American in custody for photo of naked Ukrainian women on Dubai balcony claims it was ‘art’

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Vitaliy Grechin depicted in custody in Dubai

Vitaliy Grechin depicted in custody in Dubai

The American playboy in custody after a ‘spur of the moment’ photo of a naked Ukrainian woman on a balcony in Dubai claims it was ‘art’ and denies telling ‘his friends’ to take off their clothes.

Vitaliy Grechin, 41, is still stuck in Dubai, where he tested positive for Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the women in the shoot, from Ukraine, have all been released from the ‘prison shell’ and deported in shame with a five-year ban on returning to the United Arab Emirates.

In his first interview from a coronavirus detention center in Dubai, Grechin apologized for his ‘mistake’ about the so-called ‘Butt Squad’ photo, but denied any intention to take offense.

He claimed the photo of Ukrainian models posing nude in front of Dubai’s skyscrapers was ‘art’ and would be considered ‘normal’ in any other country.

Grechin claimed the photo of Ukrainian models posing nude in front of Dubai's skyscrapers was 'art' and would be considered 'normal' in any other country.

Grechin claimed the photo of Ukrainian models posing nude in front of Dubai’s skyscrapers was ‘art’ and would be considered ‘normal’ in any other country.

Grechin also claimed that the women were his “friends” and that they were just vacationing together.

He revealed that he has now received bills worth hundreds of thousands of pounds in Dubai for securing the release of the twelve women who were detained after posing in the nude photo shoot. He has also spent money on his own – he hopes – impending freedom.

Grechin insisted the stunt was not to advertise sexual services or make pornography.

When asked if he apologized for the wrongdoing in the Muslim city, Grechin said, “Of course I do. And we all do.

The girls have apologized in interviews (since their release). It is also very annoying for me. ‘

He continued: “When people make a mistake and apologize for it, it should be understood that way.

It was clear that there was no intention to offend anyone. It was clear that they did not climb a mosque naked. ‘

He revealed that he has now received bills worth hundreds of thousands of pounds in Dubai for securing the release of the twelve women who were detained after posing in the nude photo shoot.

He revealed that he has now received bills worth hundreds of thousands of pounds in Dubai for securing the release of the twelve women who were detained after posing in the nude photo shoot.

Grechin has been depicted with a string of famous names, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, George Clooney, Sylvester Stallone and Viktor Yanukovych junior, the late son of the former Ukrainian president.

It was ‘a spontaneous decision’ to take the photo against the backdrop of Dubai’s skyscrapers, he said.

Gretchen added that the women were “not instructed” by him to pose naked.

It happened within a minute. One girl said, “I’m going to take a picture,” and then it was “me too,” “me too,” “me too,” he said.

It was a passionate decision to take a photo that didn’t show the genitals.

‘It’s not porn. Anywhere in the world it would be considered normal. In magazines it would be considered art … it was a unique shot. ‘

He claimed he had paid for about 20 women – all of them ‘friends’ – to travel to Dubai on an all-expenses-paid trip to escape lockdown, at a total cost of about $ 10,000.

He claimed he paid for about 20 women - all of them 'friends' - to travel to Dubai on an all-expenses-paid fun trip to escape lockdown, at a total cost of about $ 10,000

He claimed he paid for about 20 women – all of them ‘friends’ – to travel to Dubai on an all-expenses-paid fun trip to escape lockdown, at a total cost of about $ 10,000

The real estate mogul said, “I choose to surround myself with the people I feel comfortable with. Everyone I know personally.

‘It’s like going to a club or going out to dinner. There was no guidance, sale, purchase, none of that. ‘

They were a “close group of friends,” he added.

Coming back to rumors about the women, he insisted, “They’re not models, escorts or anything else.”

While he had also flown in photographer Alexander Ten from Moscow, Grechin denied ordering the naked balcony photo or choreographing it.

“We were in my friend’s pool and at the end of the day the girls had to change,” he explained.

There was nowhere else but his apartment. We went to change.

The girls went to the apartment and they 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 not. ‘

Vitaliy Grechin poses with Barak Obama in 2011

Vitaliy Grechin poses with Barak Obama in 2011

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

Speaking of the nude shoot, Grechin said, ‘I probably should never have allowed such a thing.

The girls had the mentality that they were behind closed doors on private property.

Even if they went on the balcony for 15 seconds, it was still slightly enclosed.

‘It was not the intention to create or distribute anything like that. It was a whim.

‘Of course I regret it. I lost a month of my life. ‘

He alleged that the women in the shoot ‘spent ten days in jail, with no food or decent water, no hygiene supplies, no sheets, and a metal bunk bed to sleep on.

‘I feel responsible for this. And you can’t imagine the attorney’s fees I have to pay. ‘

They work out well in six figures, he said. ‘It makes me cry,’

Kyiv-based US passport holder could face a year and a half in prison, the outlet said citing its own sources

Kyiv-based US passport holder could face a year and a half in prison, the outlet said citing its own sources

Realizing that the police were getting involved, photographer Alexander Ten and several women rushed to the airport and flew to Russia.

He said Dubai authorities were holding those who stayed behind on suspicion of involvement in prostitution and pornography.

But these charges had now been dropped against all of them, he said.

There was one instance where everyone’s name was mentioned. But this did not go further because there was no evidence, ‘he said.

The authorities had told him in the photo on the balcony to “accept my sin,” but he hadn’t, Grechin said.

Did I take the picture? No. Was I in the picture? No. Was I on the balcony? No. Did I let them out? No. Did I post the video? No.’

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

Pictured: Scantily clad models pose for a photo shoot with Vitaliy Grechin

Pictured: Scantily clad models pose for a photo shoot with Vitaliy Grechin

Grechin was transferred from prison to a prison hospital for Covid-19 patients, but he is now in a coronavirus shelter because he showed no symptoms.

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

“I have a newspaper that says Dubai has nothing against me since April 15,” he said. ‘I was going home on the 22nd. But then I caught Covid in prison.

“I have a document from the prosecutor saying we have no evidence that you did anything wrong.

“But I’m still in custody and can’t leave the room I’m in.”

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

He admitted that there was another photo in his Russian friend Alexei Kontsov’s apartment showing Grechin surrounded by 20 naked women playing the piano.

But this image was behind closed doors and not in anyone else’s eyes, he said.

Grechin admitted that there was another photo in his Russian friend Alexei Kontsov's apartment (pictured on board the flight to Moscow) showing Grechin surrounded by 20 naked women playing the piano

Grechin admitted that there was another photo in his Russian friend Alexei Kontsov’s apartment (pictured on board the flight to Moscow) showing Grechin surrounded by 20 naked women playing the piano

Grechin accused Dubai of being a ‘hypocritical society’ about sex.

“Dubai probably has the highest number of sex workers in the Middle East,” he said.

“Every person I know is high on drugs, and every sheik brings 50 or 60 girls from all over the world every week.

“I’m trying to stay away from all this.”

He enjoyed traveling with friends and had been on previous trips with a large group of women to Mexico, the Carpathians and elsewhere, he said.

This was how he chose to live and relax, even if it was unconventional, he said.

He knew all the women and some lived with him in Kiev, he said.

They were faced with ‘no terms, conditions or obligations’ in accepting his generosity, he insisted before expressing his view that women in Eastern Europe were more ‘liberal’ and ‘feminine’ than in America.

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

Besides Obama, Grechin has been photographed with Hillary Clinton, George Clooney and Sylvester Stallone.

Among the group with him in Dubai was Vogue model Evgenia Taran, 21, who said, ‘I’ve made a lot of conclusions, realized my mistakes and to some extent (I) am grateful for what happened.’

Another trained lawyer Yana Graboshchuk, 27, complained that they had been treated like ‘animals’ in prison.

Grechin said the legal and prison systems in Dubai were ‘border barbaric’.

His friend Kontsov, 33, returned to Russia last week, as did contestant Anastasia Fursova, 25.

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