Thursday, 18 June 2009

Armenian tattooist and Belgian girl. A truly bizarre story.

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.


Pazuzu said...

lol I heard about this story just yesterday and today as I was readign your blog i see wrote about the same story, how ironic. A friend of mine linked me to the article when i was telling her about how i changed my plan for the new tattoo i want because i fear homophobic reactions.
The girl is lying ridiculously!
first of all there's no way she could have slept while being tattooed on the face, it's all bones, it hurst like fuck. Plus it takes for ever to finish!
And what makes me sick is that she is abusing the fact that he doesnt understand french well, using the argument of "he just doesn't know any better". If he didn't understand well he would tattoo something other than a star but he would have tattooed three times none the less, how difficult is it to use her fingers to say "3"?!
And to top that all, when you do a tattoo, they stencil it and show it to you, then they transfer that on your skin before using ink. Though stars are fairly simple, he wouldn't just go for it without using removable ink first.
She's just lying he should press charges of defamation against her or something

artmika said...

Good point about language part, Pazuzu.

Here are reactions on my Facebook from three different friends:

“oh my goodness. This is really bizarre. How could she claim she fell asleep when we all know how painful getting a tattoo is.”

“I read the story in Dutch media as well, it is just too bizarre. Falling asleep while getting a tattoo in your face?”

“I still think she's making it up - that she had asked for that then retracted when her Dad and boyfriend saw it. It's so easy to blame a foreign person in a case like this. She surely can't have fallen asleep then!”

Anonymous said...

Metro London mixed it up. Acording to them Toumaniants is a Rumanian. How the languag can make trics even if you are not a brit who found cheap booz.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a complete load of crap!!!!!!!! What a bitch trying to turn this onto him and then also did him for the way he is! "circus freak" my ass!

Silly little tart!!! I hope he does press charges against her, how pathetic! I bet she is to embaressed to go in public beacuse people will laugh at her for her stupid story, not cuae of the tattoo!

nazarian said...

She has admitted lying about it.

artmika said...

Thanks for the update, Nazarian. I had no doubts that her story was fishy. Now we all now the truth.

Here is news via Reuters

Star-faced teen lied about tattoo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The Belgian teen-ager who made headlines across the globe after claiming a tattoo artist had drawn 56 stars on her face, rather than the three she asked for, has admitted she lied. Kimberley Vlaeminck from the city of Kortrijk, 90 km (56 miles) northwest of Brussels said she fell asleep during the procedure, and woke up in pain when her nose was being tattooed.

But the 18-year-old was caught off camera on Dutch television when she said she quite liked the tattoo, but lied about asking for all 56 stars when she saw her father's furious reaction.

Tattoo artist Rouslain Toumaniantz said Vlaeminck initially liked her new look, and that she got what she asked for.

Anonymous said...

That's not fair, Mika, u have over 100 posts on "diaspora", how on earth I will get to the point especially when I have to stop and read such interesting stories??
Just joking ;-)))

I will die if I don't repost it... but maybe later ;-)))

artmika said...

You are welcome :)))

Anonymous said...

Just sad....

artmika said...

Another bizarre story about Rouslan Toumaniantz making headlines now:

Tattoo-ly in love: Woman had partner’s name inked on her face – on the day they met