Woman who organised parties for top footballers to stand trial accused of pimping, tax fraud and running prostitution ring
A woman who organised nightclub parties for top footballers is to stand trial in France on charges of pimping and tax fraud, accused of running a prostitution ring.
Stephanie Viale (40) denied the allegations and said she simply organised parties and introduced the footballers to her friends, some of whom were women who had appeared on reality TV or were Instagram influencers.
Most of the parties were reportedly held in the south of France, but also in London, Dubai, Geneva, Istanbul and Marrakesh.
Ms Viale was paid thousands of euro for each soiree by the bars or clubs where they were held, according to the newspaper 'Nice-Matin'.
Accused of failing to pay tax on the proceeds, she was reportedly placed under police investigation because of her jet-set lifestyle.
Mario Balotelli, French internationals Mathieu Valbuena and Jeremy Menez, and Chelsea player Tiemoue Bakayoko appeared in photographs of parties posted on Ms Viale's Facebook page, the paper reported.
There is no suggestion that any of the players engaged in or were aware of wrongdoing. French police questioned some of the players, Nice-Matin reported, but as witnesses rather than suspects.