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June 02, 2009
Indonesian model flees 'abusive' prince
A teenage US-Indonesian model has returned to her family in Indonesia with tales of abuse, rape and torture at the hands of a Malaysian prince, after her dramatic escape with the help of Singapore police.
Manohara Odelia Pinot, 17, told reporters she was treated like a sex slave after her marriage to Tengku Temenggong Mohammad Fakhry, the prince of Malaysia's Kelantan state, last year.
Her mother, Daisy Fajarina, said she would press charges against the 31-year-old prince, and blamed the Malaysian and Indonesian governments for trying to cover up the alleged abuse.
"The things I've been afraid of were revealed to be true. Manohara has suffered physical abuse. She's got several razor cuts on her chest," Fajarina told AFP on Monday.
"No parent could be silent if their child was treated in such a barbaric way."
The Malaysian government had ignored her pleas for access to her daughter and had blocked her from entering the country, she said, while the Indonesian embassy had said that Manohara was fine with her new husband.
But the young woman - a well-known socialite in Jakarta - said her life at the royal palace involved a "daily routine" of rape, abuse, torture and occasional drug injections that made her vomit blood.
She said she was usually held under guard in her bedroom at the palace and was injected with tranquillisers whenever she complained.
"I am still traumatised by all that happened and it has left an impact on me," she told reporters in Jakarta on Sunday, after escaping the royal family during a trip to Singapore over the weekend.
"Sexual abuse and sexual harassment were like a daily routine for me, and he did that every time I did not want to have sexual intercourse," she was quoted as saying in The Jakarta Globe.
"I could never think a normal man could do such things," she said, adding: "Some parts of my body were cut by a razor."
The teenager whose fairytale wedding to a prince captured the imagination of Indonesia said she would be tortured if she did not appear to be happy when she attended social functions with Fakhry.
"Every time I went for events they forced me to smile and would torture me if I did not do what they said," she told the press conference.
She said she secretly called Singaporean police and pleaded for help after the royal family took her to the city state when they accompanied Fakhry's father, Sultan Ismail Petra Shah II, for medical treatment.
"The police told Fakhry that he would be held in jail if he did not let me go. No one could force me against my will in Singapore and I knew I had a chance to escape," she said.
The model once voted as being among Indonesia's "100 Precious Women" said she escaped her guards by pushing the Singapore hotel elevator's emergency button.
They were reluctant to chase her because they knew the scene would be captured on security cameras.
She blasted the Indonesian embassy in Malaysia, saying: "They made it worse by telling lies, saying that I was fine while I was suffering in Kelantan."
A spokesman for the Indonesian foreign ministry insisted the embassy had done everything it could to help Manohara and said the government would assist her if she wanted to file charges against her husband.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the government would not investigate the claims.
"I think this is more of a personal matter. To date we have not been dragged into it, so we want to leave it as it is," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia's royal rulers used to enjoy immunity from criminal and civil charges but the privilege was removed in 1993.
There has been no comment from the Kelantan royal family.
Manohara's lawyer, Yuri Darmas, said she would have a medical examination to back up her allegations of abuse.
"We need one to two days to gather evidence before we file a lawsuit to the Malaysian police," he said, adding that he intended to pursue both criminal and civil lawsuits against the prince.
Manohara has already filed for divorce, her mother said.