Karimova, a daughter of the President of Uzbekistan who conquered Paris with her couture garb and polished hair. The beauty sat front row at Chanel, Dior, and Gaultier, meeting every celebrity worth encountering while establishing herself as a backstage figure. But Miss Karimova is a couture-loving socialite with a purpose. She's her country's representative for UNESCO, the founder of a charity fund for needy children...
Meanwhile, she's been called the right girl to take over from her daddy, Islam Karamov, the presidency of a country that is, according to the Guardian, "rather famous in certain circles for its abhorrent human rights record."
The fashionable socialite Lola Karimova met with the Director General of UNESCO Koichiro Mtsuura and received an appointment as a UNESCO ambassador. In this station, she helps promote cultural and educational efforts between Uzbekistan and the world. According to her website, Karimova is most notably dedicated to the cause of saving all those orphans her father's repressive government helps create by killing unarmed protesters.
Lola's older sis, Gulnora "GooGooSha" Karimova was looking good at a concert in Toronto, thrilling crowds with her Uzbek pop songs:
But GooGooSha's been spotted at the Central Asia-focused blog Registan.net looking a bit out of sorts. According to Registan's Michael Hancock, the glamorous pop-singer owns large stakes in many of Uzbekistan's gold mines, negotiated the sale of Uzbekistan's natural gas exports to evil Russian giant Gazprom (from which she netted a rumored $88 million) and:
has been accused following several media exposes of running a human trafficking ring, providing Uzbek prostitutes to markets in Dubai and other countries through misinformation, kidnapping, and withholding of personal documents.
UN Special Rapporteur on the question of torture, Theo van Boven, was spotted looking glum after finishing his report on Uzbekistan for the UN Commission on Human Rights last night. Sources say the diplomat's mood was soured after encountering widespread evidence of Uzbek prisoners being tortured—including being scalded with hot water.