iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Uzbekistan: Searching for Googoosha

Listen now 28 mins

Listen in pop-out player

Uzbekistan: Searching for Googoosha

Duration:
28 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 16 January 2014

Natalia Antelava goes in search of Gulnara Karimova - pop star, philanthropist, socialite, intellectual - oh, and incidentally (according to leaked US Embassy cables) the most hated woman in Uzbekistan. The image that graces the screens and billboards of Tashkent is one of a glamorous, dynamic, celebrity who flits from Cannes to New York to Moscow, fronting glossy music videos under her musical alias GooGoosha, with stars like Julio Iglesias and Gerard Depardieu. She runs charities and helps children all in an attempt to win the hearts of the Uzbek people for what some say is a bid to succeed her father as president. But her ambitions have taken a hit and the princess of Uzbekistan's star is falling. Described as a 'robber baron' in cables from the US Embassy, her business dealings are getting her into trouble. Natalia travels to Sweden to find that Karimova us connected to a bribery case which is linked with a money laundering investigation in Switzerland and France. Karimova's rivals for power are now taking advantage. Her TV stations have been shut down and her charity has been subject to a tax investigation. With the story hitting the headlines, Karimova has taken to Twitter to defend herself, including a virtual encounter with Natalia herself. What is the future for GooGoosha and what does this power struggle say about the nature of power in one of the world's most repressive states?

Producer: Wesley Stephenson.

Broadcasts

The Best of Crossing Continents

The Best of Crossing Continents

Explore the highlights from the Crossing Continents archive

Free download

  1. Image for Crossing Continents

    Crossing Continents

    On the ground reporting from around the world which focuses on the human dimension of the big…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.