Support The Moscow Times!

In the Spotlight

This week, porn actress and former reality show contestant Yelena Berkova was convicted of drug possession in a sad comedown for the voluptuous star who once — almost — ran for mayor of Sochi.

Meanwhile, svelte actress Renata Litvinova, romantically linked to the even more rake-like rock star Zemfira, spoke of her hatred of fat people. And flamboyant television host Andrei Malakhov reportedly had a quiet little wedding at Versailles.

Berkova was given a three-year suspended sentence on Tuesday for buying amphetamines after she was arrested at a nightclub in a Moscow suburb — a concession for helping the investigation, since she could have been jailed, reported.

She was photographed outside the court in sunglasses, with unbrushed hair and dressed in dark clothes.

Ukrainian-born Berkova appeared on TNT’s long-running reality show Dom-2 back in 2004, swiftly “building love” with another contestant. But she had to leave in disgrace after two months when her double life as a porn star was exposed.

Not too downhearted, she went on to release a porn film titled “Dom 2 or How to Make Love With Yelena Berkova.”

In 2009, she announced a bid to join the Sochi mayoral race, a colorful affair with budding candidates including ballerina Anastasia Volochkova and billionaire Alexander Lebedev, both later disqualified. Berkova even released a campaign video showing her topless on the beach for a Party of Love, but she sadly pulled out of the running.

Meanwhile, the far classier actress Litvinova, known for her impeccable retro outfits, dropped a revealing line in an interview about hating fat people, posted by Kommersant journalist Natalya Radulova on her popular blog.

Dressed in a fur coat and black dress, her blonde hair crimped, Litvinova’s attention wavers when she spots someone eating. “Why is he eating so much in the morning? What is he eating, I wonder?” she muses over a stern small espresso. “If only you knew how much I hate fat people.”

Litvinova, who is divorced and has a daughter, has been linked to rock star Zemfira, who in recent years has transformed herself from slightly plump to skeletally thin. And the comment points at years of self-denial, Radulova wrote.

Another frequent target of gossip, Malakhov, host of the talk show “Let Them Talk,” wed at Versailles last weekend, reported, posting video of the couple walking hand-in-hand and watching spectacular fireworks.

Malakhov, whose love life has been the subject of speculation over the years, has had a series of well-publicized romances with blond women. But Komsomolskaya Pravda reported that he popped the question to Elle magazine publisher Natalya Shkuleva. Her father owns the publishing house of the magazine that Malakhov, at least nominally, edits, “Star Hit!”

Oddly, the story that the couple was dating only came out when the wedding plans were announced in KP, courtesy of “friends” of the host. The tabloid excitedly calculated that the event could cost $500,000 including the hire of a minor palace at Versailles, but provided no gossipy detail.

Malakhov, who lured Russian spy Anna Chapman for her first television interview, is shown in video shot by smiling broadly with a white flower in his buttonhole, holding the hand of the bride, wearing a simple long white dress.

Moskovsky Komsomolets wrote that a Russian photographer crashed the wedding party and snapped the couple with pop star Alsu, but then had her camera confiscated by guards who said they were from the FSB. The photographer was named as Natalya Medvedeva, although I could find no other reference to her.

A few years ago, Malakhov was linked to a much older blonde, and they were regularly photographed together, in what came across as a publicity stunt in a country where bachelors over 35 raise eyebrows.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.