Mystery continues to surround the whereabouts of Gulnara Karimova, estranged eldest daughter of the late president of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov.
Following last month’s Karexit in Uzbekistan, the rumour mill has been working overtime as to where the artist formerly known as Googoosha could be. Under house arrest in Tashkent since 2014, ‘reliable sources’ have spotted her in a variety of locations recently.
Some hold that she is in Israel, others Switzerland. Another report placed her in a shopping mall in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan with Elvis Presley and Prince.
The UK’s Daily Mail, quoting the journalists’ best friend ‘reliable sources’, has her committed to a psychiatric facility in Uzbekistan.
There are also rumours that she has resurrected her twitter persona in the form of Aфина, using the handle @zabitaya1972.
Wherever she may be, Lord Venal would love to meet up with the fallen diva. In a Proustian moment this week, his long-suffering assistant found among his effects a battered beermat from a well-known Tashkent nightclub with a loving dedication from a Gulnara. “To my mysterious and georgeous [sic] English lord,” she wrote. She added her mobile number and two kisses.
Lord Venal was instantly taken back to the heady days of 2012-3 when, on frequent business visits to Uzbekistan to advise clients on offshore banking, he kept running into the captivating blonde at various nightspots who, to be honest, turned his head. Gulnara would never say who she was, but hinted that her father had an important job and that she was a singer. Indeed, Lord Venal modestly notes that he sang love duets with her several times as the crowds watched adoringly. Sadly, he lost the selfies he took with her when he changed his mobile phone.
As Lord Venal is planning some further trips to Tashkent, he was thinking of renewing contact with the enchanting Gulnara. His assistant tried repeatedly to call the mobile number, but the recorded message says the number has not been assigned. If anyone knows how to make contact with the mysterious blonde, Lord Venal would be eternally grateful.