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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yulia Savelyeva's Naked City




The hot young singing star Zemfira got the gossipmongers in motion this week by shunning the annual show business award ceremony Ovatsia, or Applause, where she won two prizes. Her obstinacy so baffled celebrity circles that the scuttlebutt started circulating right at the ceremony itself.


Russia's No. 1 diva, Alla Pugachyova, stepped in and offered to personally present the awards to Zemfira - a proposal that was tinged with cynicism, as rumor has it that there is some bad blood between the two singers. Express Gazeta, the yellowest of the yellow press, recently poured oil on the flames of this spat.


Known for its strict policy of digging up celebrities' dirty laundry, the weekly published a cover article on Zemfira headlined: "Zemfira Supported by Millionaire's Wife."


Inside photos showed pictures of Zemfira at her Olimpiisky Sports Complex concert last month along with an impressive-looking, 30-something blond woman. This less-than-secret beauty is none other than Nastya Kalmanovich, Zemfira's close friend and concert director, who happens to be married to Shabtai Kalmanovich, the former Soviet spy-turned-millionaire who is known to be a generous sponsor in show business circles. Express Gazeta speculated that Nastya Kalmanovich is not just busy organizing Zemfira's career, but also investing a lot of her husband's money into musical her projects.


As we all know, trusting the yellow press makes about as much sense as trusting your money to a financial pyramid, so Express Gazeta's reports must be taken with a grain of salt. However, Zemfira herself confirmed her close friendship with Kalmanovich in her interview with Elle magazine, with her sidekick standing by. Nastya was described not only as her concert director, but as a "super fashionable girl who just stepped off the plane from the Parisian boutiques." Zemfira said she often solicited Nastya's advice and followed it, showing a designer ring she bought for her in Paris. As if to prove Zemfira's point, Nastya delicately corrected the pop star when she made the occasional error in language usage.


So what is all the fuss with Pugachyova? It turns out that Shabtai Kalmanovich is a close friend of Pugachyova and her husband (and star singer) Filipp Kirkorov. Perhaps, Express Gazeta speculated, the singing duo was miffed that Kalmanovich's money was used to sponsor Zemfira and not them. But there are so many people vying for the millionaire's money. There is never enough to go around.