Manohara Odelia Pinot had it all, it seemed. She was a socialite and model who married into royalty. But she says life with her prince was no fairy tale. She claims he abused and raped her and held her captive until her dramatic escape in Singapore. He sued her for defamation, and it’s rumored he wants to reconcile. Just who are these people, and what’s happened to their marriage?
Who is she? Manohara Odelia Pinot, 18, is a model and actress of American and Indonesian descent. (See more pictures of her.) Before her marriage to a crown prince, she was already famous and was voted one of “Indonesia’s 100 Most Precious Women” by Harper’s Bazaar Indonesia magazine.
Who is the prince? Prince Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra, 32, is the son of the monarch of one of Malaysia’s nine regional sultanates.
How did they meet? She was 14 when Fakhry approached her at a party in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Rape allegation: On one cruise, Manohara alleged in a story in the Jakarta Globe, Fakhry raped her while her mother was in an adjoining cabin. Then 16, Manohara didn’t tell her mother what happened. “I knew if I changed my behavior, my mom would find out. I was embarrassed,” she says. The prince denied this charge.
The marriage: They later wed in 2008. Manohara claims she was told she could return to Jakarta after the ceremony to resume her modeling career. She insists that she said nothing at the ceremony and signed no papers.
How they reunited: Manohara, who’s been called a “cat-eyed Paris Hilton,” returned to Jakarta. Soon they, along with Fajarina, met in Mecca in Saudi Arabia for prayer and pilgrimage. When it came time to fly home, Manohara says, she was led into a private jet, leaving her mother on the tarmac.
Abuse allegations: For the next nine months, she alleges, she was injected with tranquilizers and threatened if she did not appear happy when attending functions with the prince. She claims the prince also cut her chest several times with a razor. The prince denies these claims.
How she escaped: Businessman Datuk Kadar Shah says government officials in Indonesia and Malaysia asked him to intervene in 2008. Shah and the couple met in Singapore last May. At a restaurant, Manohara slipped him a note scrawled in eyeliner on a crumpled napkin that said “help me.” As soon as he left the restaurant, Shah says, he called Fajarina, urging her to rush to Singapore. She arrived just before her daughter outwitted Fakhry and his phalanx of bodyguards and escaped, according to media reports.
Defamation lawsuit: The prince claims he never abused or raped her and sued his wife and her mother for defamation last summer. In March, a Malaysian civil court awarded him a $6 million ringgit judgment. What is the U.S. equivalent?
He wants her back? Shah thinks the prince is convinced that if he gets Manohara back, he can persuade her to silence her criticism and resume their marriage. “I have never seen a man so obsessed with a woman,” Shah says. “The people in his province also love her. They view her like Princess Diana. He needs her back for his credibility.”
Her career and life: For the princess, the ratings for her soap opera remain high, and she’s starting a new cosmetics line. As for love and marriage, Manohara plans to take time out to heal. “They ask, ‘Who is Manohara dating?’ The answer is no one. I’ve got lots of time for that.”