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Jackie Chamoun's 'Topless' Pictures Spark Flap

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  • W460
  • W460

Jackie Chamoun, the Lebanese skier competing at the Sochi Winter Olympics, has sparked a flap in the country, including a ministerial demand for an investigation, after risque photos of her taken for a calendar resurfaced online.

The photos of Chamoun taken for the calendar show her holding strategically-placed ski equipment to protect her modesty as she poses in Faraya mountains.

But a video of the photoshoot and stills from the film, which leave rather less to the imagination, emerged online this week, sparking criticism in some quarters after they were featured on local television.

Chamoun took to Facebook on Tuesday to publicly apologize for the video and stills, which she said showed the preparation for the photoshoot, rather than the final product.

"The video and photos that you are now seeing are part of the making of the preparation. It wasn't supposed to go public," she wrote.

"I want to apologize to all of you, I know that Lebanon is a conservative country and this is not the image that reflects our culture," she added.

"All I can ask to each of you who saw this is to stop spreading it, it will really help me focus on what is really important now: my training and race."

But the apology has not placated everyone, with caretaker Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Karami calling on Tuesday for an investigation into the photos to ensure "the protection of Lebanon's reputation."

The local Olympic Committee was meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss the issue, and the head of the Olympic delegation told Agence France Presse that Chamoun had been barred from speaking to the media.

Chamoun's photos touched off a small firestorm in the country.

"Stop all your trash," Issam Merhi wrote on Chamoun's Facebook page, addressing her supporters.

"What she has done is wrong, or else you would have all done it."

The 22-year-old Chamoun is competing in her second Winter Olympics representing Lebanon in alpine skiing.

And despite the criticism leveled against her, plenty of fans offered their support online.

"Don't worry about nay sayers Jackie!" wrote Nicolas Rubeiz on her Facebook page.

"Cherish your independence and keep making us proud. You are causing no shame whatsoever to Lebanon."

And others ridiculed the idea of a ministerial investigation to protect Lebanon's reputation at a time when the country is being rocked by a string of car bombings and other violence.

"Weekly car bombs, not a big deal. #JackieChamoun in a slightly revealing photoshoot: scandal. #LebaneseProblem," wrote Twitter user KareemVots.

Comments 75
Thumb ice-man 11 February 2014, 16:51

Jackie Chamoun wlb'2eh laymoun!!!!

Thumb lebanon_first 11 February 2014, 17:06

Utter Hypocrisy.

Jackie. You are pretty. These pictures are art. Celebrate your body, you worked hard to make it so well proportioned. Don't listen to our medieval hypocritical politicians who think it is ok to shoot your wife with a gun, but not ok to shoot someone's naked body.

Default-user-icon stav (Guest) 11 February 2014, 19:04

Agree 100%

Thumb zahle1 11 February 2014, 19:22

You cannot kill your wife and you should not be naked representing your country. She should not go to jail for this but should not be allowed to represent our country. I am for women's rights, I have 3 daughters. Women's rights is an issue. But marketing our athletes nude is not respectful or appropriate. How many of you supporting her will upload top less photos of yourselves, your wives, your ddaughters. Any priest or sheikh would be against this.

Thumb lebanon_first 11 February 2014, 19:28

zahle. stop the morality.
I have got one daughter. And if she wants to do a photoshoot of herself and show herself like jackie did, it is her choice. This is real freedom for women. Not my interfering with her decisions at 23 y o.

Thumb zahle1 11 February 2014, 19:40

Lebanese first, I live in the US now and don't go for the she is 23 she is not my responsibility anymore. I have no issues in the photo. But respectful women do t walk around in the nude to take a photo. The photo is fine. But she put herself in a situation. Do you want your daughter at 23 walking around nude to take a photo? "Baba, I want to take a picture with clothes on, but in order to I need to walk around naked in front of horn me with cameras first." "Oh sure habibi go ahead, walk around naked first, you are an adult, it is art, it is ok." This is so wrong. I cannot believe I am a minority here. No wonder there is a line at church to marry my daughters.

Missing marhaba 11 February 2014, 20:22

Stop bringing up the "my daughter" argument. If you believe in a women's freedom to make her own decisions, then whether it's your daughter or a girl you never met, the argument is the same.

For your daughters, you can instil your own morals and values (and religion) in them, but you can never permit them (as adults) from making a decision.

And why bring god into this? Maybe Jackie doesn't care about your god? Or is that still a taboo subject?

Thumb lebanon_first 11 February 2014, 22:17

zahle. You said " I wonder there is a line at church to marry my daughters".

This is where we differ. I dont want someone to marry my daughter because she subscribes to judeo christian morality. That is a wrong reason. I want him to marry her because she is herself, including her craziness, if any.
Plus, as FT said, pictures were not slutty. The US is ultra conservative and overly feminist in a bad way. I have more of a european view on this I guess...

Missing marhaba 11 February 2014, 18:14

I couldn't say it any better. 100% correct.

Thumb geha 11 February 2014, 20:30

coming from you, a terrorist extremist Iranian, makes me wonder how we can still live with you.

all know my religion, thus your comment is so empty....

Default-user-icon lolahope (Guest) 11 February 2014, 21:28

well said!

Thumb primesuspect 11 February 2014, 22:32

Shame on u 4 impersonating a Lebanese civilian without her consent. U should be ashamed. I'm reporting u.

Missing marhaba 11 February 2014, 23:54

Primesuspect, it's just someone who's bored and what's attention. No need to do anything but ignore.

Thumb Machia 11 February 2014, 16:56

Faisal Karami should stop speaking and appearing on TV that would be great for Lebanon's reputation.

Thumb Machia 11 February 2014, 17:12

I agree with everything you say except for poor tase and poor judgment.
She posed for a calendar and it was not a nude picture but whoever took the video obviously sold it to Al Jadeed.
So the only poor taste and poor judgement should be attributed to NTV, its owner Tahseen Khayyat (one of those old men) and the creep who took the video.
Jackie should sue them all.

Default-user-icon jb (Guest) 11 February 2014, 17:15

Let's see if she can ski

Default-user-icon sean (Guest) 11 February 2014, 17:20

And the Gold Go's to Lebanon.

Thumb lebanon_first 11 February 2014, 17:25

helicopter. I love how you slipped "calling HA resistance" in your list between marrying age 12 and being a takfiri hahahaha... I want to see the face of southern or mowaten when they read that.

But seriously. this is not poor judgment. She is free to express her opinions in the way she dresses. Some women decide to put on a tchador. Their choice. She might go full monty- it is her choice. She is not breaking the laws of the country she is in.

we should give people the leeway to express themselves.

Missing helicopter 12 February 2014, 03:13

I am not denying her right to express herself in any way she wishes, I was only expressing my opinion on that. I happened to be a social conservative and I believe in modesty. Morality is an essential pillar for nation building. Empires implode when Immorality becomes rampant and wholesome families are marginalized.
Sorry for the preaching I just wanted to explain where I am coming from.

Thumb cedars2 11 February 2014, 17:28

:)))) Shes beautiful.

Thumb ice-man 11 February 2014, 18:07

of course!!! She is M14

Default-user-icon Hanoun (Guest) 11 February 2014, 18:34

god bless you u Jackie
the people who criticize you do worse in hiding ou bindro el 3efeh
and most of all this our war in Lebanon thank you for showing it
and thae the war is
either Lebanon will: be open democratic secular and empowering women
or :feudal, jahilieh ,sectarian,fanatic and demonizing woman

Missing dee1234 11 February 2014, 18:34

Lebanon's reputation? Oh PUH-LEAAASE! Go investigate the lack of women's and children's rights and THEN talk about Lebanon's reputation Mr. Minister. Sigh.....
This is all a smear campaign against a girl who made it farther than many idiots out there. Why is this surfacing now?

Missing eliusa 11 February 2014, 18:37

she is a Chamoun ....enough said ..LOVE YOU....

Thumb Machia 11 February 2014, 18:49

I am glad to see that commentators from all political sides support Jackie Chamoun! Support our athletes, support freedom of expression!
This gives me great hope in Lebanon!

Thumb zahle1 11 February 2014, 19:29

She is free to express herself. She should not be arrested. I would frown upon a loved one being nude in public. Regardless of the end product. Go ask your sito if this is ok? Again no harm should come to her, and it is her right on her own time. Just not as an official representative of our country. She is beautiful. Good for her. I'm proud we have women this beautiful. But she is embarrassing her family by being nude on these photo shoots. Not one father wants their children doing this, male or female.

Missing peace 11 February 2014, 20:05

yes the timing is strange....

Missing peace 11 February 2014, 19:06

"Faisal Karami calling on Tuesday for an investigation into the photos to ensure "the protection of Lebanon's reputation.""

LOL what us lebanon's reputation? politicians unable to set up a gvt? terrorists everywhere? no water because of political disputes? YOU SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED FOR INEFFIENCY!
poor retarded people!!!

go Jackie go!

Thumb cedars2 11 February 2014, 19:32

Jackie for president!!!

Thumb zahle1 11 February 2014, 19:24

There are bigger issues that are more important I agree. It doesn't make it right. We are not a country of women who support public nudity.

Missing marhaba 11 February 2014, 20:24

I'm part of this country, and I publicly support equal rights for men and women. If men are allowed to sunbathe topless on the beaches, so should women.

Also, who are you to dictate my morality? Why do you feel the need to tell me what is right and wrong? If you think it's wrong, don't look at the images. It's simple.

Thumb zahle1 11 February 2014, 22:11

Marhaba, please don't misquote me. I fully support equal rights for men and women. Men and Women have different parts. I support women's right but not topless women in public. Again, I have no issue with her images. I do think she put herself in a poor position as a representative of our country and should not have to get nude in public to take a non-nude photo. That is all.

Missing marhaba 12 February 2014, 00:01

Zahle, my definition of equal rights differs from yours. If I can show my nipples as a male, I cannot see why its "wrong" for a woman to show hers.

Who defines the sanctity of these different parts besides a preconceived cultural notion (which I think is outdated)?

Thumb cedars2 11 February 2014, 19:31

For the first time FT im going to thumbs you up :))

Default-user-icon Hanoun (Guest) 11 February 2014, 20:48

jakie chamoun for president

Missing freecitizen 11 February 2014, 21:03

Jackie you're an angel, fuck our medieval society

Missing hollabackatcha 11 February 2014, 21:30

Jackie Chamoun and Olga Graf made this the best Winter Olympics ever!!

Default-user-icon Skyboy (Guest) 11 February 2014, 21:51

Stupid Minister, what do u expect if he is from Tripolie???

Thumb cityboy 11 February 2014, 22:19

....should have said at end those that see her as a role model for competing in the Olympics..

Thumb primesuspect 11 February 2014, 22:34

He's insecure and can't handle a beautiful chick....

Thumb cityboy 11 February 2014, 22:44

Don't worry about me anontexas, I am in no way a paranoid individual, but I do believe many things don't happen by mistake but are rather planned out and it is the gullible ones that fall prey to such plans. Do I think that Jackie was thinking, absolutely not. If she were, she wouldn't allow herself to be used in this way.

Thumb Machia 11 February 2014, 23:12


Women are at a great disadvantage in our country, legally, socially, economically and politically.
Jackie Chamoun emerged as a cool hero defying, unwittingly, our country men and women's hypocrisy, sense of moral superiority, religious taboos and Neanderthal social norms.
She is our response to a region that is sinking in sectarian intolerance, barbarism and treacherous massacres.
She is a light in our darkness. She is beauty amidst a sea of killers in the name of a man made god, of traders in human souls, of ugly sectarian thieves and warlords.
Thank you Jackie Chamoun for reminding us that freedom, courage, self confidence and humour exist in our country.

Default-user-icon sydneysider (Guest) 11 February 2014, 23:31

Amen to that.

Thumb primesuspect 11 February 2014, 23:15

Thumb up from me as well.

Default-user-icon sydneysider (Guest) 11 February 2014, 23:30

I can not believe what I'm reading. Seriously has any of you heard of freedom? I guess not? She is a woman that is free to do whatever she wants when she wants. I live in sydney and freedom is something everyone respects. Women suntan top less on the beach and no one even flinches u know why ? Because it's normal. Women breastfeed in public places, in the shops, basically anywhere they are when the child feels hungry and no one flinches and goes oh that's wrong. Because it is the norm. Seriously we should be proud that an athlete like her can represent Lebanon. I bet all you haters do worse things behind closed doors then she does. Far more serious issues need to be looked at other than jackie's pictures. No one will ever say Lebanon is bad because some lebanese girl has nude pictures on the Internet. I think Lebanon's has already painted a bad picture with all the bombings and deaths that is going on..

Missing imagine_1979 12 February 2014, 00:34

Flame bravo... U see we can agree sometimes..
Couldn't say it better..
Chupachups faysal, chupachups....

Missing imagine_1979 12 February 2014, 00:37

Great post texas, really..
Keep it up bro :)

Default-user-icon Michael (Guest) 12 February 2014, 01:28

You make us proud. You are a talented and wonderful athlete. we love you and wish you the best

Default-user-icon VAHE (Guest) 12 February 2014, 01:59

Which GOVERNMENT should start investigating?

Thumb cityboy 12 February 2014, 02:05

What does Saudi Arabia or Iran have to do with this. Don't try to flatter yourself too much. Maybe you shouldn't be so consumed about them because I hardly think they are killing themselves worrying about you or any Lebanese for that matter. No need to turn every issue in Lebanon to Saudi, Iran thing.

Thumb ashrafieh 12 February 2014, 02:38

Simple buddy... If 'Lebanese' people want to get all up tight and be ultra conservative go to an ultra conservative country like Saudi Arabia and Iran who don't realise it's 2014 and not 610AD. What next we going to start wiping people who dare live life the way they want? Or stone them because they have different beliefs and morals?

Thumb cityboy 12 February 2014, 02:24

I am not here to instill my moral norms on anyone. I am just saying that stunts like this are not by accident and have a purpose. I am rather trying to defend and not impose on others.

Missing helicopter 12 February 2014, 03:18

Next time I see either one of them I will ask them about that. Thanks for enlightening me.

Missing helicopter 12 February 2014, 03:33

This topic transcends religions and cultures. Within my family many would agree with you and argue with me. As a Lebanese I am sure this forum is to express opinions. My opinion on social morality happens to be similar to cityboy on this matter. My image of the ideal Lebanon is one of moderation politically and socially. This translates to rejection of HA and Salafi culture as well as decaying Western values. I support wholesome family values.

Thumb ashrafieh 12 February 2014, 03:54

That's fine... I understand your point of view and the point of Cityboy! Debate is great :) However I would rather see a hundred Miley Cyrus's (Cityboy argument) and choose whether or not I’ll buy her CD’s OR DVD’s OR calendars OR watch her shows etc then get some political *Insert bad word* (Faisal Karami) telling me what is acceptable morally and what is not, he says "the protection of Lebanon's reputation"... PLEASE Lebanon's reputation won't be tainted by the beautiful Jackie Chamoun it will be tainted on the international stage by comments like his that made most newspapers around the world! Lebanon is not a backward country and if some people desire for it to become backward, go to a country(s) that are (Iran and Saudi).

Thumb cityboy 12 February 2014, 05:05

Helicopter, I commend your views or at the very least speaking out about them regardless if they don't align with your fellow political believers. I would just like to point out that HA is not a culture, it is unfair to group it with the likes of salafism. Many of HA support is drawn from moderate and sometimes non-religious elements and will defend Lebanon's freedom and its plural society to the end. This does not mean we should abandon our defences when it comes to protecting our culture by tactics used by our enemies even if they may not come in the form of guns and bullets. For a Lebanese girl, regardless of faith, to expose herself has never been part of our proud Lebanese culture. Actions like this send wrong message of liberation to the rest of the Lebanese females.

Thumb cityboy 12 February 2014, 05:11

ashrafieh, it is great that you are offering your side of the debate. All I can do is share my opinion and point out what I think you are wrong in some senses. Of course you motivated by good will to our female population and want equal freedom for them. You point to the fact that some politician said this or that about Jackie. I just ask that you go beyond that, the politician is insignificant in the equation, in fact he is part of the blame in blowing this incident even bigger in order to attract more attention which the whole purpose was in the biggining. Once it is exposed you get many misled folks and the paid chills cheering her on saying stuff this is great for woman that she is making her own decisions. This is another form of cultural attack.

Thumb cityboy 12 February 2014, 05:24

helicopter, you also mentioned decaying western values, I totally agree and don't want the same thing to happen to Lebanon and the rest of the Arab culture for that matter. This is why I point to incidents like this and try to expose them for what they are, just as Mily Cyrus' performance. The decay of western values didn't happen by accident. It was pushed upon them. It happened with out them even knowing it was taking place. Stunts like Miley Cyrus as an example are not motivating purely for money but rather as a message to destroy the fabric of the society. Mily is just a shill in the scheme of things. The message is what is important. You get radio hosts the next day saying crap like good for her a free woman they say, because even the hosts have to toe a line. I hope people get my gest.

Missing people-power 12 February 2014, 06:22

well said ashrafieh

Default-user-icon LebWolf (Guest) 12 February 2014, 13:29

Cityboy, what do you mean by the destruction of the fabric of the society? I don't agree with Miley's performances and her ilk that's for sure, but I don't think that the social fabric of the western society is more broken than ours. Sectarianism, which is a purely oriental invention, has broken the fabric of our society a million times more than what happened to western societies, putting sexuality at the forefront of the definition of morality and the moral health of a society is just plain wrong because simply it's far from our reality.
We should be dead worried about sectarianism in Lebanon because it has broken our society killed our children for decades and we're plunging in dark ages because of it, it's not sexuality that did it to us.

Default-user-icon LebWolf (Guest) 12 February 2014, 13:43

Cityboy, and comparing the decaying western societies to our conservative ones I don't see more crimes, more deaths, more divorce, more social disintegration in them. I'm all for family values and family bonds that we have in our societies, but I don't think Miley for example or anyone like her can affect that in the way you're saying, it's not these things that are threatening the social fabric as you put it as much as many other things like forced immigration to find a job for example, you have way more females than males in Lebanon don't you think that this leads to huge problems in society and in our social fabric?

Default-user-icon LebWolf (Guest) 12 February 2014, 13:44

To cityboy again, Another example is excessive conservatism and religious intolerance even when it is the normal mainstream Lebanese intolerance that is not extreme, they wrecked our social fabric, we can't manage anything in this sorry country because of it, and the list of other issues goes long. So let's set our priorities straight then we'll worry about sexuality when it's degrading to young men and women and to human values, which is not the case with Jackie's photos.

Default-user-icon George deir el amar (Guest) 12 February 2014, 05:45


We love you, you're the best Long live all the Chamouns

Thumb scorpyonn 12 February 2014, 06:38

We have an infestation of dumpy Islamic women in Lebanon with those hideous headscarves covering their medieval heads. It is so refreshimg to see a woman that looks like a real woman.

Default-user-icon guest (Guest) 12 February 2014, 08:49

I think you guys are missing the point that - regardless of the failings of the lebanese state and its statesmen alike - jackie chamoun is not appearing at the olympic games in her own personal and private capacity. She is a representative of a nation that is a competitor at the games and therefore, as would a person be in any organisation or trade, is required to present herself in a manner appropriate to whom she is representing.

Default-user-icon guest (Guest) 12 February 2014, 08:50

You cannot blame the state for wanting to appear in a conservative way. it is the rightful perogative of the state to act in a manner that they believe best befits the nation, and in this instance they wish to at least propagate the country as a conservative self-respecting society. Now in her personal capacity nobody has a right to criticise the moral path that she sees fit for herself, that becomes her perogrative. Only then are the arguments of feminism and liberalism and her right to bare all become relevant. However as long as she is representing her fellow countrymen you must keep in mind there are many many people who would not approve of the image Chamoun portrayed on their behalf. finally, I personally find it mind boggling that society's norms have disintergrated to the point that a women will wilfully expose herself for gain. I worry that we are losing self-respect, self-worth as a society and in humanity in general. Is it appropriate?

Default-user-icon LebWolf (Guest) 12 February 2014, 14:55

You are missing that she didn't make those photos in the Olympic games nor as a representative of Lebanon, she's representing Lebanon as an athlete not as anything else, that's the image she's portraying about Lebanon. She's the best female skier in Lebanon and that's what she's representing in the Olympics.
As for the photos, she didn't willfully expose herself, the pictures are more decent than any average video clip you see on Lebanese TVs. The video of the shooting that was not meant to be public, was on purpose searched and released by Lebanese media to get a scoop without caring for the harm it might cause.

Thumb zahle1 12 February 2014, 16:26

Thank you guest! Well said!

Default-user-icon Amir (Guest) 12 February 2014, 10:44

Minister of sports is ordering an investigation and demanding a report?
What about gang land in tripoli, your home town.???
Don't you care ?
No need to go into women, men, morality debate in a morally bankrupt society ?
Dormant politician when crime and violence continue to rule the street
Politicians giving Monday useless speeches,
And suddenly everyone woke up when a young female poses for a photogenic session......that woke everybody in the sleepy country,
May be time for more photos as this will take over the daily news from the useless political speeches.
Great way to wake up

Thumb jabal10452 12 February 2014, 13:38


we are united on an issue for ONCE!

Thank you all for showing that when it boils down it, we share a deeply intrenched set of values that make us who we are: free, stubborn and indomitable LEBANESE.

Thumb Maxx 12 February 2014, 14:48

"All I can ask to each of you who saw this is to stop spreading it, it will really help me focus on what is really important now: my training and race." Quoth Jackie. So how does Naharnet support our leading Olympian? Publishes a story about it, fueling the media "firestorm" that it mentions in said article.
And don't worry about Lebanon's reputation; after the "Hommos, Hizballah and Haifa" image we have given off so far, a reminder that Lebanon has both beautiful women and Olympic participants can only be refreshing. Go Jackie!

Thumb _mowaten_ 12 February 2014, 15:26

oh and also, you were saying i was going to vanish here and not provide a source:

but as always, i provided the source and you vanished.

Default-user-icon mazen (Guest) 12 February 2014, 16:42

SO? What's all the fuss about? Let the woman concentrate on her competitions for crying out loud! As someone mentioned earlier in a newsreel.. the only golden medal Lebanon deserves is for stupidity.

Default-user-icon kassem (Guest) 13 February 2014, 02:24

yeah Naharnet,,,,,where the heck did my comment go. I commented hours ago. It was a clean comment or are you bias news

Default-user-icon lolahope (Guest) 16 February 2014, 23:46

where is my comment?