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Philosopher Julia Kristeva Dismisses Allegations that She was a Spy for Bulgaria

Writer and philosopher Julia Kristeva has dismissed the allegations that she was a spy for Bulgaria’s secret service during the country’s Communist regime, according to the New York Times. “The report that I may have been a member of the Bulgarian secret services under the name of Sabina is not only untrue [but] grotesque,” said Kristeva in an email to Reuters. “It damages my honor and reputation and is damaging for my work as well.” The Bulgarian agency that claims to have reviewed Kristeva’s files says that she worked for the First General Department of the State Security—an intelligence-gathering bureau—as a “secret associate” under the code name Sabina. The agency also says that a senior lieutenant named Ivan Bozhikov recruited her on June 19, 1971. Details regarding how long she worked for the government and whether or not she was paid for her services are not available.

Kristeva, who was born in Bulgaria and moved to Paris in 1965 to study—and has lived there ever since—said to the French website L’Obs: “Someone wants to harm me. We don’t know what is in our files.” She also went on to say that the reason the file came out was that she wanted to write for a Bulgarian newspaper. Under “rules of the archives,” the paper publishes information on all their writers’ backgrounds.

Bulgaria’s State Security, which worked closely with Russia’s KGB, once had a network of about 100,000 agents. The state body was wiped out in 1989 after the dissolution of the country’s Communist government.