The Russian Internet is in an uproar after an unflattering television interview with Russia's most beautiful mother appeared online in which she couldn't answer simple questions such as whether the Earth revolves around the sun.
Rossia state television broadcast the interview with Mrs. Russia 2012, Inna Zhirkova, as part of an documentary about beauty pageant scams titled "Crowned Heads" on Friday night. A two-minute segment from the film, posted on YouTube and titled "Footballist Zhirkov's Wife: She Has Money but No Brains," had racked up more than 870,000 views by Monday afternoon.
The YouTube interview starts with Rossia journalist Boris Sobolev noting that Zhirkova, wife of Makhachkala Anzhi soccer star Yury Zhirkov and a mother of two, was crowned as the most beautiful and "active" mother in Russia and asking her how she was active.
Zhirkova, who smiles and laughs throughout much of the segment, replies that she is actually not active. Asked whether she has ever held a job, she replies, "For now I have not had any need to work."
Later Sobolev asks Zhirkova whether the Earth revolves around the sun or the sun revolves around the Earth. A flustered-looking Zhirkova says, "Probably the sun — no, the Earth." When pressed to chose one, she laughs and says, "I don't know!"
Rossia journalist Boris Sobolev questioning Mrs. Russia 2012 Inna Zhirkova (Russian only).
The online community was divided Monday on whether Zhirkova simply didn't know the answers or had been deliberately portrayed in a poor light.
Yury Zhirkov's spokeswoman, Daria Arslanova, accused the journalist of deceit, saying he had told Inna Zhirkova that the more embarrassing questions were meant to help her relax ahead of the interview and would not be aired. But, Arslanova said, the final version of the interview mixed those questions with ones about her family and deleted her correct answers to questions — including the one about the Earth revolving around the sun.
"Sobolev resorted to dirty slander in the program," Arslanova wrote on Facebook. "This story has been brought to the attention of Rossia management, but we have not received a response. Whether or not Yura and Inna do to court, I want this story to receive maximum publicity."
Sobolev said he stood by his interview and called the complaints "nonsense," national media reported. He said that the short interview had been taken out of context by being separated from the much bigger film and then posted on YouTube.