This story is so bizarre that deserves turning into film. Not that I want to defend that tattooist of Armenian origin, but the girl's version of the story does not make sense. She says that she "fell asleep" while tattooist doing his work, and woke up having a 56 stars on her face instead of requested three. Anyway, my work colleagues, who were unaware of tattooist's ethnic origin, did agree with me. Whatever the truth is, this is one of the most bizarre stories I've recently read.
*report and photos below, via British tabloid Daily Mail
The tattooist embroiled in a row with a teenage girl who claims he tattooed 56 stars on her face when she only asked for three has said he will help pay for them to be removed.
Rouslan Toumaniantz said today that Kimberley Vlaminck 'absolutely' agreed she wanted 56 stars tattooed on the left side of her face.
But now the 18-year-old is suing Toumaniantz, claiming she had asked him for only three stars - and had fallen asleep during the procedure, waking up to a nightmare in her Belgian hometown of Courtrai.
Toumaniantz - himself covered from head to foot in tattoos and piercings - said he would help pay for half of the treatment to remove the tattoos.
'I maintain that she absolutely agreed that I tattoo those 56 stars on the left side of her face,' he told newspaper La Derniere Heure. 'A witness, a woman who was present, has already been questioned by police, and she confirms it. 'But be that as it may: Kimberley is unhappy and it is not my wish to have an unsatisfied client. There is a way to remove the tattoos with the help of a laser. I accept to pay for half the cost.'
Toumaniantz claimed Kimberley was happy with the work when she left his shop in Coutrai but changed her mind when her father saw the stars. 'She's 18 years old, she's an adult,' he said. 'I don't regret it. To tell you the truth, this has given me some publicity.'
Kimberley is suing Toumaniantz for £10,000 after she paid £55 for 'the graffiti that has ruined my life'. She claimed the Toumanaintz misunderstood her French and English. She claims she fell asleep while he was doing his work... and awoke to 'this nightmare'. 'It is terrible for me,' said Kimberley yesterday. 'I cannot go out on to the street, I am so embarrassed. I just look horrible.' 'I think he didn’t understand what I wanted. He spoke only fractured English and French. 'But I explicitly said in my native tongue, French, and also in a little bit of English when he looked confused, that I wanted three little stars only near my left eye.'
Toumaintz, who runs the tattoo parlour called The Tattoo Box in Courtrai, said Kimberley was awake and actually looked in the mirror several times during the procedure to see how it was going. He said she knew 'exactly what she wanted'. 'The trouble all started when she went home and her father and boyfriend threw a fit. 'They are saying things now like I doped her or hypnotised her. What rubbish! 'She asked for 56 stars and that’s what she got.'
To remove the stars would require surgery costing £8,500. But even the most advanced laser techniques would, while removing the tattoos, leave deep white marks all across Kimberley's face. She has launched legal proceedings against Toumanaintz seeking damages, plus the money for the operation. He was questioned by police earlier this year but they decided it was a civil matter and that there was nothing they could do.
Jules Clocher, a Belgian psychologist, said: 'The trauma this girl must be feeling is indescribable. She feels like a circus freak - and no wonder, because she looks like one.'
Toumanaintz said from now on he will get written consent from clients before he begins tattooing.