Too Hot for Indonesia? What happens after a celebrity sex scandal

Sex scandals have somehow become a regular feature in Indonesian society. With hundreds of grainy camera phone sex videos being spread online everyday (they don’t say we’re the social media capital of the world for nothing), a public figure is bound to get in on the action once in a while.

You would think that in conservative Indonesia, where Islam is dominant and appearing pious is important, those involved in sexy scandals would be cast aside and forever shunned by society. But it’s never that clear cut; a sex scandal could either break, or make, one’s career.

So how do Indonesian celebrities and politicians cope after a sex scandal? Here are some of the biggest sex scandals to ever hit the nation, and how those involved are doing today:

1.    Steamy sex tape doesn’t stop Karolin Margret Natasa from becoming the DPR’s top voted House member

The scandal: Two Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) ‘bulls’, Karolin Margaret Natasa and Aria Bima, allegedly locked horns in a video that spread in April 2012. By locking horns, we meant the two lawmakers got it on, in what looks like a hotel room, and recorded their passionate lovemaking for posterity.

To be fair, the identity of the participants in the one minute long sex tape is questionable, though the woman bears a striking resemblance to the PDI-P lawmaker. Karolin and Aria have since both denied their involvement in the video, claiming the news was only spread to discredit their political careers and that of Karolin’s father, Cornelis MH, who was, at the time, running for re-election as governor of West Kalimantan. 

A woman, who may be Karolin Margret Natasa, in the act of sexual congress

How they’re doing today: Whether or not it was Karolin Margret Natasa in the sex tape, there’s no denying her popularity skyrocketed after the scandal. Of the 560 members elected to the DPR in the 2014-2019 season, Karolin topped them all. Her 397,481 votes beat the likes of Puan Maharani’s 369,927 and Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono’s 243,747, and both of them are children of past and present Indonesian presidents. 

After months of investigation, the National Police gave up trying to identify the actors in the sex tape due to the video’s low quality. The DPR’s Ethics Committee took up the investigation, only for the case to eventually slip under the radar. With new members of the DPR taking over earlier this month, we doubt we’ll ever get a conclusive answer to the question, “Did the star of the DPR star in a porno?” 

Though he did not garner as many votes as Karolin, Aria Bima was also re-elected for another term at the DPR. It seems that he too managed to brush off the scandal, and turned his attentions to a bigger enemy: the Merah Putih coalition. 

2.    Dangdut star Maria Eva withdraws from politics after appearing in a sex tape with another politician

The scandal: Unlike Karolin, dangdut singer Maria Eva confessed to making a sex tape with Golkar Party politician Yahya Zaini.

Maria admitted to recording her intercourse with Yahya using a camera phone in 2004. The video spread online two years later, but how the video found its way online remains a mystery. The two amateur porn stars denied they were behind their private video going viral

Even the video has a yellowish tint. Get it? Yellow for Golkar?

How they’re doing today: The sex tape proved to be a career breaker for Yahya Zaini. Soon after the scandal, he resigned from his seat in the DPR and from the Golkar Party altogether.

For Maria Eva, there’s was a sliver of a silver lining to the scandal. Unlike Karolin, Maria refused to be nominated to run for the DPR again in 2010, even though several political parties were pining for her to do just that. Those parties must have realized that sex tape, plus DPR, equals success, but Maria Eva stood firm in her conviction to stay away from the world of politics because of her troubled past. 

That said, Maria Eva’s career as a dangdut singer briefly blossomed after her sex scandal. But she gave up fame to settle down and start a family. The singer, who now wears the hijab, is expecting her first child with her yet-unidentified husband. 

3.    Ariel proves he can be just as successful, if not more, after his sex tapes with Luna Maya and Cut Tari

Ariel: Further proof you don’t have to be hot to get with hot babes, if you’re a musician

The scandal: Nazril “Ariel” Irham of the band Peter Pan fame shocked the nation in early 2010 when two sex tapes involving him and two A-list actresses went viral. No ambiguity here, the two videos undoubtedly show Ariel filming himself in bed, once with Luna Maya and once with Cut Tari.

In January 2011, Ariel was arrested and sentenced to 3-and-a-half years in prison for having a hand in spreading the sex tapes. Even with Ariel ‘Peterporn’ locked up, this legendary scandal lived on as the biggest one to ever happen on Indonesian soil. Even American pornstar Vicky Vette wanted in on the action

We’re guessing a lot of you would want a piece of this too

How they’re doing today: Ariel was released on conditional terms in July 2013. He revamped his band, changed its name to Noah and enjoyed massive commercial success after his release. He also starred in films and numerous advertisements.

Ariel was granted unconditional release in September 2014. It is rumored that he will marry his current girlfriend, Sophia Latjuba, in the near future. If he’s not careful, we may see yet another sex tape involving another A-list actress (though we’re pretty sure he’s careful about password-protecting his files these days).

As for Luna Maya, a glimpse at her online profile reveals that her career did not slow down after the scandal. She continued to star in numerous films, TV shows, music videos, advertisements and much more after 2010.

Cut Tari’s fate after the scandal is less optimistic compared to Ariel and Luna Maya. For one reason or another, her husband Johannes Yusuf Subrata filed for divorce in December 2013. The pair officially split in March of this year. 

Now a single mother to her 7-year-old daughter, Cut Tari spends more of her time raising her child instead of appearing on TV. She’s also in the awkward position of keeping secrets from her daughter, who she thinks doesn’t need to know about her divorce and the possible reasons behind it.

4.    ‘PNS’ dangdut star Rinada found herself in legal battle with ex husband after the pair’s sex tape surfaced

The scandal: Little was known of Rinada the dangdut singer when her sex tape surfaced in August 2014. The sex tape shocked many because the woman in it was wearing uniform of a Bandung civil servant (PNS). After some investigation, it was revealed that the curvaceous woman was indeed Rinada.

Rinada professed she had no say in the spread of her sex tape, which she made with her ex-husband Yurel back in 2012. Claiming that the uniform was nothing more than a prop in their fantasy sexual foreplay, Rinada apologized to the people of Bandung and Mayor Ridwan Kamil for bringing shame on their city. 

Would you like to be served by this PNS?

How they’re doing today: It’s been a case of finger pointing by Rinada ever since the scandal. Presumably to avoid a prison sentence for spreading pornography, Rinada quickly accused Yurel of spreading the sex tape without her knowledge. She claimed that Yurel is solely responsible because he was “the director, actor, editor, and cameraman” of the video. 

Not satisfied, Rinada accused her ex husband of being a sexual deviant and a sex maniac to further distance herself from wrongdoing. She reiterated that she was the victim of Yurel’s perversion. Though her popularity rose after the scandal, Rinada has not returned to the entertainment world, yet. We suspect she’d be able to sell more albums after this hoo-ha.

5.    After her nude photos were leaked, teen sinetron star Faby Marcelia marries the man in the photos

Pre-pre-wedding photos

The scandal: Teen sinetron actress Faby Marcelia took several raunchy selfies with her then-boyfriend, sinetron actor Revand Narya, in April 2013. After the photos were somehow leaked to the public, Faby Marcelia admitted to taking the photos in which she posed with a towel draped around herself in a hotel room. But she denied that she was actually naked under the towel as she was wearing a bikini underneath

As for her actual naked selfie, Faby Marcelia claimed that the image was photoshopped. Hard to believe, as it would take a photoshop genius to create this photo (without the censor bar, of course):


How they’re doing today: This one has a fairy tale ending. After disappearing from the limelight for a while, the two sinetron stars reappeared as man and wife in March 2014. Apparently, the couple grew tired of media exposure and wed in private, presumably not long after their photos were leaked. They were also pictured holding their baby boy Gallardo (named after a Lamborghini) who was 4 months old by March. 

If you add two and two together, it’s highly likely that Gallardo was conceived around the time of the scandal. He may have even been conceived in that hotel room.

So even after enduring a sex scandal in Indonesia, there’s still hope for happiness, which we think is a pretty good sign for the country’s progressive future.

More good reads on Coconuts Jakarta

Radical Toons: The lost works of Indonesia’s top political caricaturist, Sibarani, who got blacklisted and pirated by Suharto

Poets, Spies and ‘Communists’: The secret history of Kalam, the radical Jakarta bookstore that helped bring down Suharto

Ahok Without Fear: 5 Totally Badass Basuki Quotes

Jakarta We Love You: 8 Reasons This City Rules

Listen to the 5 songs the Regional Indonesian Broadcasting Commission deemed too pornographic for radio


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