Story By: Anastasia Smirnova, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: CEN
A beautiful blonde contestant on Russia’s version of The Voice has been arrested after allegedly killing a taxi driver in a hit-and-run accident.
Julia Gavrilova, 35, better known by her stage name of Julia Rainer, is accused of running over the man in the Russian capital city of Moscow and then driving off without stopping.
The 37-year-old taxi driver, whose name has not been released, had got out of his cab after it broke down when he was allegedly hit by the singer’s BMW X6 car.
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After Gavrilova allegedly sped off, eyewitnesses called for an ambulance but the man died from his injuries before medics were able to arrive at the scene.
Police officers say they arrested the singer about an hour later and brought her in for questioning. She was later released and allowed to go home on the condition that she does not leave the city.
Gavrilova now faces serious charges at a time when it had appeared her career was finally set to take off.
She appeared on the fourth series of The Voice on Russia’s Channel One but none of the judges turned around during her audition and she was booted off the show.
However, she launched a solo career and recently collaborated with Swedish producer Anders Bagge, who has worked with stars including Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Celine Dion, on an English language album.
Gavrilova was born and brought up in Moscow. She was a promising tennis player as a child and has a degree from the prestigious Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).
A guest user of a local internet forum said: “I think she might have not noticed the man, but it is really bad that she drove away from the scene.”
Another one added: “She might have been in the state of shock, and that’s why she drove away. I’m not trying to justify what she did, but I can get why she did it.”
The police investigation into the incident continues.