Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Monday, June 30, 2008


Natalia Annenko – “Peter Chernishov is a rare present for any woman.”

Translation of an interview by Anna Veligzhanina (AV), a correspondent of the Russian language publication “Komsomolskays Pravda” printed on June 12, 2008

Figure skater Natalia Annenko (NA), former wife of seven years to figure skater Peter Chernishov -- who became famous in Russia due to his romance with a popular TV personality, currently lives in the US.

NA – I met Peter when he joined our skating group in Moscow. At that time I was a well known figure skater. I was skating with Genrikh Stretenski, participated in the Olympics. Peter was just a beginning ice dancer. I was seven years older than he was. It did not make sense for me to drop my partner and to start skating with Peter. We were well known internationally, Annenko & Stretenski.

With Peter, we just fell in love with each other. Peter surrounded me with tender loving care from the very beginning. He was a serious person. When he fell in love, he approached it seriously and soon proposed to me. We were so busy that we got married much later – we did not have time to get married. We were traveling for competitions. I was also involved in tours. He would send me presents and flowers in every city where I was at the time. In the States, when I participated in shows, he could fly cross-country just to see me and then would fly right back.

AV – What kind of a person was he?

NA – Oh, as a person he was very good, even great! He was soft, intelligent and taking very good care of me. For all of our life together I could not remember even a single quarrel, or his raising his voice on me. I felt very safe with him. He always calmed me down before competitions. I am an explosive, impulsive person, while he would never lose his cool, he would never blow up. I could always lean on his strong shoulder.

AV – What about helping you with the household?

NA – Actually we traveled more than stayed in one place. But he took care of the apartment and its repairs. He was the one who suggested buying an apartment in Russia. We lived very well in the center of Moscow. We went to restaurants, movies and in general we were very happy. In seven years we did not have any problems.

AV – Someone said that Peter easily falls in love. Is it true?

NA – No, I would not say so. He did not give me any reason to be jealous in the seven years that we were together. I think that he could love only one person at a time. He was very serious and reliable.

AV – It looks like he was an ideal husband. Why did you break up then?

NA – He would have been ideal if we would stay together and have kids. Something was missing and we divorced. I can not complain about him. I understand that he fell in love with his beautiful American partner, Naomi (Lang). At that time, I completed my skating career and became a coach. Peter and Naomi continued skating, went to the World Championships. Peter was hiding his growing feelings for Naomi, he did not want to upset me, but I noticed everything. I could have fought them, but I did not want to. I wanted a normal family - a child and a home, while he did not want it. I think that our views of life became different. I was 35 years old and wanted to have a child. I had completely realized my goals in sports, while Peter was still on his way up. He liked competitions. Peter and Naomi had more in common than Peter and I.

AV – Were you jealous?

NA - Of course. But I understood him very well. Naomi was a spectacular girl. He was infatuated with her. Peter and I had no scandals, we divorced peacefully.

AV – Did you try to change him, to convince him to live for yourselves rather than for a career?

NA – To be a leader in his family, Peter had to become an accomplished skater. He was very close to achieving this goal. It would have been difficult for us if we had not broken up. I would have to wait until he finished his career.

AV – Did he confess to you that he was in love with Naomi?

NA – No, he did not, he was hiding it from me. But it was so difficult to hide. I could see that some feelings were developing between them. Incidentally I think that initially he did not want their feelings to become serious. He was struggling until we divorced. The official romance between them started when we divorced. It is hard to say who initiated our divorce. Just that a critical moment arrived when it became clear that we could not continue our life together any more. We understood that we wanted different things in life. Now I am married, I have two children. I have the life which I was dreaming of. After our divorce, Peter left me everything – the house and the money. When he sold the apartment in Moscow, he gave me the proceeds. He left me all my jewelry, although I had a well paying job. He left everything to me. He was working hard to support himself. Incidentally, after the divorce he was sometimes sending me the flowers. Even now he calls and inquires after me.

AV – Were you hurt when you split?

NA – Of course I was hurt. I did not marry him for nothing – I loved him very much. But I would not force him to stay with me.

AV – Are you sorry to break up with him?

NA – Sometimes I am thinking – if we were not divorced, what would happen to us? But then I remember how it was and feel that we made the right decision. Our separation was natural for us.

AV – Did you suffer for a long time after the divorce?

NA – Yes, I did. But it was useless to hold on to him. His heart was not with me. To let him go was probably better than to hold on to him.

AV – Nevertheless he left his American wife, as well.

NA – It was her initiative. She was searching for something all of the time.

AV – Would you like to have him back?

NA – It is too late now. I have a very good family. The past is the past. Two years after my divorce from Peter, I got married. All that time he was with Naomi.

AV – I am surprised how you could break up peacefully! You loved him and so easily gave him up to another woman.

NA – Many people could not understand how that could happen. I do not have any angry feelings toward him, it just happened. He never upset me during our marriage.

AV – How well is he off now? Does he have money?

NA – Yes, he does. After our divorce he bought a house. He could always earn money. His parents were well off and supported us. He never had problems with money.

AV – Have you heard that Peter now has a romance with a famous actress in Moscow – Anastasia Zavorotnuk?

NA – Yes, I heard about that. What can I tell you; I think that she is a lucky woman. I live in the States and do not know this actress, but I think that any woman who would end up with Peter will be lucky! He is a very good man – careful, attentive, respectful and generous.

AV – There is gossip that he is looking for a rich bride.

NA – I did not have that impression of him, not at all. He is handsome and well off. He does not need anything since he has everything. He has fame and titles. He is looking for love. He wants a family. I wish him happiness.


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