It's a circus

A Swiss newspaper alleges that Princess Stephanie had a fling with an elephant trainer.

Published March 1, 2001 8:33PM (EST)

The mention of Princess Stephanie conjures up a variety of images, from the palaces and casinos of Monaco to the tragic and fatal auto accident of Grace Kelly. Last week, her name was linked to a clandestine sexual liaison with a circus elephant trainer that forced him to separate from his wife.

The alleged pachyderm-related infidelity began last year, when the princess visited the Circus Knie on several occasions at its winter base in Switzerland. According to the Swiss daily newspaper Blick, a surreptitious relationship was struck up between Princess Stephanie and the manager of the national circus, Franco Knie, who doubles as the elephant trainer. Knie, who has been married for 14 years, supposedly was sticking his own trunk where it didn't belong.

Because all of Switzerland and the circus community are now talking about the scandal, the Knie marriage is reportedly headed south.

"Mr. Franco Knie and his wife have decided by mutual agreement to separate," said a spokesman for Circus Knie last week.

The circus officially denies any untoward involvement, claiming the princess was merely dropping by the circus as part of a "normal friendly relationship." A secretary for Princess Stephanie begged "absolutely no comment," but did not directly deny the existence of a royalty/circus sexual encounter.

To support the steamy allegations of an affair, the newspaper ran photos of the princess, her three children and her bodyguards boarding a plane out of the Zurich airport. No further details emerged as to where or how exactly the princess and the elephant trainer might have consummated their passion without being discovered or photographed, but one can imagine a variety of lusty scenarios: Frantic hip-thrusting inside a gaily decorated clown car? Or perhaps atop a blanket in a stinky heated barn, while a nearby elephant idly munches on hay?

By Jack Boulware

Jack Boulware is a writer in San Francisco and author of "San Francisco Bizarro" and "Sex American Style."

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