It was 'sarcasm': Indonesian celebrity who vowed to auction virginity on Instagram

Sarah Keihl.
PHOTO: Instagram/sarahkeihl

An Indonesian celebrity who said she would auction her virginity on Instagram with a starting bid of 2 billion rupiah (S$190,000) to raise money for health care workers fighting Covid-19 has claimed she was just being “sarcastic” after prompting a backlash.

Sarah Keihl, 24, posted a brief video clip which went viral on Wednesday announcing her plans for the auction.

“I, Sarah, am making the biggest decision of my life to auction my virginity, starting from 2 billion rupiah.

"One hundred per cent of the funds will be donated to all the warriors against Covid-19 and whoever else needs money,” said Keihl.

“Thank you and I hope you can take the positive from this,” she added.

She said she was holding the auction because the virus had hit the economy hard and many Indonesians were suffering, especially daily wage earners and the lower middle class.

Sarah Keihl, as she appears in the video clip announcing the auction.
PHOTO: Instagram/sarahkeihl

But Keihl, who has 339,000 followers on Instagram, took the video down an hour later after coming in for heavy criticism.

“Dear Sarah Keihl, even if you have deleted your ‘auction virginity’ post, your stupidity remains,” tweeted Queen Sammie@goldhust.

“Stop making stupid people famous #sarahkeihl,” tweeted Mohammad Shihab @shihabmohammad.

Keihl later posted an apology on her Instagram page, saying it was meant as a sarcastic joke and a criticism of people who were not “sensitive” to the Covid-19 situation.

“But clearly my sarcasm was too much and I deeply beg for your forgiveness. I had no intention of violating women and I also had no intention of auctioning my virginity,” said Keihl.

She said she was shocked at the hateful messages she had received.

“I am also a human being and I am shocked with the hate speech thrown at me … and my family is also shocked that my sarcasm has resulted in the bullying of me and my family,” said Keihl.

“To atone for my mistake, I will donate 1,000 packets of essential goods with my own money and that money is Halal [permitted] as I have never sold myself and my dignity.”

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This article was first published in South China Morning Post.