Gadhafi's Nurse Dishes on Her Generous 'Papa'
He likes couscous, camel meat, and handing out watches
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2011 10:57 AM CDT
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi takes place for a speech in the north of Rome on August 30, 2010.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Moammar Gadhafi: ruthless dictator ... with a soft spot for couscous and camel meat. That's the portrait painted by Oksana Balinskaya, one of Gadhafi's nurses who returned to Ukraine after war broke out in Libya. "Papa," as she calls him, inspired no complaints amongst his personal staff. "In New York, for example, Papa gave a personal order to give us some money so we could run around the local boutiques," she tells a Russian paper in an interview reprinted by the Guardian.

Her generous boss also gave watches—featuring, amusingly enough, his image—to his staff every year, Balinskaya says. She also denied some pesky rumors: First of all, Gadhafi's in great health, and always gets an annual check-up: "As for his [blood] pressure, if only everyone could have that level." Second of all, another one of Gadhafi's Ukrainian nurses—despite rumors to the contrary—is absolutely not his lover.