A 32-year-old Mexican politician who became famous for appearing in a sassy lingerie video is taking legal action against political rivals who claim she was a Las Vegas "escort girl."
Giselle Arellano says the "misogynistic" accusations resulted in her failing to win the nomination of Mexico's conservative National Action Party (PAN) in Sunday's Zacatecas State Congress primary. She wants the election annulled on the grounds that she was "slandered" by her rivals and could not compete in "equal" circumstances.
"This is an abhorrent injustice," Arellano said in an interview with CNN Mexico in which she denied being an escort girl. "They are judging me, without having even listened to me."
Arellano currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she has done stints as a model and also runs a small company that offers "concierge services" to visitors.
She was running for a seat in the Zacatecas State Legislature that is reserved for Mexicans who emigrate abroad.
But Arellano's campaign suffered early on from rumors printed in Mexican newspapers that she was an "escort girl," and she was even temporarily taken off the ballot after local PAN officials said that Arellano violated party statutes which say that candidates must "make an honest living."
Arellano's troubles began in early march, when Mexican media came across a video in which she models for a European events firm called Sinners and Saints.
In the video, Arellano wears a skimpy white lingerie outfit with angel wings and makes suggestive poses along with two other models, one of whom wears devil horns.
The video promoted a raucous party that was held by Sinners and Saints in Las Vegas in March of 2011, called the "Sinners and Saints Mansion Party."
Some newspapers in Mexico interpreted this as evidence that Arellano was working for a "brothel." But while Sinners and Saints does offer strippers in its massive parties, there is no mention of escort girls or prostitution on its site, nor are there any indications that the company runs a brothel in Las Vegas.
Mexican media have also pointed out that Arellano runs a small hospitality company in Las Vegas, called Black Rose Concierge Services, and suggested that this company could somehow be linked to prostitution.
The company's website says that Black Rose helps to plan "Adult Birthday Parties" and "Bachelor Parties" in Las Vegas, but Black Rose also offers more conventional services like shopping excursions and translation services in Arabic, Spanish, French and Portuguese.
Black Rose's Spanish-language site leaves a little more room for sexual innuendo, saying that the company's mission is to offer comfort to visitors who are alone in town, because "a trip to Las Vegas is not the same without your loved one."
The Spanish-language site offers tour packages that include entrance to strip clubs and says it only takes clients who have been "recommended" by other clients.
Regardless of these findings, Arellano says that voters should not focus on her past, but on what she is trying to do for immigrants.
Arellano also proposes improving immigrant shelters in the state of Zacatecas that serve as road-stops for those making their way north, and endowing these shelters with free healthcare clinics and legal counseling services.
She touts her own credentials as a hard-working immigrant who came to the United States at age 10, with her family and "just a dollar in her wallet," saying that she understands the needs of immigrants.
In a recent TV interview, CNN Mexico host Mario Gonzalez asked Arellano if she would consider running for a party that was less conservative than the PAN, which perhaps would not be so troubled with her previous occupations.
But Arellano, who is now somewhat of a national celebrity, said that before considering other parties, she will fight in Mexican courts to get the PAN primaries annulled.
"I'm still in the fight [for the PAN nomination]," Arellano said. "These 'democratic' practices that have nothing democratic about them will change, they have to change."