Singer Cheb Mami Gets Five Years in Prison for Forcing Girlfriend to Have Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
July 6, 2009
Paris, France (LifeNews.com) — European singer Cheb Mami will head to prison for five years in connection with an incident in which he conspired with his manager and others to force his girlfriend to have an abortion.
Known as Prince of Rai, Mami, whose real name is Mohammed Khalifati, he was apprehended by Interpol agents after he fled to his native Algeria for more than two years.
The star, who has had several chart-topping hits in France and sang on Sting’s 2001 hit Desert Rose, is credited with bringing his homeland’s Rai folk music to an international audience.
Now, he will be remembered for his part to force his girlfriend to have an abortion.
Following the decision, he broke down in tears and admitted to making a "serious mistake" adding that he felt "trapped" when she told him she was pregnant.
"I was ashamed to have an illegitimate child. A child should be born from a union. I didn’t want this child," he told the court.
Mami blamed his former manager Michel Lecorre saying he was the one behind the abortion plot. Lecorre, who is known as Michel Levy, has been sentenced to four years in prison for his involvement.
"I was in a panic and I agreed," he said. "I did nothing to stop him."
Mami skipped bail and fled to Algeria in 2007 after being charged with counts of causing bodily harm, sequestration and issuing threats against his former partner, a 43-year-old magazine photographer.
Levy and Mami reportedly kidnapped and drugged the unnamed woman and took her to a house in Algiers where two doctors attempted to do an abortion on her.
The woman later returned to France and found out that the abortion was not successful. She later gave birth to a child, who is now three-years-old.
The woman’s lawyer, Marie Dose, said Mami was very involved in the abortion attempt.
"For Cheb Mami to say who did what, who decided what. For him to stop laying the blame on his ex-manager," is wrong, Dose said. "My client wants recognition of the barbaric acts she lived through. That those who assaulted her finally own up to their responsibilities."
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