"People are sensitive to these things, and that's fine."
Bella Hadid's seemingly racist post was a simple accident, her dad has claimed.
Mohamed Hadid defended his daughter who came under fire last week after she posted an airport pic of her boot over planes belonging to Saudi Arabia and UAE.
"She has utmost respect for people of Saudi Arabia and (UAE)," the real estate mogul said. "I think it was just by accident, it was there, and that's it. But I think it's all resolved."
Bella herself apologized in a lengthy post — both in English and Arabic — after some called for fashion brands to drop her because of her 'offensive gesture'; in Arab culture, showing the sole of the foot or shoe — the lowest part of a person — is considered an insult.
But Mohamed insisted his daughter's attackers were not being ridiculous.
"People are sensitive to these things, and that's fine," he said. "We love our people and she loves them as well, so we are all good. They are good people."
The 70-year-old ex-husband of Yolanda Hadid sounded a little bit calmer than when he gave an interview to Arabian Business last week, in which he branded those coming for Bella as "jealous trolls".
"Bella has been targeted by jealous individuals and trolls who wish to destroy her career," he said. "Arabs don’t do that to their own. She is a proud Arab and a proud Muslim. There are many people with their own agendas, mostly out of jealousy for her success, that are trying to bring her down. 95 percent of the backlash on social media is coming from paid trolls - just open any of these accounts and most of them are fake."
"Do you really think she was walking around the airport and trying to find those two exact airplanes right next to each other to take an intentional picture like that? She can't even walk in the mall without thousands of fans following her around.
"She was tired, waiting for her flight in the airline lounge and just took a picture. No one in our family would ever disrespect any Arab country, not Saudi Arabia, not the UAE and not anyone from the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council )," he added.
He pointed pointed out that Bella "jumped out of her car in NYC in 2017" to join the march against the Muslim ban.
The magazine also questioned her father about a post she shared — and quickly deleted — raising concerns about the humanitarian crisis in Sudan; the New York Times op-ed was also critical of UAE and Saudi's role in the military crackdown.
"She’s 22-years-old. She did not properly read the article. It was sent to her by her friend and she reposted it," Mohamed said. "She knows she made a mistake, that she should be more responsible with what she posts, and she has apologized. My family and I respect all countries."
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