Ex-wife of cleric Qaradawi condemns Saudi newspaper for slander
The Algerian ex-wife of Qatar-based cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi has categorically denied comments attributed to her in a Saudi newspaper about the former couple's love life.
Asma bint Qaddah said on Saturday that an article published this week in al-Riyadh was "blatant slander" and "completely devoid of truth".
"I am being subjected to a defamation campaign by a Moroccan journalist who is a mercenary and hypocrite," Qaddah said, according to The New Arab's Arabic-language service.
"He is trying to exploit my name and put me in a conflict that has nothing to do with me," she said, referring to an ongoing regional feud with Qatar.
Qaddah said she would take legal action against Abdel Haqq al-Sinaibi and stressed that she has never met with or spoken to the journalist.
The Saudi daily published Sinaibi's article this week that claimed Qaddah had revealed lurid details of her sex life with prominent cleric Qaradawi.
The story claimed Qaradawi forced his ex-wife to watch pornographic films and encouraged her to have lesbian relations with the couple's housemaid.
Qaddah said the journalist had a "sick imagination" and urged him to seek professional help.
The attack on Qaradawi and his ex-wife comes amid a Saudi-led blockade of Qatar, where the Egyptian-born cleric has been based for decades.
For more than a year, Saudi Arabia and its allies have cut off ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting "terrorist" movements. Doha denies the charges.
Since the start of the crisis media outlets in the Saudi-led bloc have led a smear campaign against Qatar and prominent figures in the gas-rich emirate.
The Saudi-led bloc has placed Qaradawi on a "terror list" and the Saudi-backed Muslim World League booted the cleric from the organisation.
Egyptian authorities have sentenced the cleric to life in prison in absentia and have been holding his daughter in solitary confinement for over a year.
Qaradawi has been considered the spiritual guide of the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood.