Influencer who claimed to be auctioning her virginity for Covid-19 relief apologises after backlash

Indonesian influencer Sarah Salsabila had to apologise after claiming to be selling her virginity for Covid relief. Photo courtesy CEN/ @sarahkeihl/ Magazine Features
Indonesian influencer Sarah Salsabila had to apologise after claiming to be selling her virginity for Covid relief. Photo courtesy CEN/ @sarahkeihl/ Magazine Features

Indonesian influencer, Sarah Salsabila, who goes by Sarah Keihl online, reportedly made the offer in a video on Instagram where she said she was willing to auction off her virginity with a starting price of more than 100 000 GBP (about R2,1 million).

She said in the video, "A pretty tough decision in my life. Maybe some of you understand this, but I've decided I'll do so to raise funds to help those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic."

READ MORE: Sex and coronavirus: Should you be intimate? With whom? 3 sexologists advise

Sarah said that the proceeds of the auction would go to Covid-19 frontliners and those affected financially by the pandemic. 

She reportedly told her 232 000 followers that the auction would begin at 9 pm Indonesian time last Wednesday.

However, before the auction started, the influencer faced a backlash from users in Indonesia, a Muslim country, and has now said the auction was not real but just a piece of "satire" aimed at people not taking coronavirus seriously enough. 

READ MORE: ‘I’ve been celibate for 3 years, here are 5 things I’ve learnt about love, sex and intimacy so far’

Explaining the stunt, she says, "I'm sorry for creating the controversy. In truth, the virginity auction was my idea of satire for those who aren't sensitive to the situation."

Influencer who claimed to be selling her virginity

Indonesian influencer, Sarah Salsabila. All images courtesy CEN/ @sarahkeihl/ Magazine Features

Sarah says she and her family have been receiving abuse over her post and has offered to pay for 1 000 packages of grocery aid as a way of apologising.

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"I'm really sorry for all the inconvenience caused. I didn't mean to come up with such a degrading post and I didn't even mean to sell off my virginity in the first place," Sarah says. 

However, a leaked conversation between Sarah and a friend on Instagram reportedly shows her saying that she had staged the stunt with her manager. It also appears as if an apology had already been planned. 

What are your thoughts on influencer culture? Tell us here.

Story by: CEN/ @sarahkeihl/ Magazine Features

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