Sun, Jan 16, 2011
The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network
Luna Maya opens up about sex video scandal
Indonesian celebrity couple embroiled in sex video scandal
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» About the case
» Editor stole and put up sex videos
» Ariel to wed Luna Maya in prison

LUNA Maya's reversal of fortune following the celebrity sex video scandal she was swept up in mid-year was swift and merciless.

Literally overnight, she lost advertising endorsements, TV appearances and, not least, her good reputation, all due to grainy footage purportedly showing her with boyfriend Nazril Irham, better known as Ariel Peterpan.

Before the scandal broke, Luna seemed to be everywhere as a sought-after advertising spokeswoman and the host of Dahsyat, one of the most popular weekday morning pop music TV shows - and reportedly one of entertainment's highest paid performers.

Since June's frenzy of publicity, she has been conspicuously absent from the airwaves, save for the occasional infotainment update on her visits to Ariel, now in police custody.

The 27-year-old denies she was laid low by depression or lying low out of fear - she's simply been taking some time out.

"I've haven't been anywhere, I've been here at home in Jakarta and Bali," says Luna, who grew up on the resort island, the daughter of an Indonesian father and Austrian mother. "Some parties didn't renew my contracts or severed them, so that may have given that impression. But I was still around."

She was also dealing with the continuing and complicated legal entanglements (Ariel, who also allegedly appeared in another video with TV show presenter Cut Tari, is currently detained in Bandung on charges of distribution of pornographic materials; Luna is required to make regular reports to the police).

Gradually, though, she is returning to the entertainment scene.

There is her new single, "Tak Bisa Bersamamu" (Can't Be With You), seemingly a poignant testimonial to her relationship with Ariel today. And she was on the cover of women's lifestyle magazine Clara in November.

On a cloudy Islamic New Year's Day, she is back making a TV series at a golf course in East Jakarta.

It may seem a risk for the production house to bank on using this now tarnished star to draw viewers, especially among a judgmental public not likely to quickly forgive or forget.

In person, she still draws attention - for whatever reason.

After slipping through the club lobby almost unnoticed in dark glasses and leggings to the hair and makeup room, she emerges an hour later in heels, blouse and pencil skirt, an undeniably pretty young woman.

The club's cook gestures to get her attention as she walks by.

A portly middle-aged man, sitting contentedly with his posse in a corner, requests a photo with her. "A bit later," Luna says politely as she moves on.

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