One of Muammar Gaddafi's Ukrainian nurses is speaking out in support of her former employer, slamming long-standing rumors that the man they call "Papa" had taken a fellow nurse as a mistress.
As the Guardian is reporting, Oksana Balinskaya -- who returned to Ukraine after war broke out in the north African country -- describes Gaddafi as a generous employer who gave watches featuring his image to staff members each year.
"We had no complaints," she is quoted as saying. "When [we] were in New York, for example, Papa gave a personal order to give us some money so we could run around the local boutiques."
Balinskaya also said reports that Gaddafi was romantically involved with Galyna Kolotnytska -- described in U.S. cables released by WikiLeaks as a "voluptuous blonde" and one of the Libyan leader's closest confidantes -- were untrue. "Galyna had the same responsibilities as the other nurses -- there were five of us -- but was more experienced," she said.
Kolotnytskaya, 38, also reportedly returned to Kiev at the end of February, but has not given any public statements.
The Kyiv Post reports that Balinskaya dismissed rumors regarding her boss's state of health. "Despite his age, Gaddafi is in better shape than many other people," she said. "He leads a healthy lifestyle and has checkups once a year, and his blood pressure is perfect."