Ruby tempts TV boss to make ‘no ball of the bitches’ appeal

A national TV manager has caused a stir by calling on staff not to let the Opera Ball “turn into a ball of the bitches”.Wolfgang Lorenz, the chief programme director of Austrian broadcaster ORF, confirmed today (Weds) that a leaked company-internal e-mail with this statement was sent by him to employees in charge of the live broadcast of the event set to take place in Vienna on 3 March.Lorenz said the memo referred to businessman Richard Lugner’s decision to ask erotic dancer Karima El Mahrough – better known by her stage name Ruby the Heartbreaker – to attend the VIP get-together with him.”I think it’s fascinating how he (Lugner) is managing to fascinate the whole of Austria with disgusting things year after year,” the ORF manager added.Referring to the expected decision not to give Lugner, 78, any attention during the channel’s live broadcast of the ball, he said: “I think we need to be courageous enough to say we will not do this considering that we are a state-funded company with an educational mandate.”Lorenz added: “I don’t care whether she (Ruby) sleeps with (Italian Prime Minister Silvio) Berlusconi or waltzes with Lugner.”ORF has achieved top market shares with its live screenings of the Vienna Opera Ball in the past years.Lugner – who attended the State Opera Ball with stars like Grace Jones, Carmen Electra and Dita Von Teese in the past – said earlier this week that his negotiations with Ruby’s agent were “in their final stages”.The 18-year-old shot to fame by saying she accepted a “gift” of 7,000 Euros after attending one of the parties held by Berlusconi. Ruby was allegedly only 17 when the bash took place. The Moroccan dismissed claims she had sex with the 74-year-old politician she described as a “lonely man”.Lugner’s invitation of American actress Bo Derek to attend the ball was declined prior to his approaching Ruby. In a bid to justify his decision to conservative critics, Lugner argued: “Popes had mistresses too.”Meanwhile, Opera Ball organiser Desiree Treichl-Stürgkh warned that Lugner may not get a box in the coming years. “I cannot take it away from him this year, I made enquiries about that,” the wife of Erste Bank boss Andreas Treichl said yesterday.Lugner reacted by saying: “She (Ruby) is a great woman and she will behave herself (at the ball). I be bringing a two-time Oscar winner to next year’s Opera Ball anyway.”