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GENEVA

Secret Story winner hid call girl past: report

The popular Swiss winner of this year’s Secret Story, the French reality TV competition on TF1, previously worked in Geneva’s sex trade, according to a new report.

Secret Story winner hid call girl past: report
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Nadège Jones, who won the sixth edition of the reality TV show to collect a €150,000 prize on September 7th, hid her past as a call girl, Le Matin said in an article published on the weekend.

The newspaper said that based on information from collaborating sources the 26-year-old blonde worked under the professional name Samantha Jones for a Genevan escort girl agency, earning up to 500 francs ($530) an hour.

The sources said she also worked as an independent sex trade worker, based professionally in a massage parlour in the city.

Little was known about Jones, born Nadège Lacroix, when she signed up for the French version of Big Brother earlier in the year.

Among other things, she claimed to be a dominatrix, which proved to be false, Le Matin said.

Meanwhile, Jones kept quiet about her real background.

The product of a broken home — her parents divorced when she was eight — she was brought up by her single mother in an apartment in suburban Geneva, Le Matin said.

She left home at 16 and entered into a relationship with a man, apparently Muslim, who made her wear a veil and follow Islamic practices, according to the report.

In 2009 she left this partner and agreed to pose nude for Blick.ch, the German-language Swiss tabloid, with the support of her mother.

She also posed in skimpy outfits for Le Matin a short time afterwards, telling the newspaper at the time she had “come alive” after recently ending a six-year relationship.

“I am discovering that I have a body and that I can be proud of it”.
 
Subsequently she began consorting with the Geneva jet-set, a crowd that consumed booze and cocaine, living with acquaintances before entering the sex trade, Le Matin said.

Its report adds that she met a wealthy French businessman who was considerably older than Jones and who “looked after” her.

She won Secret Story after 14 weeks of competition, outlasting 19 other contestants and winning the support of 73 percent of viewers calling in to vote.

Jones declined to respond to an interview request by Le Matin.  

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GENEVA

Is Switzerland ‘pilfering’ health workers from France during pandemic?

Officials in the Haute-Savoie area of France have accused private Swiss health clinics of poaching essential healthcare workers.

Is Switzerland 'pilfering' health workers from France during pandemic?
Health care workers from France prefer to work on the Swiss side of the border. Photo by AFP

The headline in Switzerland's Le Temps newspaper reads: “Geneva is pilfering our nurses”.

It comes from an interview with a French MP who laments how France is losing health workers to its neighbour at the height of a health crisis.

“The behaviour of some hospital administrators in Switzerland is totally unacceptable in the context of the health crisis”, Haute-Savoie’s deputy Martial Saddier said in an interview with Le Temps newspaper. 

He was referring to a practice of Swiss clinics recruiting health workers in France which French officials like Saddier says has caused a shortage of personnel in French hospitals in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Saddier denounced several private clinics in Geneva for actively recruiting nursing staff from Haute-Savoie, luring them with salaries that are about two and a half times higher than those paid in the French region.

Though the phenomenon of medical workers from Haute-Savoie ‘migrating’ to Geneva is not new — 60 percent of nursing staff at Geneva’s university hospitals (HUG) live in France — Saddier said these recruitments should not happen during the pandemic. 

“While the number of infected people may be high in Geneva, Haute-Savoie is not spared either, with rates among the highest in France. We need all our vital forces”, he said.

Olivier Teissèdre, director of Hôpital privé Pays de Savoie (HPPS) pointed out that already during the first wave of Covid-19, “350 of our caregivers were recruited in Geneva, which put us in great difficulty. Today I lost 4 percent of my staff and had to shut down a night shift”.

“Now the shortage of caregivers is crucially felt because the care of Covid-19 patients is particularly heavy”, he added.

READ MORE: IN PICTURES: Swiss flags hang over protesting French ski village 

At the start of the second wave, the HPSS set up a partnership with another Haute-Savoie medical facility, the Alpes-Léman public hospital.

“But we no longer have enough employees to maintain this partnership because there is too much movement of staff toward Switzerland”, Teissèdre said.

At the start of the pandemic, an agreement was reached with the Geneva authorities to stop recruiting medical personnel from France, but this commitment only concerns public hospitals. No such pact was made with private clinics.

Laurent Paoliello, spokesperson for Geneva’s Health Department said that while HUG, which is a public hospital, has respected the hiring freeze, the canton can’t impose similar restrictions on recruitment policies of private establishments.

“However, we consider it inappropriate to loot the region next door, especially during a pandemic”, he said.

Although the Haute-Savoie officials say that private hospitals have placed ads in a local newspaper, Le Dauphiné libéré, seeking French health care workers, Geneva’s clinics deny advertising in France.

“We only recruit through our site, or on Jobup.ch, as well as on social networks”, said Magali Dauwalder, spokesperson for the Hirslanden group of private hospitals, which manages La Colline et les Grangettes clinics in Geneva.


READ MORE: Switzerland rejects further coronavirus lockdown despite 'worrying' situation 

 

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