‘Butt Squad’ Playboy photographer auctions clip of models ‘hidden from police’

An American playboy linked to the notorious 'Butt Squad' photo featuring more than a dozen naked women standing on a balcony in Dubai is holding an online auction to sell exclusive unseen footage shot moments before the scandalous incident.

Vitaliy Grechin, 41, is also offering the rights for the women who appeared nude in the skyscraper shoot to "star in a music video, a promotional campaign, or a TV show".

The businessman and 13 of the female participants were held in a "hell" jail in Dubai after pictures of the shoot went viral in April.

Other participants escaped from the United Arab Emirates before they could be held by police for public indecency – but they remain wanted.

A new picture shows the women in a Dubai pool minutes before they posed nude on the balcony, an image seen by an estimated one billion people.

Grechin, a donor to former US president Barack Obama, said he is cashing in on the scandal to recoup the "extortionate" fines and legal costs paid to free the women, himself and Russian businessman Alexei 'Alex' Kontsov, 33, in whose luxury flat the shoot was made from prison.

These costs are still rising and may end up amounting to half a million dollars, he said.

The NFT auction – launched today – sells "a 26-second video shot moments before the Butt Squad gathered for the now-iconic photo".

All of the women have been described as models but Kyiv-based Grechin says that all are his "friends" and revealed they include a banker, real estate manager, schoolteacher, musician, artist, choreographer, fashion designer, as well as a catwalk star who has appeared in Vogue.

They were on a trip paid for by him to Dubai when they "voluntarily" posed on the balcony.

"No one has seen this high-quality video, which clearly shows the immediate events leading up to the photo shoot," he said.

While the balcony picture caused offence in Dubai, Grechin has described it as "art", and strongly denied the picture was in any way pornographic.

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The video features the models inside a luxury penthouse before they emerge onto the balcony sparking an international scandal.

It was shot by one of the women who fled Dubai as the others were rounded up and detained.

"This video has never been published so has only been seen by the current owner," said Grechin.

"It will now be exclusively owned and viewable by the auction winner, who can use it, distribute it, or sell it as they see fit."

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He is also making the so-called Butt Squad women available for a two-day promotion in any EU country, or Mexico, Croatia, or Montenegro, or elsewhere by prior agreement.

"The second part of the offer is an opportunity to have the Butt Squad promote absolutely anything that a creative team of the auction winner can think of," he said.

"With very few limitations, as to the type of content the team can produce, these girls can star in a music video, a promotional campaign, or a TV show."

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He stressed on TheNakedBalcony.com the offer did not involve pornography or sexual acts of any kind, and the women had the right to refuse an offer with which they felt uncomfortable.

Grechin was the last to be freed from jail in Dubai after 22 days in jail and 15 days in Covid-19 isolation after he allegedly tested positive while in detention.

When he was freed, he said: "The greatest pleasure for me is the ending of the suffering and uncertainty."

Of the nude picture, he said when in jail: "Of course, I regret it. I lost a month of my life."

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