The re-publishing of an old audio leak attributed to the Egyptian actress, Naglaa Fathi, sparked widespread controversy on social networking sites in Egypt, given the criticism it included of the Egyptian actor Adel Imam. And the timing of its re-publication, especially since Najla Fathi has been hiding for years, while rumors of Adel Imam’s illness have been increasing for months. What are the details of the story?
What did the audio leak include?
The audio recording of the Egyptian actress, which was published by the Egyptian journalist Khaled Farag, included direct accusations of Adel Imam that he is a “hypocrite and spreader of corruption”, and that “the people are the work of Adel Imam.”
And she added: “Oh Adel Imam, your work is the people. The one who paid you a ticket and reached the millions is the people.”
Najla Fathi described Imam’s work as “corruption for the love of corruption… I mean, the corrupt got out of the other, the winner.”
Naglaa Fathi also spoke about Adel Imam’s “fighting” with Islamic groups in the past and the present, and about his relationship with the regime of the late President Hosni Mubarak, with her objection to what Adel Imam was doing despite the Egyptian people’s love for him.
The leaked recording dates back to years ago, in the wake of the January 25 revolution, as part of a journalistic interview by Naglaa Fathi for the Egyptian magazine Al-Kawakib.
The Egyptian artist was speaking about her opinion of many artists and their positions on the revolution.
Some websites had circulated these statements at the time, but no one commented on them.
Najla Fathi chose to remain silent and kept away from the spotlight for years, and her last artistic appearance was about 20 years ago.
She also went on a treatment trip outside Egypt that lasted for years with her late husband Hamdi Kandil, before disappearing completely.
Lawyer Ayman Mahfouz
The cassation lawyer and legal expert, Ayman Mahfouz, decided to take the first legal action against the artist, Najla Fathi, after the spread of the audio clip.
Mahfouz issued a warning to the Syndicate of Acting Professions, the artist Ashraf Zaki, “the necessity of moving and opening an urgent investigation in the union to respond to the offensive statements of the artist, Adel Imam.”
Ayman Mahfouz stressed in the warning that “this clear hostility to Adel Imam, with his stature and history, is nothing but an attack on Egyptian art and silence about it will lead to many quarrels and quarrels between artists.”
Mahfouz called for “the necessity of drawing Najla Fathi’s attention by deviating from the necessary behavior and violating the union’s regulations and customs with these statements,” which he described as offensive.
For his part, the brother of the artist, Adel Imam, producer Issam Imam, expressed his surprise at the many “rumors that affect the Egyptian star during the recent period.”
According to local media, Adel Imam’s brother said: “I frankly did not follow this video or the audio leak. I was not told that the artist, Najla Fathi, is attacking the leader, and I do not know what the social media wants and what its goal is to defame a big star who gave his life to art.”
He continued, “I do not think that a great artist the size of Naglaa Fathi does this, as we have a close relationship with her, and I do not know what is happening other than that it is something strange, and if the social media satisfies her that from time to time she defames a big star who is loyal to his art and his audience in this way. This is very unfortunate.”
Naglaa Fathy’s family
On the other hand, according to press reports, director Khader Mohamed Khader, husband of the artist’s daughter, Naglaa Fathi, confirmed that this recording is old, since 2011, denouncing “the removal of speech from its context and its unjustified time.”
He described the re-exploitation of the recording by a journalist as a “strange behaviour”, adding: “If there is a journalist in Zhangan, he will not be able to read audio recordings from 2011 and promote them as being in 2022.”
Feedback on social media
The recent republishing of the audio leak sparked mixed reactions on social media.
A group of them, Najlaa Fathi, agreed with what she said.
Hisham Michlav said: “I listened to the call, and what Naglaa Fathi said we felt since the beginning of the nineties, when Adel Imam flipped 180 degrees and I personally stopped watching his works since that date. What she said was true…”.
Others believed that the artist’s statements were about the artist’s position, Adel Imam, on the January 25 revolution and had nothing to do with anything else.
Many also criticized the Egyptian journalist Khaled Fergan, who published the call with actress Naglaa Fathy.
Kamal said: “The audio leak of the able artist Najla Fathi is her personal opinion of the able artist Adel Imam. She did not launch an attack, otherwise she would have told the media. She said her opinion in a private session, and whoever leaked it attacked her privacy and acted with impoliteness and ugliness.”
On the other hand, another team showed solidarity with the artist, Adel Imam, stressing that it is sad that “you find an artist who is supposed to absorb depth in the work and speak like a simple follower accustomed to the victory of goodness and the hero marries the heroine and his mind does not think or accept even thinking,” they said.
While many saw that the statements of the artist Naglaa Fathi about Adel Imam “summarize the state of art in Egypt.”
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