SCMP Tuesday, January 9, 2001


Kournikova not happy with body double

IAN MARKHAM-SMITH

Tennis pin-up Anna Kournikova, who lost the Watson's Water Challenge to Jelena Dokic in Hong Kong on Sunday, has also lost a US$1.8 million (HK$14 million) advertising deal after she refused to show off her body.
The Russian idol stormed off the film set of a computer game commercial when asked to wear a figure-hugging costume. And she is said to have left with a parting shot that left her body double-American model Chanin Owens-in tears. A fuming Kournikova pointed at Owens and allegedly yelled at the startled director: ''I don't want to be portrayed by that skinny b****.'' The 19-year-old-accused of developing a super-ego since rocketing to stardom-kept 100 extras and 50 staff waiting for six hours at the set in Miami, Florida, before she appeared to shoot her scenes for Lycos Fantasy Sports, an Internet game provider.
Producers had brought in extras to play adoring fans, holding up banners with messages of support. Kournikova was to be featured strolling on to the court wearing a revealing white tank top and tight shorts. However, she threw a tantrum when she saw her skimpy costume and screamed abuse at the directors. Her mother Alla, who travels the world with her, joined in the tirade.