Sex, lies and Sharia Law: The secret life of the Sultan of Brunei
HE’S worth an estimated $25 billion (AUS), lives in a 1700-bed palace, indulges himself in western luxuries and has a reputation for enjoying beautiful women.
In a story on 60 Minutes, viewers saw how the Sultan of Brunei lives a very extravagant but somewhat moderate Muslim life.
But last year the Sultan introduced Sharia Law – where thieves would have their hands cut off and adulterers and homosexuals would be stoned to death. It applies to everyone living in Brunei except the Sultan and his Royal family.
While parts of the ancient Islamic law have been introduced in stages, Brunei is now on the verge of adopting public stoning.
60 Minutes’ Alison Langdontravelled through the small Asian nation undercover to see how the strict regime was affecting citizens and spoke to a woman who was once part of the Sultan’s harem revealing the hypocrisy of the current state of affairs.
“We’ve been trying for six months to get access and permission to visit Brunei to speak to the Sultan and that was denied, so in the end we decided to go in as tourists,” Langdon told news.com.au ahead of the program.
What they found, she explained, was a beautiful but repressed country where its citizens never criticise the royal family – mainly because it’s a crime – and seem to be unaware of the Sultan and his playboy brother, Prince Jefri’s debauchery.
Both brothers have a reputation for indulging in beautiful women.
Vanity Fair dubbed them the “constant companions in hedonism” in 2011 for their lavish lifestyles and penchant for collecting women like children collect toys.
And Prince Jefri is on the outer, accused of siphoning $19.2 billion (AUS) from the country’s coffers.
According to Jillian Lauren, the American woman who spoke to 60 Minutes about her year in Prince Jefri and the Sultan’s harem, the pair indulged a lot – and they didn’t care how old the girls were.
“She (Lauren) was in the harem when she was 18 and when she was there there were between 30 to 40 other girls, some as young as 15,” Ms Langdon said. “She spent a year there. She received hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gifts, jewerlly and clothing. She was very well looked after but that’s because she caught the eye of the Sultan’s younger brother Prince Jefri.
“She was his play thing. They had sex hundreds of times and then Prince Jefri gave her as a gift to the Sultan and she goes into great detail (about) the sexual activity she got up to with the sultan.”
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