Dewi Sukarno (Tokyo, 1940 - )
One of the most outspoken, and for many people probably one of the most
hated, celebrities on Japanese TV is Dewi Sukarno.
Usually referred to as Dewi Fujin (Madame Dewi), she can always be
relied on to add a juicy bit of snootiness or slander to a variety show .
The Japanese equivalent of Jacqueline Kennedy or Imelda Marcos, she's a
vibrant and opinionated woman who has been at the side of a world leader,
knows everyone worth knowing, and loves to tell you about it. In her own
words, "I speak too directly. I can't speak diplomatically. I think
people are afraid of what I am going to say."
Born Naoko Nemoto, she was working days in an insurance company and nights as
a hostess at the Kokusai Club in Akasaka, a place for foreign VIPs. It was there
that a fateful meeting with a powerful world leader changed her life. In 1962,
at the tender age of 19, she left Japan to become the third of the nine wives of
Achmed Sukarno, the president of The Republic of Indonesia. Her full
married name was Ratna Sari Dewi Sukarno. The couple had a daughter, Kartika.
Sukarno was ousted from power in 1967 and placed under house arrest the
following year, where he remained until his death in 1970. After her husband's
death Dewi became an international jet setter, living in Paris and New York
before returning to Tokyo. She describes her time in Paris, with her usual
modesty, "I was young, beautiful, I had a name, a certain wealth. People
were so eager to invite me here and there."
In 1993, at the ripe old age of 53 she published a book of photos, many of
them nude. The book was slammed in the mostly Islamic Indonesia for
"violating eastern norms and insulting Indonesia's dignity" and was
banned by the Attorney-General's office. Several years later, an Indonesian
magazine published some photos from the book without permission. In 2002, Dewi
testified in a Jakarta court in the property rights violation case. This was
just one of several court appearances, on both sides of the dock. Most recently,
she was ordered to pay damages to an actress she had defamed to the media.
She has certainly capitalized on her outspokenness. She has published several
books, with titles such as "Allow Me to Say a Few Things" (2000), that
slam Japan's lack of morals. She also has no qualms about criticizing fellow
celebrities, something that is pretty much taboo. Her age and perceived social
rank have afforded her a kind of special status that allows her to get away with
things that not many others in the business can.
Though she may have been above the law in her heyday
in Indonesia, this is not the case any more. In 2002, the Tokyo tax authorities
ordered her to pay 50 million yen in back taxes. Her public response was that
she left the running of her considerable business interests to her office. I
guess it's not easy to make ends meet when you have seven staff to support!
- JAPAN ZONE
How interesting that in her hey day, Dewi Sukarno was
one of the judges at the Miss Universe Pageant in 1978 in Acapulco Mexico where
Tai Tai competed as a contestant!
Dewi Sukarno’s Naked Obsession
Not too many Indonesian celebrities are willing to undress for the cameras.
But Dewi Sukarno, former first lady of Indonesia, was.
Many years later, in 1993, at the ripe old
age of 53 she published a book of photos, many of them nude. The book was
slammed in the mostly Islamic Indonesia for "violating eastern norms and
insulting Indonesia's dignity" and was banned by the Attorney-General's
office. Several years later, an Indonesian magazine published some photos from
the book without permission.
Today the book is out of print and a highly valued collectors’ item.
Dewi Sukarno has also faced Tax
charges. - BBC