Grant's brothel storm
Portsmouth manager's wife blames 'crappy' club for furore
The wife of Avram Grant, the Portsmouth manager, laid the blame for his visit to a brothel at the hands of his "crappy" football club yesterday as she gave a spirited defence of her husband.
Tzofit Grant, who is a colourful television presenter in the couple's native Israel, insisted that she was "not mad" at his visit to the "massage parlour", adding: "He can do whatever he likes with his body."
Mr Grant (54) may be questioned as a witness by police as part of an ongoing investigation into the brothel, on an industrial unit near Portsmouth's training ground in Eastleigh, Hants.
Mrs Grant (45) said her husband's visit was entirely innocent, and she had encouraged him to have massages to relieve aches and tension in the past.
"I don't understand all the fuss," said Mrs Grant, speaking from Tel Aviv. "Avram loves massages, also Australian massages and Japanese massages, as well as having massages from Thai women.
"I swear on my children's lives that I am not mad at him. If I am mad, it is because he does not get massages every day. He's the manager of Portsmouth. Do you know how tough that is? He's a great manager stuck in a crappy team. He works so hard, he needs two massages a day, and from two women, not one."
Portsmouth are currently bottom of the Premier League and suffering a financial crisis which yesterday saw ownership of the club change hands for the fourth time this season.
Mrs Grant, who is known in Israel for a succession of stunts on her TV show which have included drinking her own urine and bathing in liquid chocolate, said she had laughed when her husband phoned her yesterday morning to tell her his brothel visit had been made public. "He went to get a Thai massage. No one until now has proved this is a brothel," she said.
"Be reasonable; who goes to a brothel in the middle of the day while wearing a Portsmouth uniform when he knows he is a famous person? The place in question is a massage parlour; a place where you get massages.
"When Avram called me this morning and told me about the headlines, I told him he doesn't even have to reveal the details to me and certainly not to a newspaper. This is a private matter.
"The truth is that if Avram wanted to go to a brothel, it is his right. He can do whatever he likes with his body."
Mrs Grant, who has two children by the former Chelsea manager, became a hit on Israeli TV with her early-morning show 'Milkshake', characterised by stunts such as her sitting in a bath of spaghetti and tomato sauce, and allowing a sado-masochist to spank her.
She was later given her own chat show, 'Who's Afraid of Tzofit Grant?'
Yesterday Grant was assured that his job at Portsmouth was safe after he discussed the brothel visit with club officials. A source said: "The club will not be making any comment officially but these allegations do not affect Avram's job."
Meanwhile, workmen spent yesterday dismantling the interior of the brothel which closed down on Monday. They were seen removing a sauna, whirlpool bath and other fittings.
A middle-aged man who owns the premises said he had decided not to allow the tenants to renew the lease after it started to attract "the wrong kind of publicity."
The landlord added that he had believed it was used as a massage parlour, and nothing else. But an undercover reporter from a tabloid newspaper who visited the premises in December was allegedly offered full sexual intercourse for £130. (© Daily Telegraph, London)