MODELS TESTIFY IN DAVISON CASE

RYANAIR employees posed for a charity calendar because they felt it was for a good cause, not because they felt under pressure, the High Court heard yesterday.

Slovakian cabin crew members Ingrid Pilkova and Stanka Haluskobu both said they took part because the calendar of bikini-clad cabin crew members was for charity.

The court was hearing evidence during an action brought by former Miss World Rosanna Davison, who claims the airline defamed her.

The action is in response to a news release by Ryanair in November 2008 criticising remarks she made in a national newspaper about the lack of Irish women in the calendar.

Ms Pilkova said that if the airline had sought only Irish women for the project, she would have been very offended.

Ms Pilkova told the court she had been a member of Ryanair’s cabin crew based in Dublin for a year-and-a-half when she saw a poster in the crew room advertising for people to take part in the calendar.

She said she was attracted to the project because it was for charity, and because she had not modelled before. Asked by Frank Beatty, counsel for Ryanair, if there was any question of being pressurised into doing it, she said no.

The shoot for the calendar took place over four days in Barcelona. Ms Pilkova only found out her picture had been used when the calendar was released.

Asked for her view of Ms Davison’s comments, Ms Pilkova said: “I don’t think the calendar was about nationality.”

Ms Haluskobu, a member of Ryanair cabin crew based in Frankfurt, said she thought Ms Davison’s comments were “a bit sad”. Asked if there was any question of being pressurised, she said “no, not at all”.

Evidence in the case has ended and the jury is expected to begin deliberations today.

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