Jennifer Lopez cancels Cyprus gig after outcry

Fri Jul 9, 2010 1:33pm EDT
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NICOSIA (Reuters) - Pop star Jennifer Lopez has canceled a performance in Turkish-held north Cyprus after whipping up a storm of angry protest from thousands of displaced Greek Cypriots.

Lopez's gig at a luxury hotel had triggered angry protests among Greeks accusing her of according legitimacy to northern Cyprus, a breakaway state recognized only by Ankara.

"Jennifer Lopez would never knowingly support any state, country, institution or regime that was associated with any form of human rights abuse," a statement on Lopez's website said.

"After a full review of the relevant circumstances in Cyprus, it was the decision of her advisors to withdraw from the appearance.

This was a team decision that reflects our sensitivity to the political realities of the region," it said.

Lopez, her husband singer Marc Anthony and their two children were due to stay at the Cratos Premium Hotel, located in a region where thousands of Greek Cypriots were displaced from in 1974. She was booked to perform there on July 24.

"Her fee had been paid and everything was ready, but she felt it was not safe for her to travel. She was led to believe there was a war going on," said Feza Firat, whose Istanbul-based F&F Agency represents Cratos Hotel.

"Several Greek Cypriot families who had made reservations to attend the concert are just as disappointed," she added.

Organizers of the event had this week acknowledged Lopez's publicists were getting thousands of letters of protest, but had assured her Cyprus was safe. A Facebook site against the concert signed up almost 20,000 members within a week.   Continued...

<p>Jennifer Lopez attends the 2010 Apollo Theater Spring Benefit Concert &amp; Awards Ceremony at The Apollo Theater in New York, June 14, 2010. REUTERS/Natalie Behring</p>