She was raised eating potatoes, boys teased her that she had ‘stick legs’, and when she first applied for a US visa she was rejected – amid fears over her Muslim roots. Today 29-year-old Irina Shayk, once seen as a ‘spotty village girl’, is the talk of America as she steals passionate kisses with Hollywood heartthrob Bradley Cooper. But her road from a bleak Russian industrial backwater to fame as a swimwear and lingerie model was fraught with setbacks, just as it was aided by astonishingly lucky breaks, one of them at a bus stop. Daily Mail Online has explored her roots in the grim industrial Urals region nudging Siberia to hear from those who knew her, and her extraordinary life story. She once said of her polluted birthplace Yemanzhelinsk, where she lived in grinding poverty as Russia’s casino economy collapsed under Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s: ‘It’s a beautiful place – if you wear a mask. ‘It’s a mining town, but all the collieries have shut already.’ SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO Distinctive look: Irina’s father was an ethnic Tatar – a Muslim minority group – while her mother was an ethnic Russian. She credits him for her dark skin… Read full this story
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EXCLUSIVE: From filthy Russian mining town where she was too poor for high heels to love with Bradley Cooper - Irina Shayk's 'affair' with a sugar daddy and how she nearly didn't get a visa because of her Muslim roots have 246 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at May 18, 2015. This is cached page on wBird. If you want remove this page, please contact us.