Introducing… Anna Anka

Introducing... is The Local's guide to the Swedish celebrity. In this week's installment Malin Nyberg profiles Anna Anka, the conservative trophy wife Sweden loves to hate.

Introducing... Anna Anka

Who is she and why is she famous?

The outspoken 38-year-old was born in a small village in the south of Sweden. In 1994 she won Miss Hawaiian Tropic and moved to the US full time, where she worked as a fitness instructor and actress, including a brief cameo in Dumb and Dumber. In 2008 she married Canadian singer Paul Anka, warbler of hit songs like Diana and Put Your Head on My Shoulder.

But isn’t he, um… old?

Hey, age ain’t nothing but a number. But yes, he is 30 years older than her.

And rich I take it… So, is she just famous for being his wife?

First of all, she may not be his wife for much longer by all accounts. Secondly, she never had much of a career as an actress. Only recently has she shot to infamy.

OK, do continue.

In the autumn of 2009, TV3 started showing Swedish Hollywood Wives (Svenska Hollywoodfruar), a reality show about three Swedish women living a life of luxury in LA. Anna Anka was one of them and created massive headlines after saying some stuff considered shocking back in Sweden.

Such as?

Well, there are some quotes that kick-started her career within Swedish TV…

How about: “As a housewife you should support your man in every way, you should always be attractive and well-dressed.” And the classic: “If your husband wants a blow job every morning, that’s what you should give him. Sexually it is the woman’s responsibility to ensure that the man is satisfied, if she does not then she only has herself to blame if he is unfaithful.”

Goodness, she’s quite old-fashioned isn’t she?

She certainly is, and she has nothing but disdain for family life Swedish-style. She believes it’s the man’s responsibility to bring money to the family while the wife has, well, other responsibilities.

Oh dear, that can’t have won her many admirers in Sweden?

No, but TV3 couldn’t be happier. Rating for the Hollywood Wives show went up quicker than she went down.

So does anybody agree with her views?

Absolutely, just check the fan groups on Facebook.

No thanks. You mentioned trouble in Paul Anka paradise?

Yes, he filed for divorce not so long ago. According to Anna, he wasn’t able to handle her Swedish TV success.

Hang on a second, it seems she has made a career out of being against women working?

Yeah, it’s a bit of a contradiction.

Indeed. So is she OK financially now without a hubby to bring home the bacon?

Oh, she’s happy as a pig in the proverbial. If you’ll permit me to mix meats for a moment, TV3 seems to have a lot of faith in its outspoken cash cow. In Anna’s own words: “The Swedish people would kill themselves if they knew how much I’m getting.”

Or maybe they wouldn’t.

No, probably not.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Introducing… Camilla Henemark

Introducing... is The Local's guide to Swedish celebrity. In this installment David Landes gives the lowdown on Camilla Henemark - the busty pop-queen whose alleged affair with the king has once again put her in the spotlight.

Introducing... Camilla Henemark

So, who exactly is this woman and why is she in all the papers.

Yes. Well, where to begin. There isn’t much that Camilla Henemark hasn’t done: photo model, pop star, political activist, actress…lover to the king.

In the mid-1990s she hosted her own erotic television programme “Seventh Heaven” (‘Sjunde himlen’) and appeared on the spring 2012 season of “Let’s Dance”, Sweden’s version of “Dancing with the Stars”

She is also the author of a soon-to-be published autobiography.

Whoa, back up there. Lover to the king? Which king?

Well, the King of Sweden of course: Carl XVI Gustaf. At least according to Henemark, who was born in Stockholm to a Nigerian father and Swedish mother.

So is that why she’s making headlines these days? I mean, the king is a happily married man, right?

Easy there cowboy, one thing at a time. Henemark’s current round of headline-making stems primarily from her forthcoming book, “Adjö det ljuva livet” (‘Goodbye, sweet life’) in which the busty 47-year-old former face of the band Army of Lovers reportedly devotes page after page revealing her own army of lovers, including the king as well as a battalion of other well-known Swedes.

Army of Lovers? Wait a minute…weren’t they…

…big like 20 years ago? Yes. The band was founded in the late 80s and had a number of hits, with 1991’s “Crucified” hitting number one on the European charts. Here’s a video if you need to refresh your memory:

Ah, yes…that was all well and good, but let’s get back to the good stuff. What’s this about her getting down and dirty with King Carl?

Right. Well, reports about a fling between Henemark and the king first emerged almost two years ago with the publication of “Carl XVI Gustaf – Den motvillige monarken” (‘Carl XVI Gustaf – The reluctant monarch’), an unauthorized tell-all biography about the king and a number of alleged affairs, including one with La Camilla, is she is also known.

In her new book, Henemark says the affair lasted about 18 months and took place around the turn of the millennium.

So this was more than just some one-night stand?

According to Henemark it was, although exactly how hot and heavy things may have gotten remains unclear. She says she and the king were “very fond of one another” and saw each other weekly when the relationship was at its most intense.

In the book, she tells of one steamy meet-up which evolved into a sort of food fight.

“The king liked to gorge himself on sushi and cake,” she writes in the book, according to the tabloid Expressen.

I think I just lost my appetite.

Sorry to hear that, because I almost forgot to tell you about another food-related episode that put Henemark in the spotlight just last week.

Please…spare me.

Sorry…you asked, so I’m telling. Last week, Henemark was at the centre of another royal controversy – although not by choice. The dust up stemmed from a work of art depicting the King Carl XVI Gustaf eating pizza off the body of a naked and prone Henemark.

First sushi. Now pizza. Please, make it stop.

Well, let’s get back to those lovers, shall we.

Actually, I’m not sure…

Well, to use Henemark’s own words: “there isn’t anything or anyone that I haven’t tasted” she says in her new book.

“Young and old. Men as well as women. Counts as well as hooligans. Everything needs to be explored. I want to have it all,” she writes.

Okay, okay. I get the picture. But does she name any names.

Apparently yes. Names which have emerged so far include former boxing pro and TV personality Paolo Roberto, former hockey great Börje Salming, crooner Tommy Körberg; and rapper Dogge Doggelito. It should be noted, though that the degree of intimacy Henemark reached with these and others named in varied widely.

And what does the king have to say about all this?

Not much really. When the tell-all book about him came out in 2010, he told reporters he wanted to “turn the page” but never flat out addressed the rumoured affair which Henemark has more or less now confirmed in her new book.

And this time around, the king isn’t saying anything more until after the book comes out.

So, I guess we can expect a few more headlines next week when this juicy tome hits bookstore shelves?

I’d say that’s a safe bet.

David Landes

Follow David Landes on Twitter