2/08/2010

Singapore actress in sex video scandal



A GRAPHIC video clip of a former Singaporean air stewardess and part-time actress having sex with a man has been circulating online.

The four-minute clip, which focused nearly entirely on the woman in explicit poses performing sex acts, is the latest in a growing and dangerous trend among young adults who take compromising pictures of themselves or let others do so.

But unlike the other clips that have surfaced online of relatively unknown local victims, the woman in this video is a celebrity of sorts.

The New Paper believes she is a part-time actress who has appeared in television dramas on the local Malay TV channel Suria.

The video looks to be taken by the man.
It also appears to have been taken with the actress' knowledge, as she is the focus of the video throughout.

The woman in her 20s, a former air stewardess, did not want to say much about the video when contacted by The New Paper yesterday.

When asked if she was the person in the video, she simply said it was "personal info" she did not wish to divulge.

When asked if she was upset by the video, she replied: "If you were in the video, would you not be upset?"

A hotline caller who claimed she was a friend of the woman in the video said that the clip surfaced in the last two days on a US-based media-sharing site that also included two still photographs of the woman in a bikini posing with friends.

The site allows users to create, share and discuss blogs, photos, videos and music with others.

The video of the woman was taken down by yesterday evening. According to support staff from the site, the account of the woman was created on Tuesday and cancelled by the creator earlier yesterday.

The support staff have also said that "if this was an illegal act and the authorities contact us with a subpoena, we will provide whatever information we can".

This same clip of the woman and two others that showed her naked also appeared on a site popular with Malay artistes in the region. Those too were removed within a day.

The friend of the woman said that the woman was "very upset" when bikini pictures of her appeared last year, but these videos were "shocking" in comparison.

The woman acted in several drama series. The New Paper understands that the woman is no longer on contract with MediaCorp.

Those familiar with the woman's TV appearances were "shocked and disgusted" by the video.

Mr Muhammad, a driver in his 30s, said that he found the link to the woman's video through a Facebook friend's profile and watched the video yesterday morning.

"I was shocked to see it, especially since she has not been on television for the last few years. It is strange that this has suddenly surfaced," he said.

A media executive who only wanted to be known as Serena, 31, said: "The video was disgusting. Who knew that a 'girl-next-door' type like her could be so naughty."Boost your career with a Mass Comm Degree from UniSA

Lawyers and counsellors interviewed yesterday touched on the growing trend of "camwhoring" and the dangers it poses.

More people are open to the idea of taking such pictures these days, while the Internet and the wide range of gadgets with cameras make it that much easier to film, and distribute the images.

According to entertainment lawyer Samuel Seow from Samuel Seow Law Corporation, it is an offence to make such videos.

Said Mr Seow: "They ought to know that such content is considered obscene. As long as you are the one filming it, you are the maker of the obscene content."

According to Section 29 of the Films Act, an offender can be fined between $20,000 and $40,000, or jailed for up to two years, or both, if found "making" or "reproducing" obscene films.

It is also an offence to possess obscene video clips or pornographic material. Those caught can be fined $1,000 per film, up to a maximum of $40,000.

In the case of a woman who is a willing party in the clip, Mr Seow said she "she cannot claim that someone has infringed her privacy".

However, because the reputation of the woman is reduced through the dissemination of this private video, it can constitute "defamation" of the woman and she can try to file a defamation claim against the person who leaked it.

The Straits Times reported in July last year that counsellors say there is an increase in people who indulge in "camwhoring".

Mr Mani Joseph, the assistant director of the Asian Women's Welfare Association Family Service Centre, said he sees about five young people who have taken such photos - some of whom have posted them online - each day.

This was rare in the past, he said. "Youth used to be shy. Now, they are bolder," said Mr Joseph, who has counselled some who post topless photos of themselves online.

Dr Carol Balhetchet, director of youth services at the Singapore Children's Society, said she has had to counsel one teen every fortnight against such behaviour. Such acts were previously unheard of, she added.

"Many don't realise how easily the material can leak out to the Internet."

- The New Paper



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