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The Schmooze

Bar Refaeli Will Host Eurovision — Unless She Is Indicted First

Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli will host the 2019 Eurovision competition, unless something big comes up, you know, like a criminal indictment.

The major televised event, which will be held in Tel Aviv this year to honor Israel’s win last year by singer-songwriter Netta Barzilai, will be co-hosted by Refaeli and three other Israeli talents — poet Lucy Ayoub and TV hosts Erez Tal and Asi Azar.

In early January, the Israeli state office informed Refaeli that she is being accused of tax fraud. The supermodel allegedly hid over $8 million between 2005 and 2012, and accepted luxury cars as payment for publicity work that she did not declare for tax purposes. The JTA reports that Refaeli cannot be charged until she either attends or waives her right to a hearing, at which point she may face charges of perjury and money laundering in addition to tax evasion.

The Israeli Broadcasting Company has invited Refaeli to co-host the Eurovision competition with the caveat that if she is indicted prior to the May event, she will be removed from her hosting duties.

Refaeli will share the spotlight with Lucy Ayoub, an Arab-Israeli Christian poet and television host who is the grandchild of Holocaust survivors. Ayoub will preside over the scene in the green room, while Refaeli will split main stage hosting duties with Tal and Azar.

Unless, you know, something crazy happens and the Israeli criminal justice system functions smoothly.

Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny

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