Osama bin Laden’s niece, Wafah Dufour, has signed on to star in a ReganMedia-produced reality-TV show based on her life as a singer. Company head Judith Regan, who made her name in book publishing with memoirs from Drew Barrymore, Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh, has previously been involved with the shows “Growing Up Gotti” and “Jenna Jameson’s Confessions.”
The daughter of Osama bin Laden’s half-brother Yeslam Bin Ladin, Dufour’s given name is Wafah Bin Ladin — a spelling preferred by her branch of the family. Her mother, Carmen Dufour Bin Ladin, is the author of “Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia,” and is from Switzerland, where Dufour spent part of her childhood. She has also lived in Saudi Arabia, but says she has never met her notorious uncle.
“I understand that when people hear my last name, they have preconceived notions, but I was born an American, and I love my country,” says Dufour, who graduated from Columbia Law School months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. But her name was not likely a deterrent for Regan, who relishes headline-grabbing projects and publicity.
While Wafah Dufour is billed by ReganMedia as a “pop-rock singer and musician,” a knowledgeable music industry source told The Book Standard that he’s “never heard of her. The only reason anyone is doing a reality show on her is because she’s bin Laden’s niece.”
“It’s really tough that I have to always explain myself,” Dufour told GQ in January. “It’s like every time I meet someone, I have to move a huge mountain that’s in front of me, and sometimes I get tired.”
“Wafah is a beautiful and talented singer who — like so many twentysomethings — has a dream to make it in the music business,” Regan says in a statement. “Her story will bridge the gap that people feel exists between the cultures she has lived in. Her history and her quest for stardom will make for a compelling television series.”
(Thanks to TheBookStandard.com.)