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Billionaire’s wife exposed in photo album

Published time: April 07, 2009 10:30
Edited time: April 07, 2009 10:30

A Russian billionaire has produced a coffee-table album full of naked photos of his wife. But there's one place the couple doesn't think is ready to see Olga Rodionova in all her glory - Russia.

Olga Rodionova is a six-foot Amazon beauty, who appears to be well-suited to being a consort to a powerful businessman. At 34, she’s got her own career as a TV presenter and model.

As a model, Olga has worked with some of the best fashion photographers in the world such as Helmut Newton, and has graced the covers of French Vogue, FHM, and Numero.

"I visited Turkey and asked my guide to show me the latest work of an architect called Sinan. He asked me three times whether I was Russian. He said: I've been a guide for 30 years now and it's the first time that I see such a woman," Olga remembered.

An now not just the guide can see Olga. She’s been uncompromisingly shot by Bettina Rheims, once the personal photographer of French President Jacques Chirac.

The most surprising thing is that the model was commissioned to the photographer by her own husband. Initially, Sergey Rodionov made the photographs for his own pleasure, but he was so pleased with the results, he decided to make them widely available. And despite the couple saying they're not exhibitionists, Olga in all her glory can be bought from the internet for just € 500.

Rodionov, who calls himself one of the poorest tycoons in Russia, is a publisher. He’s comfortable with his wife’s portfolio and doesn’t care what men friends say.


Olga Rodionova

"Carla Bruni was a model and has had over 30 boyfriends. Everyone in France knows these men. But French people do not seem to suffer from it. They're actually proud that their first lady can get naked for a photo, and then sell it at an auction. Her ratings are higher than those of Sarkozi. In Russia this is hardly imaginable," Sergey Rodionov said.

And Russia isn’t getting a chance to see the explicit pictures of his wife. The Book of Olga is not on sale here because neither of them think the country is ready.

"In Germany and France, the shoot was described as an 'art shoot.' The mentality and social structure of our people is different. We have a harsh patriarchy here,"
Olga said.

What might seem shockingly pornographic to some has been praised as 'art' elsewhere – whether she's being ravaged by a lobster, or tied up in bondage.

It’s believed the photographer got paid a million dollars for the shoot, but no-one’s letting on.

"I know Bettina [Rheims] very well. For no money in the world would she agree to work with a model which is not interesting to her," Olga Sviblova, Director of Moscow’s House of Photography, said.

So now anyone – outside Russia that is – can buy a little piece of Olga for a few hundred euros. And whether you think it's art or pornography, it certainly comes with an over 18 tag.

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