Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Monday, May 21, 2007


Oxana Bajul - a difficult child

Translation of an article by Svetlana Orlova printed in Russian Language Internet publication "Express Gazeta" on May 11, 2007

After braking up with Masha Anikanova, Ilja Kulik got together with "the difficult child" before hooking up with Ekaterina Gordeeva. It was 1998. After becoming a hero of the Nagano Olympics, 19 year old Ilja Kulik could not imagine that he would leave Tatiana Tarasova, the coach that he adored. He also did not imagine that soon he will be getting support from a most scandalous figure skater. After coming out of a three years binge of drinking, Oxana Bajul met a brief love and then had to pass it on to her close friend Ekaterina Gordeeva.

Young Ilja Kulik was an idol for many girls. As soon as he would come out on the ice, there was an echo from the stands: "He looks exactly like Leonardo DiCaprio." But Ilja was not lucky in love. Preparing for the Olympics, he was infatuated with a French skater. But his coach, learning of this, put a stop to the courting. A year later, Ilja told Tarasova that he was tired of her running his life and he left her. He himself explained that he did not want to prepare two programs a year and to go to practice twice a day. But it was not just the work that was hard on him. His coach actually ran his personal life. As soon as she broke up his advances to the French figure skater, Ilja fell in love with Masha Anikanova. Tarasova thought he should not waste time on hanky-panky. But apparently Masha was serious about her relations with Ilja and was ready to leave the theater. She also was talking about having a child with Ilja.

Those events did not meet the plans that Tarasova had for Ilja. But she could not interfere directly, as she had done with the French skater because in the past, when Masha was practicing on ice as a novice figure skater, Tarasova was her coach and she was friends with Masha's mother.

Meanwhile, Tarasova witnessed a romance and break-up of the unhappy marriage of Anikanova with another skater, Evgeny Platov. Tarasova, with the help of Ilja's mother, tried to interfere in his relationship with Masha, who was 4 years older than Ilja. Kulik tried to ignore the gossips, but he was not very wise and he lost his love.

When he was 20, Ilja decided that he would turn professional and he signed up with the show of Tom Collins. Oxana Bajul who was also 20 at time, worked at the show as well.

When Oxana was 16, she won the Olympics at Lillehammer and her coaches brought her to America. Pretty soon the press christened her "the difficult child" for her behavior. When Ilja met Oxana, she had just checked out of a clinic for treatment of alcoholism and she was very lonely. After learning of who he was seeing, Ilja's mother thought that she should not have interfered in his relationship with Anikanova. But Ilja was not serious about his relationship with Oxana. He knew her past when she was walking around in her underwear at the hotel Ritz, or when being drunk she crashed her Mercedes and almost killed her passenger - Mr. Ararat Zakarian, who is now an agent of Evgeny Pluschenko and Irina Slutskaja and a producer of "Pluschenko show".

Also, Ilja could see that Oxana was not good with the money. Since she made 6 Million dollars in promotions for cosmetics and chocolate, she would not wear things that would cost less than $1000 each. He did not make such money and after spending one summer at the Collins show, he left for "Stars on Ice." He was looking for support at that time and he received it from Ekaterina Goredeeva, who also worked with "Stars on Ice." At that time she was also grieving for a loss. But not for the loss of her husband who died in 1995 of a heart attack, but for the loss of her then-boyfriend, a soloist with the New York ballet, Igor Zelensky. The "grieving widow" image was created by the promoters of her book "My Sergey." People knew the couple of wonderful figure skaters, multiple World and Olympic champions. The book about their beautiful life was selling very well. The first book was followed by a second - "A Letter for Daria" which was followed by a movie. Eventually news about her relations with Zelinsky became known and there was even talk about marriage. At that time Zelinsky was offered a position at "La Scala" and he could not turn it down.

Gordeeva lived near Oxana Bajul. Oxana liked Ekaterina and her husband and continued to be friends with Ekaterina after Sergey's death. Through Oxana, Ilja met Ekaterina and fell in love with her. Soon he moved in with Ekaterina, she got pregnant and they got married. Now they have 2 daughters - 14 years old Dasha and 6 years old Leeza.

Meanwhile at the World Championship of 99, Oxana Bajul was seen everywhere with a dark skinned man named Johnny, a stylist and make up artist. Oxana was saying that she had complete psychological compatibility with him, that he was her family, despite his being gay.

It was not clear how long she was satisfied with a relationship with a man with an alternative sexual orientation, but it is known that in 2001 she met a young businessman and a recent immigrant Zhenja Sunik. He is the one that I was looking for, said Oxana. Finally there is a real man beside me. Zenja's parents were running a clothing shop and they opened a special line of costumes for the figure skaters. The young people were planning to get married and to have a child. But according to Oxana, the parents of Zhenja did not approve of her returning to the show "Stars on Ice" and after 5 years of living together they broke up.

Two month after the break up, Oxana found another candidate for a husband. Again initially everything was ideal. The 40 years old businessman, Jim Brennon, was building roads and did not mind Oxana's participation in the show. But recently she broke up with him too, saying that she would not have anything to do with Americans any more.

Who she lives now with, she does not tell. It is possible that the faithful Johnny is comforting her again.


  • At May 21, 2007 8:20 AM, in2sk8n said…

    Interesting, though not really sure I believe it. Ilia Kulik, Maria Anikanova, and Oksana have given many many interviews and never mentioned anything about Oksana and Ilia dating (or even being close friends). Actually several interviews given by Maria A. and Ilia have said he basically went straight from a relationship with Maria into the relationship with Katia Gordeeva.

    And the black guy named Johnny that the article implies was a sort of romantic interest for Oksana is actually a very long time friend and I believe either Makeup artist or hair stylist for her.

    Is this a tabloid type of article or was it from a reputable newspaper. If it's a tabloid article then the discrepencies are to be expected but if it's a reputable newspaper article I'm surprised that they'd print something with so little fact or research, seems mostly heresay and innuendo.

    Still, I love to read these articles :) Their fun, even if I don't believe them.

  • At May 24, 2007 2:41 PM, Alina Adams said…

    It's a tabloid. Isn't it nice to know that making stuff up and calling it journalism isn't limited to "The New York Times?"


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