Saudi Arabia's TV Sex Scandal

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- Authorities have closed the offices of the Lebanese-based LBC satellite TV station in Jiddah after it broadcast an interview with a Saudi man speaking frankly about sex and showed off erotic toys, a Saudi official said Sunday.

Abdul-Rahman al-Hazza, the spokesman of the Ministry of Culture and Information, told The Associated Press that LBC's office in the western city of Jiddah office was closed because of the program and because it is unlicensed.

"The closure is indefinite," al-Hazza said.

The Saudi man, Mazen Abdul-Jawad, has been in detention since last Friday. Abdul-Jawad, a 32-year-old Saudi Airlines employee, has begged forgiveness from Saudi society for appearing on LBC's "Bold Red Line" program, in which he appeared to be talking about his sexual exploits.

His July 15 television appearance shocked many in this conservative kingdom. Saudi Arabia, which is the birthplace of Islam, enforces strict segregation of the sexes. An unrelated couple, for example, can be detained for being alone in the same car or having a cup of coffee in public. Saudis observe such segregation even at home, where they have separate living rooms for male and female guests.

The television segment begins with Abdul-Jawad apparently talking about the first time he had sex - at age 14 with a neighbor. Then the divorced father of four sons leads viewers into his bedroom where he says: "Everything happens in this room."

Sulaiman al-Jumeii, Abdul-Jawad's lawyer, insists the interview was manipulated, his client was not aware in many instances that he was being recorded and the sex toys were provided by the LBC staff.

More than 200 people have filed legal complaints against Mazen Abdul-Jawad, dubbed a "sex braggart" by the media, and many Saudis say he should be severely punished.

In Beirut, LBC's chief Pierre Daher on Sunday maintained his company's no-comment policy since the controversy erupted. He refused to confirm or deny the closure when contacted by AP.

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  • by Anonymous on Mar 6, 2012 at 12:10 PM
    SO I had sex when i was 14 too you are going to grow up
  • by yikes Location: charlotte nc on Jan 10, 2011 at 02:00 PM
    man why are they tattle telling on him it happens everywhere it may just be his relgion just leave him alone
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Oct 21, 2010 at 06:42 AM
    Just get rid of Saudi Arabia, take over the oil, and it will be all good.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 15, 2010 at 01:06 PM
    @ aziz...WHAT?!?
  • by aziz on Sep 15, 2010 at 01:31 PM
    I am from Riyadh, Saudia Arabia tell the world Have the right to live according to our religion is If the world calling for freedom I tell the world you have freedom at the expense of our national security or intellectual, cultural or economic I do not think there is any sane person accept that Let all of us are wise
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:58 AM in reply to aziz
      Translator please!
    • reply
      by Chris on Jan 23, 2012 at 03:57 PM in reply to aziz
      you should have written your comment in arabic. We might have a better shot at deciphering your attempt at a comment.
  • by I guess on May 3, 2010 at 02:18 PM
    I guess abstinence until marriage didn't work in Saudi Arabia. But I'm sure that it will work here. Just ask Bristol Palin! oops.
    • reply
      by Donna on Nov 21, 2011 at 06:48 AM in reply to I guess
      Did you? Unless the answer is yes, you shouldn't be putting down anyone else.
  • by Harry on Feb 20, 2010 at 09:24 AM
    Ironic, that people from Saudi Arabia would want to punish a man for talking about sex, when their previous kings had harems.
  • by Clifton Location: Washington on Jan 9, 2010 at 05:09 PM
    You better watch out. If they deport him, it will be to America, where his home bud's will then think it is fine for him to act this way, and will honor him as a god of some kind. (simply because it will be American women he chases then)

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