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Beauty and the Beasts

Beauty
and the
Beasts

The precarious romance between Xuxa and Luciano Zsafir, the father
of her baby, seems in shakier ground than ever since the Queen of the Shorties declared
that "nobody is pretty in his family. Only Luciano. If my daughter has to look with
someone there, I hope it will be with him."
By

Like pop singer Madonna who handpicked personal trainer Carlos Leon to father Lourdes
Maria, her daughter, Xuxa, Brazil’s material girl, was also choosy when looking for a
sperm donor who would make true her old dream of becoming a mother. Marriage was also out
of question for the kids’ TV presenter whose blonde, lascivious, gorgeous-looking image is
known worldwide. The Brazilian superstar chose docile, pretty model Luciano Zsafir, 29,
six years younger than her.

Unlike Madonna, who disappeared from the public eye to savor her pregnancy and
motherhood, Maria da Graça Xuxa Meneghel has made a continuous circus-like spectacle of
her pregnant state. The revelation that she was going to be a mother was made on Domingo
do Faustão, a live Sunday entertainment show on TV Globo. Since the December disclosure,
the pregnancy has become a public affair with the nation following Xuxa’s goings to the
gynecologist, the ultrasound, and the choice of the name Sasha when the sex of the child
was determined.

Not only every Sasha heartbeat is being heard and followed by 160 million parents,
grandparents, and siblings, the whole country has also been sharing with the mother her
beliefs, values, and philosophy. Last thing to hit the TV fan was a public sparring
between Xuxa and her in-laws. The precarious romance between Xuxa and the father of the
child seems in shakier ground than ever since the Queen of the Shorties on May 10 declared
to daily Folha de São de Paulo: "Nobody is pretty in his family. Only
Luciano. I have nothing against them or in favor, but if my daughter has to look with
someone there, I hope it will be with Luciano."

That was enough to transform the cold war between Xuxa and the Zsafirs into a
full-blown battle. Gabriel and Beth Zsafir, Luciano’s parents, released a note to the
press criticizing Xuxa and Marlene Mattos, her all-powerful manager, hinting of a lesbian
relationship between both. "This is clearly a cheap provocation from two very close
lady friends (Vox populi, vox Dei), with the intention to make people believe that Luciano
is the villain in the farce by forcing him to abandon the show before it ends."

Luciano’s twin sister, Priscila Bochner, was incensed: "I hope my niece will not
be contaminated by Xuxa’s foolishness." Big sister Alexandra Lebelson Szafir de
Nicola initially didn’t accept the provocations: "I don’t believe Xuxa said that and
I am waiting for an official recantation." Since there was no forthcoming retraction,
Alexandra, joined the fray: "Xuxa does not even know me. How can she call me ugly?
From the pictures I see on magazines my family beats hers ten to one."

The always conciliatory Luciano, who lives by himself in a house that is a 20-minute
ride far from Xuxa, this time sided with his own family. He reminded everyone that his
mother was a coveted beauty and cover girl in her youth and classified Xuxa’s comments as
unfortunate. In a so-called official note sent by fax to newsrooms he delivered a stinging
message to his girlfriend: "As is common knowledge, beauty is an ephemeral quality,
and, with the passing of the years, particularly cruel with women."

Mother Beth, who thinks the TV presenter is just using her son, never hid her
displeasure towards Xuxa: "Luciano is not a nobody. Before she ever thought about
having money in life, he was already traveling first class with his siblings accompanied
by the nanny."

Xexéo, a renegade Rio’s Jornal do Brasil columnist wrote: "Let’s imagine
that Sasha looks like her mother. It is not possible that Xuxa is thinking that she is
going to inherit the features that the mother acquired through plastic surgery. That would
be funny. Sasha will have her mom’s face but she will be completely different from
Xuxa."

After delivering the first explosive salvo, Xuxa kept a rare low profile. To the
demands from the Szafirs that she make a public apology all she could manage to say was:
"Everybody makes mistakes, me included".

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