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OFFBEAT

Former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson sets up home in Marseille

Pamela Anderson, the former Baywatch star turned animal rights campaigner, has moved to a chic neighbourhood in Marseille - a city that has long battled an image as France's so-called 'murder capital'.

Former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson sets up home in Marseille
AFP

Anderson and her partner Adil Rami – a former French international footballer who now plays for Olympique de Marseille – are reported to have moved permanently to a chic area of the Phoenician city.

The pair have moved in to a house in the Corniche-Kennedy neighbourhood, near the Prado beaches, according to reports in France.

That part of town has welcome some star visitors in the past, notably French president Emmanuel Macron, a fan of the Marseille football team.

It's also far away from the northern suburbs which have been riddled by drug violence and gun crime and helped to give Marseille its reputation as France's “murder capital” – which it has been fighting hard to lose.

READ ALSO: Marseille – The must visit 'murder capital' on the Med

Marseille: A murder capital or a must-visit?

Apparently the deal that saw them buy the house is top secret and covered by numerous confidentiality clauses, 20 Minutes reports.

Nevertheless neighbours say the former film actress, who made her name as a red-swimsuit wearing lifeguard in Baywatch, isn't hiding away.

“We see them in the neighbourhood and bump into them in certain restaurants. Pamela is not hiding,” said one resident.

The Corniche-Kennedy neighbourhood offers spectacular views over the Mediterranean sea as well as the nearby Calanques national park. It's also not far from the famous Velodrome stadium where Marseille play their home games.

Pamela Anderson has been a regular presence on France's palm-fringed southern coast and has frequently been involved in goings on in France in recent years.

She caused a stir by visiting a migrant camp in northern France last year on the same day far right politician Marine Le Pen was turned away.

She also opened a French restaurant in the Riviera resort of Saint Tropez, with President Emmanuel Macron receiving an open invite.

Anderson teamed up with French chef Christophe Leroy to open “La Table du Marche” (The Market Table), a pop-up restaurant that served diners in the glitzy resort of Saint-Tropez for 50 days from July last year.
 
But Anderson has also made a name by getting involved in animal rights campaigning in France, notably by teaming up with Brigitte Bardot's foundation.
 
In 2016 she was invited to France's National Assembly to support a new bill against the force feeding of animals. 
 

WEATHER

IN PICTURES: How floods and a bin strike left Marseille submerged in waste

Torrential rain hit the city of Marseille in the south of France on Sunday and Monday, just days after local waste collectors ended a week-long strike, leading to fears of "catastrophic" waste making its way to the ocean.

IN PICTURES: How floods and a bin strike left Marseille submerged in waste
A man stands on a beach covered with cans following heavy rains and a strike of waste collectors in Marseille on October 5th. Photo: Nicolas TUCAT / AFP.

Marseille is located in the Bouches-du-Rhône département, which Météo France placed on red alert for heavy rain and flooding on Monday. Schools in the area shut and people were warned not to leave their homes as two months’ worth of rain fell in a single day in the Mediterranean city, after heavy rains had already caused flooding on Sunday night.

The situation was compounded by the fact that uncollected garbage was blocking storm drains in certain parts of the city – drains which would normally be cleared ahead of heavy rain – and making it more difficult for emergency services to intervene.

The city’s waste collectors had begun clearing the streets on Saturday after an agreement between unions and local authorities put an end to an eight-day strike over an increase to working hours.

But rain over the weekend made the monumental job even more difficult, and the result was that “rivers of rubbish” flowed through the city’s streets on Monday.

“Rubbish is everywhere. It’s a catastrophe,” biologist Isabelle Poitou, director of the MerTerre association, told AFP. “We’re expecting a strong mistral wind which will push the rubbish, which is currently making its way towards the sea, onto the beaches.”

“It’s vital to come and clear the rubbish from the beaches on Tuesday or Wednesday,” she added. “We need to act before the rubbish gets scattered in the sea at the first gust of wind.”

A woman collects waste on a beach after heavy rains and following a strike of waste collectors in Marseille.

A woman collects waste on a beach after heavy rains and following a strike of waste collectors in Marseille. Photo: Christophe SIMON / AFP.

The video below tweeted by BFMTV journalist Cédric Faiche shows the state of a beach in Marseille early on Tuesday morning. “It’s been cleaned several times but cans and different types of plastic continue to arrive…” Faiche wrote.

However, Faiche told BFM there are similar scenes every time there is heavy rain in Marseille, even if the strike has made the situation even worse.

Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin shared a video of the “sad scene” captured in Marseille on Sunday night. “Discussions between trade unions and the city must not make us forget what really matters: we are all responsible for our seas and our oceans!” she said.

“It’s unacceptable,” Christine Juste, deputy mayor in charge of the environment in Marseille told BFM on Tuesday, criticising the “lack of reactivity” in collecting leftover rubbish following the end of the strike on Friday.

“Why wait so long? In the 6th arrondissement, there has been no collection since the announcement that the strike was over,” she said.

IN PICTURES: See how the deluge has left parts of France’s Mediterranean coast submerged

The Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis intercommunal structure, rather than city hall, is in charge of rubbish collection in Marseille.

On Monday morning, the Metropolis dispatched 650 workers to clear away as much waste as possible ahead of the heaviest rainfall which was forecast for the afternoon.

On Monday evening, Marseille’s Mayor Benoît Payan told franceinfo that 3,000 tonnes of garbage were still yet to be collected in the city. “I asked the Prime Minister this evening to class the zone as a natural disaster,” he added.

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