prominent singer - I used to take drugs
Mon, Jul 27, 2009
The Jakarta Pos/Asia News Network

"Yes, I used to take drugs. I was addicted to shabu [crystal methamphetamine]. It could rid me of all of my stress and make me forget all my problems," prominent singer Krisdayanti (aka KD) said calmly in front of reporters recently.

"Ever since I knew the stuff, I often snuck out to find hidden places to take it. I just couldn't get enough. It was the only thing that relieved my loneliness," Yanti said.

Her testimony has surprised many because it is not often that a superstar such as herself discloses a story involving drug abuse.

The wife of musician Anang Hermansyah, Krisdayanti, said frankly that her addiction had begun when she was at the top of her career between 1998 and 1999, when her album Menghitung Hari (Counting the Days) gained massive success.

"I was at the top of my fame. I was very stressed because of the workload. I worked almost 24-hours-a-day, singing on stage and shooting sinetron [soap operas]. My hubby was also busy recording songs, so I felt like I had no shoulder to cry on," said the singer, who was born in Malang, East Java, 35 years ago.

Yanti described her addiction to shabu as a deep black hole. At the time she became addicted, Yanti already had a daughter, Titania Aurelia Hermansyah, and lost her appetite and weight. Her fitness dropped, as did her stage performance.

"I was afraid of the possibility that Anang or even the media might find out about this. In the end, [Anang] caught me taking drugs in my bedroom," Yanti admitted.

Anang later took her to Jember, East Java, to meet with an ulema, hoping to heal her addiction. The ulema told her to sleep on a big rock outdoors for days to detoxify her mind, she said. The method worked well, she said.

"That was the most embarrassing moment of my life. It was a nightmare. I had risked my career and family just for drugs," Yanti said.

Not long after learning to manage her addiction, Yanti became pregnant with her second child and, one year later, gave birth to a baby boy, Azriel Akbar Hermansyah.

Yanti reveals many of these stories in her latest book Catatan Hati Krisdayanti (Krisdayanti Memoirs): My Life, My Secret.

Why did she decide to reveal this secret? Isn't it too risky to tell this story to the public?

"I just want to be honest. I don't want to blame anyone else for dragging me into drugs. It was all completely my mistake," Yanti says.

"I hope readers especially young artists, who tend to be fragile, can learn from my stories," she said, adding that her daughter already knew about her past addiction.

Subsequently, Aurel had come to ask for Rp 20,000 (US$2) to buy a book about drugs.

"I was surprised when she did that. She also asked me a lot of questions on why I used them. I told her everything. I did not want to lie to her," Yanti said, hoping that her children could learn from her mistakes.

Yanti began her music career as a child. She sang the soundtrack to Megaloman in 1992. She also became successful in the music competition Asia Bagus before releasing her debut album Terserah (Up to You) in 1995.

Songs from her two albums Menghitung Hari (1999) and Mencintaimu (Loving You) in 2000 topped local charts.

But life has not always been easy for Yanti. As a singer she may have had a bright career for almost two decades, and many achievements. As a woman, she may have made many women jealous with her perfect skin and figure.

But despite her success and fame, there has been a price Yanti has had to pay: becoming the target of gossip, and having her life scrutinized piece by piece. She has also faced the pressures of always having to keep a perfect body - maintaining her physique and keeping fit - in public.

Rumors that she had affairs and had divorced her husband became headlines in many local newspapers and tabloids.

Rumors also emerged that Yanti had undergone plastic surgery to sculpt her body. Yanti has repeatedly denied these rumors, claiming she kept her body in shape with regular exercise.

But now, she admits she did have plastic surgery, saying she used Botox to get rid of wrinkles on her face, and to reshape her breasts. She also had liposuction and a tummy tuck to trim her waist after giving birth to her son.

"I'm satisfied with the results. It also makes Anang happy. Even though the surgery made my figure look good, I still need to maintain it with regular exercise," Yanti said.

"I used to say no every time reporters asked me about the surgery thing. I have my rights to decline to comment. But now I'm brave enough to say all of this," she said.

Yanti believes there are many people who have been through similar problems and who have had similar experiences as hers.

Anang has also helped Yanti with a very special gift: a new song titled "Aku Wanita Biasa" (I'm Just an Ordinary Woman), which will be included in her upcoming album.

The song, Yanti says, reflects that behind her bright career and high determination she is just an ordinary woman who experiences feelings of weakness and loneliness.

Yanti is now hoping to make the most of her life, spending more time with her family, including her mother who has suffered from a stroke, and her sister, the prominent singer Yuni Shara.

Like many women, Yanti has many dreams and wishes on her list.

"I still want to spend more time with Mama until she recovers and is able to walk. I want to learn to cook so I can be a good cook like Yuni. I want to create [more] songs. I want to take a vacation with my extended family. I want to do gardening. I want to go shopping at Mangga Dua [a shopping center in West Jakarta]. I want to ask Anang to treat me at our favorite places," Yanti adds. -The Jakarta Post/ANN

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