Sunday, November 12, 2006

Iranian actress could be lashed for sex video.

Culture: Via Daily Mail. If anyone should be "punished" is the sleazy boyfriend who fled to Dubai. Probably better for her to leave Iran for her own safety and she is cute enough to get some sort of acting jobs here.

She has been dubbed Iran's Paris Hilton after appearing in a sex video on the internet. But while Paris's exploits propelled her to worldwide stardom, Zahra Amir Ebrahimi faces ruin, a public lashing and even a jail term. Ebrahimi is one of the best-known actresses in the strict Islamic country and made the 20-minute sex tape privately with her boyfriend on a camcorder at the flat they shared two years ago. Unbeknown to her, it was posted on the internet and widely released as a DVD - angering millions in Iran. Her boyfriend, who has not been named by the authorities in Tehran, is suspected of distributing the material illegally. He has fled to Dubai and if caught and returned, faces three years in jail and a £6,000 fine for offending public morality. Now 25-year-old Ebrahimi faces the disgrace of a court case, has been dropped from the top-rated soap where she played a morally upstanding young woman, and has been forced to deny rumours she attempted suicide. The scale of the scandal has meant Tehran's hardline chief prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi has intervened, ordering a special investigation. Ebrahimi had been on the verge of landing a number of top roles on Iranian TV dramas. But with sex outside marriage strictly forbidden in Iran she is being shunned by TV and film companies. She said this week: "I just want to tell my country's people I am alive. I am thinking about the strength of Iranian women and will defend the respect of the girls and women of my nation." Iranian police said the motive of Ebrahimi's boyfriend for making the video public was unclear. Every broadcast in Iran, whether on television or in the cinema, is censored but the country's rulers can do little to stop individuals posting on the net. While the actress has not been officially named in Iran, her name is on everyone's lips as her identity has become common knowledge through internet chat rooms. An Iranian police official said: "A full report of the film has been sent to the state prosecutor." The actress has been a victim of the growth in illegal copying and distribution of private films in Iran. A television presenter was recently sacked for being videoed dancing with a bride he was not related to at a wedding.

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