German pop star Nadja Benaissa, formerly of the girl group No Angels, has officially been convicted of causing grievous bodily harm and attempted bodily harm for neglecting to tell sexual partners she was HIV-positive. Between 2000 and 2004, the singer had apparently had unprotected sex at least 5 times with 3 separate people without informing them of her condition, which she discovered in 1999 during a test while she was pregnant. One of these men, a talent agent, has had his condition transform into full-blown AIDS while others seem to be unaffected. (Physically anyway.) Apparently Benaissa’s management offered the talent agent some sort of deal to keep it hush-hush after he found not from Benaissa, but her aunt. He wanted her to go public and donate 100,000 Euros to an AIDS research charity. She did not comply with this and thus he went to the law. “You have borne so much suffering into the world,” he reportedly said on the stand.
Though she could have received up to 10 years in jail, Nadja Benaissa has been given a two-year suspended sentence and 300 hours of community service working with those who are HIV-positive. Her representation pushed for the more lenient sentence as she expressed great remorse for her actions. “I am sorry from my heart,” she has said.
What do you think? Should she have gotten the full shebang of the sentence? Or is the fact that she’s already HIV-positive enough of a punishment?
[image: Reuters; info: Concrete Loop, Reuters, CNN]
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.