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Tabloid News of Thursday, 15 February 2007

Source: Statesman

Michael Essien "100 percent single”

Irene Dwomoh, winner of Miss Ghana 2006, has denied being in a romantic relationship with Ghana's star midfielder, Michael Essien; probably just as well, as the national football hero is currently engulfed in a media storm of his own.

The British press continues to probe Essien"s alleged “relationship” with a former glamour model and 3,000 pound escort girl.

Whilst Cassie Summer, 25, has used the supposed relationship to gain celebrity and qualify for a new British television show, Essien, 24, denies that they are an item.

After a flurry of newspaper speculation and radio interviews in the UK over the weekend, Cassie has now admitted that the pair “split” several weeks ago; and yesterday was reported to have “hit it off” with someone else.

Essien and Cassie were first linked back in September 2006, when the two were reported to be in a “serious relationship”. They had met in London’s Chinawhite club in January 2006, and Essien was said to have shown Cassie lots of attention by pampering her with extravagant gifts and holiday vacations. Rumours that Essien took the Spanish-born topless model to Japan and Korea have not been confirmed, but the sudden leap of Cassie onto British television screens in January in the ITV2 documentary, WAGs Boutique, prompted Essien to come clean about the affair: We are not a together, he told the Sun newspaper in the UK just last Saturday.

The reality TV show follows a series of WAGs - the now common acronym for Wives and Girlfriends of football stars – as they compete to run a successful clothes boutique in trendy West London.

“We thought Cassie and Essien were a couple,” an ITV spokesman has said. A spokesman for the Ghana star told the Sun: “Michael does know Cassie and sees her as a friend — but there is nothing more to it than that.

“He does not know where this has come from — he is 100 percent single.” Yesterday, the official WAGS website reported that the “couple” had split several weeks ago, after speculation to that effect, and that Cassie had already “hit it off” with David Wilcox, former member of a boyband called Tripple 8. According to the UK’s The People newspaper: “the couple were glued to each other all night, smooching and cuddling.”

Essien is not the first of Cassie’s “boyfriends” to deny her claims: amongst the other men she claims to have dated is Prince Harry, as well as Newcastle United’s Celestine Babayaro; Ben Freeman, the star of popular British TV drama Emmerdale; and Du’Aine Ladejo from British TV’s Celebrity Love Island. She has sold kiss and tell tales on at least two former lovers.