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Published in: The National News
Film star alleged to have attacked a family of tourists in row over picture at Atlantis, The Palm
Egyptian actress Zeina has publicly denied attacking a family of American tourists at a five star Dubai hotel.
The celebrity has been questioned by police over an alleged assault of a couple and their 11-year-old daughter in a dispute over the taking of a picture at Atlantis, The Palm.
Zeina, who has more than two million followers on Instagram and has appeared in a series of films and TV shows in her homeland, has been questioned by police in relation to the alleged assault, according to official documentation.
She is accused of carrying out the attack - sparked by a row over the taking of pictures - along with her sister and a third woman, on June 29 at The Gold Lounge inside the hotel.
The family accuses Zeina of scratching and biting the 11-year-old girl and scratching her mother.
They say her sister also bit the man on the shoulder.
The 41-year-old film star said on her official Facebook page that she requested the family stop taking pictures of her, only for them to insult and assault her and her sister.
Zeina posted: “I was surprised when I was in one of the restaurants at the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai by intruders in my personal life who photographed me. Privacy breach is commonly known to be a crime in the UAE. Therefore, I have asked them with all respect and kindness to stop photographing me secretly [or off guard]. Unfortunately, my courteous plea was met with utmost harm as my sister and I were badmouthed and assaulted by the entire family.
“Being in the UAE and being fully knowledgeable of my rights, I have immediately contacted the police to report the incident and I was the first to place a police call and this is proven, I have also requested to discharge all the cameras which naturally picked up what happened in detail.
“The family were detained for a whole night for investigation and a travel ban was issued against them until investigations become complete.
“Days after the incident, the family have repeatedly tried to reconcile and apologise via 'mediators', but I refused.
“I am firmly determined to claim my rights to the fullest, especially that UAE authorities are currently dealing with the incident utterly free from prejudice.”
On the night of the incident, Dubai Police’s operations received a report of the incident and a patrol was dispatched to the scene where the actress, her sister, the tourist and his family were taken to Al Barsha police station.
The 47-year-old man gave a statement to police stating that Zeina and her sister had attacked his family.
“When I arrived, she was ahead of me and told police officers that I assaulted her as well, so they accused us of mutual assault. We gave our testimonies then left and on Sunday I headed to the American consulate which referred me to legal consultant Hassan Elhais.”
He was advised by his legal consultant to head to Rashid hospital for a medical examination, following which he, his wife and his daughter were provided with reports confirming an assault had taken place.
The report states that they suffered from bites, scratches and bruises.
The 47-year-man said in police records that when he heard the woman screaming at his daughter, he approached her - not knowing her identity - to explain that his daughter didn't speak Arabic.
“I told her that my daughter was born and raised in the States; I told her it was inappropriate to scream like that using such words, but she shifted to English language and cursed all of us and was accusing my daughter of filming her,” said the man.
He said he informed the woman that his daughter was merely taking pictures of his 5-year-old son at the playground of the restaurant. “I was telling her that, why would my daughter take a video of her, we never met her in our lives.
“Then, she said something about her identity and who she was, before she and her sister and a third lady attacked us. She bit my wife, then attacked my daughter, scratched her, and bit her before she snatched the phone out of her hand and broke it. Her sister bit me on the shoulder,” said the man.
The incident is still at the stage where it is being investigated by Dubai Police, which will look at if the matter can be settled, or should be should referred to public prosecutors.
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