A beloved Indonesian actress was caught up in an altercation in Kuta over the weekend that resulted in her being hit in the face. Jennifer Coppen, a much-loved Indonesia actress who is on vacation in Bali, came to the aid of a woman in Shishi Bar who was the target of abuse from a group of men.
Coppen told her 1.2 million Instagram followers that she will share her version of events soon. On an Instagram story posted early on 16th May, Coppen shared a headline from Bali’s IG-based news site Info Kerobokan with a caption written in Bahasa Indonesia that translates to say ‘for those of you who have missed what happened. I’ll tell you the full chronology tomorrow, thank you to those who always ask how I’m doing, etc.‘
On the 11th of May, Coppen and friends were visiting Shishi Bar on Jalan Petitenget in North Kuta. Around 3 am when the bar was closing Coppen came to the rescue of a caucasian woman who was being harassed by a group of men. Reports suggest that the woman was drunk and struggling to deal with the harassment on her own. Coppen, seeing this and seeing no one else come to support the victim, came to her aid.
It seems that this may have exacerbated the situation. According to a statement by Bali police, this only amplified the efforts of the men who continued to poke and grope the woman. While Coppen’s public statement will surely clarify the minor details, what is known is that the actress was hit across the face while defending and supporting the victim, in turn becoming a victim of assault herself.
Eyewitnesses are saying they heard the men say ‘don’t mess with us’ after they hit her across the face. The Head of the Criminal Investigation Unit of the North Kuta Police, Iptu Mohammad Amir, has confirmed that he has received a report from Jennifer Coppen filing an assault charge against the men.
Amir has confirmed that there is an investigation underway. He told reporters that the Criminal Investigation Unit are working with Shishi Bar and surrounding businesses to collate CCTV footage and get witness testimonies from staff and guests who witnessed the events as they unfolded.
Jennifer Coppen is best known internationally for her role in the 2019 TV series Pretty Little Liars. She is also the star of a dozen Indonesian films and TV series, including the soap opera Story for Geri and the hit film Mecca, I’m Coming. She plays the role of Puti in the 2022 romantic drama Akad.
Of the thousands of comments on social media, the overwhelming majority are expressing their concern and support for Coppen. Many are asking why she did not have security with her, and hope that the CCTV footage will help the police find the group of men so that they can be charged.
Coppen is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on her social media to raise funds for Rescue2000. The charity, based in Bali, focuses on providing Balinese people with clean water, staple food supplies, and housing support. The team focuses on supporting Balinese families in rural and remote areas of the island.
Shishi Bar is yet to release a statement but is believed to be supporting the police in their investigation. Shishi Nightclub & Izakaya Lounge is a modern and super stylish 3-floor nightclub in North Kuta. Offering eclectic Asian decor, premium cocktails, and vast dance floors the club is known for being a destination for celebrities and other high profile individuals. They also offer fine dining experiences, offering the elite a full-service experience.
As Bali begins to open up the island’s biggest venues will be working hard to ensure that customers are cared for, both in terms of Covid-safety and physical security. The impact of celebrities, influencers and other high profile individual’s on the public image of Bali is not to be underestimated. Earlier in May TikTok star Jessie Carr’s viral video telling how her and her sister were denied aboard a flight to Bali resulted in airline JetStar changing the way they communicate with customers.
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