A leaked sex video resulted in Iranian actress Zahra Amir Ebrahimi fleeing the country to avoid prosecution, writes Fatemeh Shams Esmaeili.
Zahra Amir Ebrahimi is a young Iranian actress who found fame in the popular television series, Nargess, which aired in Iran in 2006. She was at the height of her fame in 2007 when a sex video of her and a young man was leaked and widely circulated. She first heard news of the leak while on a trip in the north of Iran, through friends and colleagues. In less than a day, Amir Ebrahimi felt compelled to take an official stand with regards to the case.
Public distribution of a video, which contained the most private and intimate scenes of an actress’s life, devastated Amir Ebrahimi’s professional career. In a society like Iran, where the female body is heavily censored and sexual matters are still regarded as taboos, such an incident can have a deadly impact on one’s social and artistic reputation. In an interview, Amir Ebrahimi said that the leak might have been due to financial or immoral intentions. Soon after, yellow journals spread rumour of suicide. The controversy reached the point where Playboy covered the story in an article and showed the film on both its website and television channel. After this, Amir Ebrahimi was no longer able to continue her professional career in Iranian cinema and television. She denied the accusations made against her but was sentenced to prison by the court and left Iran for France before imprisonment.