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Belgian teen fan has modeling contract cancelled over controversial hunting photo

Jul 15, 2014, 8:13 PM EDT

Despiegelaere Getty Images

A photograph giveth, and a photograph taketh away.

The Belgian girl who saw her World Cup candid become an internet sensation has had it all come crashing down.

17-year-old Axelle Despiegelaere was photographed at the Maracana during Belgium’s Group H match against Russia, and social media exploded. Her beauty earned her a modeling contract with French cosmetics company L’Oreal.

However, the company has since cancelled the contract since a photograph from Despiegelaere’s Facebook page became public. The photograph shows her posing with a gun behind an oryx gazelle she had recently killed on a hunting trip to Africa.

The photograph, posted just a day before Belgium’s knockout round match with the United States, had a caption that read, “Hunting is not a matter of life or death. It’s much more important than that…this was about 1 year ago…ready to hunt Americans today haha.”


After the picture became public and backlash began, she removed it and posted, “Hi, I didn’t mean to offend anyone…it was a joke. Thanks for understanding.”

L’Oreal responded, saying, “L’Oreal Professionnel Belgium collaborated with [Despiegelaere] on an ad hoc basis to produce a video for social media use in Belgium. The contract has now been completed.”

The company said they were aware of the photograph before giving her the contract.

Despiegelaere completed a promotional video for L’Oreal, but that video has now been removed from the company’s Facebook page. It is still on YouTube, and can be seen here:

  1. Ian's Rushtache - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    more of her please

  2. nextmanup81 - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    I’m American – come hunt me!

    • nickj689 - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:12 PM


  3. proceednet - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    Gotta love them cute trust-fund babies! So naive and spoiled! Gets taken to shoot a park pet in Africa, believes she’s a hunter. Travels to the World Cup and gets a modeling gig. Still thinks the world is flat.

  4. philliephaninva - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    She looks like most other chicks in the world. Nothing special there.

    • mazblast - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:16 AM

      Oh yeah, like you or I would turn her down if she pointed at one of us and said, “You.” Right.

  5. Skulb - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:04 AM

    FIFA just needs to burn really. Only rich sociopaths and pretty little vapid girls get to watch football these days. Should have chucked the whole lot into the streets and let some Brazilians in. The World Cup has become almost entirely fake.

  6. coachbeck - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:24 AM

    Hot, kills animals, poses with guns. If she has a bible anywhere close then I think she is truly an American dream.

    • lyleoross - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      Have you checked out the stats on America’s weight? Overweight, accidentally shoots family member, poses with gun that she doesn’t really know how to use, and only believes the parts of the bible that support her world view doesn’t sound quite so exciting.

  7. lyleoross - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    Somebody needs to tell L’Oreal that it’s a tad bit hypocritical to hire someone based on their looks, knowing that they have said picture and comments, and then fire them afterwards when you realize it might impact your US sales.

  8. braxtonrob - Jul 17, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    Firing her seems like overkill. (Get it? ‘Overkill’? hahahahha)

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