Teen Indonesian singer Tegar Septian and stepfather say: We forgive ex-manager for alleged sexual harassment
Mr Usup Supardi simmered with anger and disappointment when his stepson, teenage Indonesian singer Tegar Septian, claimed he had been sexually harassed by his Singaporean former manager.
"I was so upset. I found it hard to believe at first," Mr Usup, 33, told local mediaat a Sultan Gate restaurant yesterday.
His wife, Ratna Dwisasi, 32, had shed tears of sadness following her son's shocking confession to the family in early February.
Last month, Tegar made regional headlines after he alleged in a press conference that he had been sexually harassed by ex-manager Arif Dollah between last November and January while they were in Malaysia and Singapore.
Tegar told Indonesian media he was made to sleep in just his underwear and Arif would do the same when they shared a bed in Malaysia.
He also alleged that Mr Arif had asked him to kiss him and take showers together.
Still, Mr Usup said he bears no grudges against the man who also allegedly took several of Tegar's belongings including a laptop, guitar, GoPro camera and passport.
Like his stepfather, 13-year-old Tegar also said he has no ill feelings towards Mr Arif.
"I think of Arif and how this incident might affect his career. I don't hate him or seek revenge, I just want him to return my things and it will all be over," said Tegar at the press conference.
His stepfather aside, Tegar was also accompanied by representatives from his Indonesian label Harpa Records, a local representative, and local singer Sufie Rashid.
Sufie, 24, has accused Mr Arif of sexually abusing him more than 10 years ago.
Both Sufie and Tegar had filed police reports here separately on the alleged incidents.
In response to a query by The New Paper yesterday, police confirmed that two reports were lodged and a 29-year-old male Singaporean has been arrested.
Investigations are ongoing.
Tegar also filed two police reports in Indonesia last month - one for the alleged theft and the other for alleged abuse.
Tegar's stepfather and Harpa Records also sought assistance from the country's National Commission for Child Protection.
Mr Arif was described as a responsible manager who was diligent in taking care of Tegar and his needs since he became the boy's manager in February last year.
Everything went smoothly until mid-2014, when Tegar claimed things were not quite right and "felt weird".
A warning sign came when Tegar said he was persuaded by Mr Arif not to return home despite multiple pleas.
It was also alleged that Mr Arif prevented Tegar from calling his parents.
Tegar told the media yesterday it took him months to pluck up the courage to tell his mother about the alleged incidents because he treated Mr Arif like his own brother. But he said he knew it was the right thing to do.
Now, Tegar and his family just want to move on with their lives.
Harpa Records owner Handoko Kusumo said: "Tegar is the eldest of four children. His family have been a great source of support... for him. In this, he finds strength."
Tegar is also now free of personal managers - wherever he goes, he is accompanied by a parent and a representative from Harpa Records.
"I have forgiven him," he said simply.
Mr Handoko also said that all parties involved do not "feel revenge towards him (Mr Arif)".
"We just want the matter to pass and his things, which he got with his hard-earned money, to be returned," he said.
Tegar has a big project to look forward to this year.
His rise to fame from a village busker in Subang, West Java, to a popular teen star will be made into a movie soon.
While details are scant, Mr Handoko revealed: "Filming will begin in May and end in July or August.
"We don't think this incident will be mentioned... perhaps just as a backstory, we don't know yet."
THE NEW PAPER, MARCH 14
EX-MANAGER SAYS HE'S INNOCENT
Singer Tegar's ex-manager Arif Dollah denied all allegations of sexual abuse made against him in an interview with The New Paper last month, shortly after he made headlines for alleged sexual abuse.
TNP was unable to contact him yesterday.
"I didn't do any of it. A friend of mine who is close to Tegar and whom Tegar treats like a brother said that someone must have forced him to (make the allegations)," he said in the earlier interview.
"Someone is unhappy with me because I know something that can expose them. I won't say what it is," he said.
He also claimed that he pitied Tegar, who he said was "caught in the middle" and "afraid to apologise" to him for making the allegations.
He first denied the allegations of sexual abuse, saying that he had indeed slept in the same bed with Tegar together with a third person.
Tegar was wearing shorts and a sarong as blanket and was not merely in his underwear.
He said he had accompanied Tegar to the shower, but stood outside with the door closed but unlocked as Tegar is a "scaredy cat".
He denied taking Tegar's belongings, saying that he had passed the guitar to a friend to look after it.
He also said he left the passport, the laptop and the camera in the Jakarta apartment that Harpa Records had arranged for them.
Mr Arif had also claimed then that he has "proof of (his) innocence".
He also denied sexually abusing Sufie Rashid.