Reality Show Contestants Behaving Badly

Some of you may remember the strange and grisly saga of U.S. reality television show cast member Ryan Jenkins last summer. Jenkins, who was a contestant in the VH1 show “Megan Wants a Millionaire,” was suspected of murdering his ex-wife in mid-August and a week later killed himself in a hotel room in Canada after being chased by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Reality show contestants getting mixed up in murder and malfeasance is not an exclusively American phenomenon, however. Last week, Moscow police arrested a former cast member on the timeless Russian reality show "Dom-2" on suspicion of luring four African women into prostitution, Komsomolskaya Pravda and Lifenews.ru reported.

The suspect, Aigyun Azizova, was detained Jan. 18 outside the Solnechny Rai, or “Sunny Heaven,” shopping center in western Moscow in a sting operation after she accepted 50,000 rubles ($1,650) from an undercover cop in exchange for the four women — three from Nigeria and one from Ghana, Lifenews.ru reported.

Citing police sources, Interfax — which did not identify the suspect — said the 22-year-old detainee and her accomplice had promised the women employment and were now facing charges of illegally holding the alleged victims captive, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison, depending on aggravating circumstances.

A video of the sting posted on Lifenews.ru shows Azizova being handcuffed while an unidentified woman wails in the background. The suspect appears to be clutching a handful of 100-ruble bills and refuses to unclench her fist when asked about its contents by the cameraman.

Azizova’s suspected accomplice, both Lifenews.ru and Komsomolskaya Pravda reported, is her live-in boyfriend from Ghana, Shamsu Muhammed.

The police source told Interfax that Azizova had admitted her guilt, though her mother told KP that she had been duped by Muhammed, with whom she is expecting a child.

Azizova was a contestant on "Dom-2" in the fall of 2006, and despite the fact that she lasted only a week, “she managed to impress viewers,” Lifenews.ru noted. The web site also said she later appeared on screen several times on the sex-advice show hosted by busty celebrity and socialite Anfisa Chekhova.

This is not he first time that participants in Russian reality shows — including "Dom-2" — have hit the country’s crime blotters.

In 2005, Smolensk authorities had all but given up on tracking down Alexei Adeyev, who was suspected of defrauding a local woman out of $1,900 in a real estate deal. Police believed that he had fled to Belarus, but apparently Adeyev had decided not to lay low. The victim in the case spotted him as a cast member on "Dom-2" and called police.

Adeyev was arrested, convicted and sentenced to four years in a maximum-security prison.

Still, according to this rundown of U.S. reality show contestants accused of felonies, Russia has a long way to go before it — with respect to Comrade Khrushchev — catches up with and surpasses America.

See also:

Reality Show Star Charged

Russia To Deploy Latest Anti-Aircraft Missiles To Crimea

Woman Arrested in Russian Airport With Undeclared $580,000 Ring