Pop star who gave her lover HIV is spared jail

Nadja Benaissa, 28, of German TV talent show winners No Angels, wept after she was given a two-year suspended sentence…

A girlband singer escaped jail yesterday for infecting an ex-boyfriend with HIV through unprotected sex.

Nadja Benaissa, 28, of German TV talent show winners No Angels, wept after she was given a two-year suspended sentence. She admitted not telling the man, 34, that she was HIV-positive during a 3-month relationship in 2004.

At the height of their success, No Angels were in the same league as the likes of Girls Aloud. They were discovered in 2000, on the show Popstars. They sold 5 million albums from 2000 to 2003. Nadja – dubbed Germany’s answer to Cheryl Cole – was also accused of not telling two other partners she had the virus that causes Aids. The singer had faced up to 10 years in jail.

She found out she had the virus after becoming addicted to crack at 14 and getting pregnant at 16 but denied deliberately infecting anyone. She said: ‘I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. I wish I could turn back the clock.’

She said keeping her HIV status secret was a ‘cowardly act’ but she was afraid for her career.

The judge in Darmstadt found her guilty of causing bodily harm but spared her jail because she had admitted the offence from the start of the trial and expressed remorse.


The trial has prompted vigorous debate in Germany. Some sexual health campaigners have argued that the high-profile nature of the case will make it harder to persuade carriers of STDs to be open about their condition, while others argued that the prosecution was an over-reaction.

The news magazine Der Spiegel called the pursuit of the case ‘a stigmatising witch-hunt’, and Aids support groups have worried that people carrying HIV will feel ‘pressured’ to take sole responsibility for safe sex.

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